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Scottish Enterprise Industrial Fellowships Pilot: Evaluation 2004


As a means of supporting high-technology start-ups from within the Scottish industrial base, the Industrial Fellowships Programme was a pilot scheme intended to provide financial assistance to individuals who had presented new business proposals which were perceived to offer strong potential. The evaluation aimed to assess the assumption of the scheme that there may be potential in giving support for would-be entrepreneurs who might consider starting up technology businesses from within the private sector.


The methodology consisted of: desk research, including all documentation relating to the Industrial Fellowships, including progress reports; face-to-face interviews with three Fellows; interviews with relevant Scottish Enterprise (SE) personnel; a review of relevant work, including an evaluation of the SE High Growth Start-up unit of Dec 2003.


The pilot scheme has delivered qualitative and quantitative impact and has addressed market failure. It is a good operational fit with the SE Network High Growth Start-up Unit (HGSU) and potential with other areas of the Network, and a good strategic fit with Smart Successful Scotland and particularly the Growing Business area. Notes that the programme has accelerated progress and in all three cases has made a vital difference between life and death for the businesses concerned. Concludes that the programme was intentionally kept simple and professionally managed with a ‘light touch’, given that the Fellows should concentrate on developing their business proposition.


The evaluation recommends that the Industrial Fellowship programme is extended by a 2 year period, with a maximum number of Fellows to be 10 per annum and that the programme is given a more flexible duration of up to 9-12 months per successful candidate. Suggests that the Fellowship Programme should produce a single set of criteria for communication to referees, candidates and advisers and that an evaluation system be agreed for implementation. To ensure a high quality of applicant, recommends that: the Fellowships should be given by existing SE staff, augmented by a small advisory group, and that the group should have the power of final approval. Suggests that the pilot group should be tracked by SE for at least 12 months beyond the end of their fellowship and the referral system for candidates should be explained clearly to all potential referees inside and outside SE. Considers that: there is a possible strategic fit with the HGSU, clusters, Targeting Innovation, Scottish Intellectual Asset Management and the newly restructured Technology Ventures Scotland (TVS); and that the programme might be marketed carefully to trusted intermediaries within the SE Network and its approved advisers in the high-growth assistance sector.

Author Maurice Smith (The Value Innovators Ltd)
Published Year 2009
Report Type Evaluation
  • Enterprise
    Entrepreneurship/new firm formation