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Differential gains from Business Link support and advice: a treatment effects approach

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  • Kevin Mole
  • Mark Hart
  • Stephen Roper
  • David Saal

Abstract

The provision of advisory support to small firms is almost ubiquitous in OECD countries, although it is organised in different ways and is justified on slightly different grounds. In England publicly supported advisory services are provided through the Business Link (BL) network. Here, we consider two questions: what sort of companies receive advisory support from BL; and, what types of firms benefit most from that support? Our analysis is based on a telephone survey of 2000 firms, around half of which had received intensive assistance from BL between April and October 2003. Probit analysis suggests that the probability of receiving assistance was greater among younger businesses, those with larger numbers of directors in the firm, and those with more gender diversity among the firm’s leadership team. Our business-growth models suggest that BL intensive assistance was having a positive effect on employment growth in 2003. BL had a positive but insignificant impact on sales growth over the period. Employment growth effects tend to be larger where firms have a management and organisational structure, which is more conducive to absorbing and making use of external advice. The analysis suggests that BL might increase its impact through targeting these larger, more export-orientated, businesses. Employment growth effects differ little, however, depending on either the ethnic or the gender diversity of the leadership team.

Suggested Citation

  • Kevin Mole & Mark Hart & Stephen Roper & David Saal, 2008. "Differential gains from Business Link support and advice: a treatment effects approach," Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 26(2), pages 315-334, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:pio:envirc:v:26:y:2008:i:2:p:315-334
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    Cited by:

    1. Vivas-Augier, Carlos & Barge-Gil, Andrés, 2012. "Impact on firms of the use of knowledge providers: a systematic review of the literature," MPRA Paper 41042, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Rotger, Gabriel Pons & Gørtz, Mette & Storey, David J., 2012. "Assessing the effectiveness of guided preparation for new venture creation and performance: Theory and practice," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 506-521.
    3. Victoria Castillo & Lucas Figal Garone & Alessandro Maffioli & Moira Ohaco, 2016. "Asistencias técnicas y competitividad de las MiPyMEs: Evidencia para Argentina," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 96960, Inter-American Development Bank.
    4. Lovgren, Adam & Ross, R. Brent & Peterson, H. Christopher, 2012. "Overcoming Selection Bias in Measuring the Effect of Entrepreneurial Assistance Programs," 2012 Annual Meeting, August 12-14, 2012, Seattle, Washington 124815, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    5. Capelleras, Joan-Lluis & Mole, Kevin F., 2012. "How ‘buzz’ reduces uncertainty for new firm founders," MPRA Paper 38170, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. repec:gam:jsusta:v:9:y:2017:i:9:p:1584-:d:111039 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Greene, Francis, 2012. "Should the focus of publicly provided small business assistance be on start-ups or growth businesses?," Occasional Papers 12/2, Ministry of Economic Development, New Zealand.
    8. Arias-Vazquez, Javier & Gamberoni, Elisa & Nguyen, Cuong, 2013. "A Short-Term Effect of a Better Work Programme on Firms’ Performance: Evidence from Vietnam," MPRA Paper 67475, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Jonas Månsson & Barbro Widerstedt, 2012. "The Swedish Business Development Program – Evaluation and some methodological and practical notes," ERSA conference papers ersa12p858, European Regional Science Association.
    10. Colin Mason & Ross Brown, 2013. "Creating good public policy to support high-growth firms," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 40(2), pages 211-225, February.
    11. Lenihan, Helena, 2011. "Enterprise policy evaluation: Is there a 'new' way of doing it?," Evaluation and Program Planning, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 323-332, November.
    12. Thomas Brenner & Carsten Emmrich & Charlotte Schlump, 2013. "Regional Effects of a Cluster-oriented policy measure. The Case of the InnoRegio program in Germany," Working Papers on Innovation and Space 2013-05, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography.
    13. Andrés Barge-Gil & Aurelia Modrego, 2011. "The impact of research and technology organizations on firm competitiveness. Measurement and determinants," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 36(1), pages 61-83, February.

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