From the Behavioural Insights Team (bold emphasis added by me)
We’ve been working
with the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) on the
£30 million business support programme which was announced at Budget.
The announcement in the budget stipulated that the programme would be
run as a randomised controlled trial (RCT), the first time that we know
of where the government has explicitly required a programme to be
conducted as an RCT in order for it to go ahead.
are a different approach to Government business support. The aim of the
scheme is to help businesses grow but at the same time to build a robust
evidence base on what the most effective things are that government can
do to help businesses achieve growth.
The scheme will
offer support to businesses in a number of ways (for example, giving
subsidies – voucher s – to help pay for external advice). But the
design of the programme will help us to answer a number of questions
about business advice. For example, does the existence of a subsidy
encourage businesses to seek advice? And does that subsidy lead to
better business outcomes? And what type of advice is it most effective
scheme will be run as an RCT because that will give us the most robust
answers to these questions. This means that some firms who qualify for
the scheme will not be given the vouchers on a random basis. It is
essential that we design the programme like this so we can be sure that
if there is a positive outcome, it is due to the subsidy, rather than
that company’s propensity to seek a subsidy. Those companies that do not
receive a voucher will still benefit from being given information about
the advice which is suitable for them, though they will not receive a
subsidy to help pay for that advice.
You can find out more about Growth Vouchers here.