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Evaluation of SE Renfrewshire’s internationalisation activities


Scottish Enterprise Renfrewshire (SER) commissioned EKOS to undertake an evaluation of the Internationalisation Programme aimed at examining its performance against targets, achievement of objectives and outputs, and to assess the economic impact at the local and national level. The objectives of the evaluation were to provide SER with an understanding of: the extent to which the Programme’s objectives and targets had been achieved; the impact of the Programme on the local and national economy in terms of employment and sales impacts; the impact of the Programme on company performance; and future activity that SER should engage in relation to internationalisation.


The methodology consisted of consultations with executives from both SE Renfrewshire and Business Gateway International Renfrewshire (BGIR) and officials from key partners within the local authorities; and interviews with 35 companies that had received support from the Programme through face-to-face meetings, telephone interviews and email questionnaires.


The evaluation indicates that significant improvement has been achieved in terms of generating additional export sales and employment as a direct result of BGIR support. Finds that nine companies would not have undertaken the export related activity at all without BGIR support. It highlights that for most companies – seven out of the eleven who answered the question – all of the new jobs created were taken by people who lived in one of the three local authorities that make up the SE Renfrewshire area. The business survey highlights the following outcomes: improved processes, although 76% said BGIR support had no impact on internal processes, with 15% indicating some change and 9% a significant change; increased exports; increased turnover with those companies who attributed turnover growth to BGIR support reporting an average turnover increase of £1.14m; and increased employment with supported companies seeing an increase of 165 jobs. Discussions with the BGIR partners and supported businesses revealed a high degree of satisfaction with the Internationalisation Programme, with few suggestions for significant changes that would improve the programme leading to enhanced economic impact.


A small number of recommendations were made for minor changes: continue to deliver an effective, well regarded programme; provide support to companies under a single agency brand; keep costs to a minimum to encourage more companies to participate; where resources are limited, focus them on providing support to allow companies to attend exhibitions and missions; and consider restoring the team of advisers to three.</p

Author EKOS Limited
Published Year 2009
Report Type Evaluation
  • Internationalisation
    Internationalisation of Scottish businesses