Read the latest blogs from the IGL network.

Running an RCT with SMEs: Secrets of success

By Elena Novelli on Tuesday, 14 June 2022.

In the last few years, Elena Novelli, Alfonso Gambardella and Arnaldo Camuffo at Bocconi University (and colleagues from other institutions around the world), have been running a series of randomised controlled trials (RCTs) to understand the impact on entrepreneurial performance of teaching entrepreneurs to operate like scientists when making decisions.

Four years of the UK’s Business Basics Programme – what have we learned?

By James Phipps & Rob Fuller on Tuesday, 14 June 2022.

The question of how to raise productivity among small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) has long presented a challenge to policymakers around the world. In 2018, the UK’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) worked with Innovate UK and IGL to launch an innovative approach to this problem, creating a fund to experiment with interventions to boost productivity among SMEs.

Science to perfect the art: Experimental evidence gaps in entrepreneurship and business support

By Sara Garcia Arteagoitia and Anna Segura on Tuesday, 31 May 2022.

This blog highlights how we have identified a series of topics and questions that policymakers are especially interested in, but where experimental evidence is scarce or nonexistent and the available research is not solid enough to make recommendations about programme design. These open questions encompass exciting and often underexplored research agendas well positioned to both expand the frontier of knowledge and produce policy-relevant research.

Looking Beyond Digital Adoption: A New Business Support Experiment to Open the Window to a Company’s Digital Soul

By A PrOPEL Hub Project led by Richard Kneller, Cher Li, and Anwar Adem (University of Nottingham) on Monday, 23 May 2022.

How can outsiders nudge businesses to make better use of digital technologies? This project tested a simple low-cost intervention - providing information about how the performance of their website compared to their peers - and saw companies making clear improvements as a result.

What's next in Entrepreneurship Education? Charting the course for effective policies and necessary research

By Sara Garcia Arteagoitia and Anna Segura on Tuesday, 10 May 2022.

Entrepreneurship is an amazing asset. It accelerates economic growth, promotes innovation, helps advance research and industrial development, develops existing enterprises, and can promote social change. And the good news is that it is not innate; it is an asset that can be taught and encouraged through exposure. The challenge thus lies in finding the most effective way and moment to do so.

Gathering evidence from the future: using scenarios to explore the current and emerging roles of innovation agencies

By Alex Glennie and Nyangala Zolho on Monday, 9 May 2022.

Innovation agencies deal with the ‘here and now’ of supporting innovation and entrepreneurship. But they must also be prepared to respond to the challenges and opportunities of tomorrow. How might they be able to learn from a future that is not yet written, and use this to inform their strategic planning?

Demonstrating the impact of a policy to support SMEs in designing more competitive products and services

By Davide Azzolini & Nicola Doppio on Wednesday, 2 March 2022.

This blog examines the 200SMEchallenge project, which involved carrying out a UX Challenge and using a randomised controlled trial to evaluate its effects on SMEs’ readiness to implement user-centred design methods. This project was one of 13 funded by the European Commission under the Horizon 2020 programme, INNOSUP-06-2018.