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Evaluation of the Business Growth Initiative


The Business Growth Initiative (BGI) aimed to support Lanarkshire’s High and Medium Impact companies to improve business performance through the development and implementation of strategic projects. The evaluation aimed to provide a summary of the role of the BGI, and present the results of consultations and survey findings.


The methodology consisted of: a population structure and sampling; data-gathering design; data-gathering (face-to-face interviews); and analysis and reporting.


Suggests that the rationale for BGI is less clearly defined than is the case for many other forms of business support. Notes that the definition of the BGI project (from SEL’s perspective) is down to the skill of the Account Manager or Client Manager when making the case. Finds that the BGI appears to be performing well and the performance metrics are positive. Indicates that BGI is having an influence both in terms of qualitative and quantitative impacts. Net impacts include: safeguarding between 206 and 279 FTE positions to date; the creation of between 9 and 13 FTEs; sales of between £17,929 and £24,256 for each £1,000 spent by SEL; relatively high levels of cost reduction of between £1.46M and £1.98M ; and net GVA contribution in the order of between £21.18M and £28.65M. The BGI has performed well against the sales related targets, but less well in employment terms.


Suggests that BGI should continue to be used but perhaps on a smaller scale and with clearer purpose. Recommends that SEL should: introduce a revised appraisal process; reduce support for ‘repeat’ cases; review growth firms; clarify ‘positioning’ of BGI relative to SE’s priorities; review case assistance to large firms; and encourage firms to discuss the technical aspects of projects in-depth with the consultants.

Author O’Herlihy and Co Ltd
Published Year 2009
Report Type Evaluation
  • Enterprise
    Entrepreneurship/new firm formation, High growth entrepreneurship, Support to existing/growth businesses