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Evaluation of High Growth Start-up Service: final report


Scottish Enterprise Lanarkshire's (SEL's) High Growth Start-up Service, whose main delivery mechanism was the High Growth Incubation Centre, aimed to provide tailored, enhanced support to prospective businesses that were believed to have the greatest chance of meeting the SE Network’s high growth criteria. The evaluation aimed to: investigate the economic impact of the service; review all aspects of the business development service; and understand the effectiveness of the service in meeting its strategic objectives.


The evaluation consisted of: desk research and face-to-face internal discussions with SEL; the design of a questionnaire; external consultation with companies, resulting in 11 face-to-face and 12 telephone interviews; external consultation with technical consultants; an analysis of findings; and reporting of findings in a workshop-style meeting.


The service has a good reputation and companies reported benefits, such as financial stability and business planning and confidence, as a result of direct involvement with the service. Concludes that potential entrepreneurs are looking for higher levels of assistance in areas such as securing Intellectual Property Rights (IPR), rather than technical or product development support, which has declined. The service ensured that clients were focussed on the commercial side of their business and Business Advisors were regarded highly. The evaluation demonstrates that client companies are not pushed into ‘care’ accommodation, but that businesses found it beneficial that the Incubation Centre provides short term space at no cost. Concludes that the service is delivering good results with reasonable cost-effectiveness.


Recommends that the High Growth Start-up Service: promote entrepreneurs to targeted groups in order to encourage home-grown talent; set up a targeted marketing drive to intermediaries to encourage referrals of suitable clients; improve the use of private sector entrepreneurial support networks; take a more rigorous and scientific approach to selection of clients; and place a greater emphasis on critical success factors at both pre and post start-up.

Author Frontline Consultants; Alan Brazewell Economics Ltd
Published Year 2009
Report Type Evaluation
  • Enterprise
    Entrepreneurship/new firm formation, High growth entrepreneurship
  • Innovation
    Company building
  • Investment
    Investor readiness support