Evaluating the Royal Academy of Engineering’s Enterprise Fellowship Programme
The Royal Academy of Engineering’s Enterprise Hub was launched in 2013 with a mission to drive sustainable wealth creation in the UK through supporting the development of an enterprise ecosystem that fosters a culture of entrepreneurship amongst UK-based engineers.
The Hub's flagship Enterprise Fellowship Programme provides support to entrepreneurial engineers to develop innovations and bring them to market. To the end of 2018 the Programme had invested £4.9m of grant funding in the business ideas of 88 Enterprise Fellows. This evaluation was commissioned to explore the impact, competitiveness and value for money of the Programme to inform a new period of strategic planning.
The evaluation method was grounded in a ‘logic model’ approach, consistent with HM Treasury’s Green and Magenta Books, the definitive UK guidance on appraising and evaluating the spend of public funds. At the outset of the evaluation, Steer Economic Development worked with the Enterprise Hub to develop a logic chain for the Programme and an associated evaluation framework, to enable a robust assessment of the outputs delivered, and the resulting outcomes and impacts.
The evaluation was conducted between January and June 2019, and comprised desk-based analysis and consultation across stakeholders, including:
- A review of key documents, including the Programme’s annual progress reports, monitoring documentation for Enterprise Fellows and wider marketing material for the Programme;
- In-depth, semi-structured interviews with Enterprise Fellows, funders, partner organisations, the Enterprise Committee and wider stakeholders;
- Analysis of the Programme’s monitoring data;
- An online survey of Enterprise Fellows.
The report’s executive summary is published on the Royal Academy of Engineering Enterprise website.