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Small Business Gateway High Growth Start-up Support evaluation


The High Growth Start-up Programme (HGSP) and the related Discretionary Grant scheme, aimed to support new, potentially high growth businesses. The evaluation aimed to assess: the management and delivery of services contracted to Maitland Associates; the programme’s outputs and impacts; how Discretionary Grants have been utilised; and the nature of any interdependence between start-up support and the Grant in terms of achieving outputs and impacts.


The methodology consisted of: a postal survey; telephone and face-to-face interviews with companies; consultations with key stakeholders; and a review of monitoring records.


The majority of clients rated the Programme’s support vital or important to their business’ performance. Identifies a number of ‘softer’ benefits, including encouraging openness to external ideas or support. Estimates the quantitative economic impact at the level of the Renfrewshire economy to be c.£5.1 million in net sales and 139 net jobs. The award of the Discretionary Grant delivers a higher level of additionality. HGSP advisors were rated highly on overall effectiveness and ‘customer relations’, although the value of support was polarised on technical feasibility and intellectual property issues. Notes that the contractor delivered to or exceeded its contract’s output targets. There are good communications between the contractor and SER programme management.


To enhance the Programme, recommends that: the Development Plan is used as an open document produced in concert with the client; the Aftercare Reports make explicit references to the ‘care’ delivered or required; the nature of support activity and resource levels directed to each client is fully charted; the performance of clients is tracked for at least three years; and the role of the Programme is re-examined with respect to start-ups and spin-outs from the University of Paisley.

Author SQW Limited
Published Year 2009
Report Type Evaluation
  • Enterprise
    Entrepreneurship/new firm formation, High growth entrepreneurship
  • Innovation
    Company building