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Review of the Regional Support and Student Entrepreneurship Programmes


The Regional Support Programme was given funding by Scottish Enterprise (SE) in 2006, for a period of three years. Its remit was to provide training and mentoring to students with promising enterprise ideas. Further funding was granted in 2007 to the Student Entrepreneurship Programme to promote entrepreneurship among undergraduates. EKOS was commissioned to carry out a strategic review of both programmes.


The research comprised: an inception meeting with the SE project manager; a review of relevant documentation; consultations with SE executives, the three business advisers involved in the Regional Support Programme, the Chief Executive of the Scottish Institute for Enterprise (SIE), the Chairman of the SIE Board and the three companies that received support; and analysis and reporting.


The following conclusions were reached: both programmes fit well with government economic strategy and to some extent with SE strategy; the programmes address market failure at the individual level, but this will take longer to achieve at a wider level; since the launch of the Regional Support Programme the rate of business start-ups has increased significantly; progress was slow in the first year, but serveral targets were exceeded in the second; and the timing of the review means that overall impact of both programmes was hard to assess.


The review’s recommendations included the following: indicators relating to the growth ambition of start-ups should be developed, as this would provide data on expected business turnover and employment by the end of the third year; using indicators for turnover and employment, SIE could segment the portfolio of companies being supported to identify those that are high growth or have prospects for growth; future support should be structured so as to maintain the link between the enterprise education and business development components; and a formal evaluation of the programmes should take place in September 2009.

Author EKOS Limited
Published Year 2009
Report Type Evaluation
  • Enterprise
    Entrepreneurship/new firm formation