Evaluation of the No_Code Project

No_Code project is a programme of activities funded by the Community Renewal Fund (CRF) led by Greater Birmingham & Solihull LEP (GBSLEP). 

The project brings together:

  • SuperTech, a market-facing industry led group backed by Business Professional Financial Services (BPFS) sector employers interested in advancing professional services through technology
  • 3 colleges (Birmingham Metropolitan College, Walsall College, and Dudley College) who provided training to young people in app development
  • Million Labs, who have developed the No-Code approach to developing apps
  • City-REDI as an independent evaluator

The No_Code pilot has adopted a comprehensive approach in testing approaches that meet both the demand side in terms of developing interest from BPFS businesses and start-up ventures that could benefit from the No_Code approach and the supply-side in terms of developing the skills base within the region. The pilot comprises three sets of activities:

  • Development and delivery of a curriculum for training young people in using the No_Code approach to developing apps
  • An accelerator in which entrepreneurs with potential app ideas were supported in their development of their idea to pitching stage
  • A hackathon based around specific challenges.


The Evaluation Lab

Community Renewal Fund


WMREDI was invited to be included in the CRF application as an independent evaluator of the No_Code pilot. This allowed the adoption of a more developmental and formative approach to the evaluation of the pilot capturing a broad range of impacts and lessons learnt for future interventions. Given the modest scale of the initiative, the short delivery time scale, ethical considerations, and the commitment to creating synergies with, and leveraging, existing provision it was not feasible or viable to create a counterfactual in the form of control or comparison group. The agreed aims of the evaluation were:

  • Providing formative guidance to help inform the development of future funding proposals
  • Providing a summative impact assessment and insight for future projects
  • Recognise the impact of COVID-19 on the programme and sector in the West Midlands
  • Make an assessment of the attribution and additionality of the programme, relative to the baseline
  • Draw out the specific contribution of CRF funded activities
  • Understand effectiveness and key contributing factors / barriers
  • Assess the programme’s relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, impact, sustainability and coherence.

Information for Policy Makers

No_Code is a policy response to the need for the BPFS sector in the region to innovate more, develop more of an R&D culture and be equipped to respond to changing regulatory boundaries and technological developments that are challenging traditional professional services firms and established business models The No_Code project tested approaches that:

  • reduce start-up barriers for technology-based businesses, enabling founders/ entrepreneurs to rapidly build their business idea and go to market to validate their ambition
  • develop digital skills in young people and the unemployed needed by the sector and develop an interest in working in the sector
  • raise awareness amongst existing businesses in the sector about how they can innovate and respond to new challenges and opportunities

Contact Details

Project lead contact details: 

George Bramley


Evaluation of No Code Pilot (Community Renewal Fund)
Hannes Read, Alice Pugh, Anne Green and George Bramley, November 2022

WMREDI is funded by Research England and the WMREDI partnership

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