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Prince's Scottish Youth Business Trust (PSYBT): evaluation of impact and strategic contribution


The Prince’s Scottish Youth Business Trust (PSYBT) is a key delivery vehicle for the Enterprise Networks in the delivery of start-up support to entrepreneurs aged between 18 and 25 years. This evaluation assesses the impact and strategic contribution of PSYBT. It aims to assess the case for a continuation of the core funding provided by Scottish Enterprise (SE) to PSYBT.


The methodological approach included: analysis of secondary research; a survey of a sample of 344 beneficiaries who received support from PSYBT between January 2004 and December 2005; a survey of a sample of 50 people who registered with PSYBT but did not receive an award; and in-depth consultation with key stakeholders in SE, Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and the Scottish Executive, the PSYBT Head Office staff and Regional Managers, and a sample of PSYBT Regional Chairs, volunteers and Business Gateway Staff.


The evaluation finds that PSYBT generally operates well and has suitably robust processes and systems in place to screen clients and assess their requirements, tailoring support to their needs. PSYBT is making a strong contribution to the Enterprise Networks’ goals for the 18-25 years client group and is addressing an apparent market failure in providing access to finance for starting up in business. Evidence from the survey of beneficiaries suggests that PSYBT is having a strong impact on the Scottish economy and is contributing to the business birth rate and the growth pipeline. The survival rates of PSYBT assisted start-ups compare favourably with benchmark data and the value-for money indicators of the cost per start-up and cost-per-job suggest that PSYBT represents good value in terms of the provision of start-up support to the 18-25 client group. It is not entirely clear why the introduction of the 18-30 Start-up Award did not lead to increased demands on PSYBT as expected although it seems likely that a lack of customer demand, rather than any failings by PSYBT or the Business Gateway, is to blame.


The report recommends that SE and HIE continue to support PSYBT moving forward. However, some further recommendations are made in relation to: funding, suggesting that there is scope for linking funding to specific goals, such as a greater focus on disadvantaged groups; the operational model in terms of marketing, staffing and the use of industry specific Aftercare Advisers; the strategic contribution to the goals of SE and HIE with regard to the targeting of sectors, the relative impact in SE and HIE and greater focus on disadvantaged groups; and improving integration with Business Gateway support.

Author DTZ Consulting and Research
Published Year 2009
Report Type Evaluation
  • Enterprise
    Entrepreneurship/new firm formation