2019 BAI performance measurement framework: Conclusion

PART IV. Conclusions and Next Steps

Performance measurement is a vital part of building a robust and successful entrepreneurial ecosystem in Canada. For too long, many BAIs – and the public bodies that help fund them – have operated in the absence of sufficient data about the economic impact of business incubation and acceleration activities. Notwithstanding the efforts of many BAIs to measure the impact of their activities, a lack of consistent metrics across institutions and inadequate tools for collecting, compiling and analyzing the data from client companies has undermined the ability to accurately assess the economic benefits that BAIs create. A lack of coordination and collaboration on performance measurement has also resulted in lost opportunities to champion our achievements and to foster improvements in the performance of Canada's entrepreneurial support system. 

A Canada-wide system for performance measurement will yield many benefits. It will help program leaders and policymakers better measure and understand the factors that drive success. It will enhance the ability to identify and implement improvements in programming, to share best practices across institutions and jurisdictions, to systematically generate better outcomes and to market Canada as a dynamic place in which to start and grow a business. It will help firms make better decisions about where and how to access support. BAIs will be better equipped to benchmark their performance and to identify opportunities to collaborate. And, a commitment to openly reporting the results, will build public confidence in the economic benefits these organizations create for Canada.

Figure 3: Proposed timing: pilot, evaluation, outcomes and next steps.

Graphic representing Proposed timing: pilot, evaluation, outcomes and next steps
Description of Figure 3

Proposed timing: pilot, evaluation, outcomes and next steps

  • 2017 Data Collection
    •  March 2018  to Nov 2018
  • Phase I Pilot Evaluation & BAI Engagement
    • Jan to March 2019
  • Analysis & Reporting
    • April to June 2019
  •  2018 Data Collection
    •  March 2019 to Nov 2019
  • Phase II Evaluation, Analysis &Reporting
    • January to March 2020
  • National Rollout
    • April 2020 and beyond

The successful run of phase I of the pilot is already generating a shared commitment across the BAI community to using the lessons learned from the pilot to establish a sustainable institutional framework for managing the PMF on an ongoing basis. As such, a number of next steps will help the community shepherd the PMF beyond the pilot phase, as depicted in Figure 3.

With these foundational steps in place, the project partners will continue to invite BAIs from across the country to join in contributing their data to the performance measurement platform. Greater participation from an increasingly diverse group of BAIs will strengthen the analytical potential of the data and broaden the benefits of effective performance measurement to more regions and sectors of the Canadian economy. At the same time, it will be important to onboard government funding partners at various levels of government in order for BAIs to reap the true benefits of streamlined reporting.

In conclusion, the PMF Pilot serves as a vital step forward in building a national performance measurement for BAIs across Canada. It will establish consistent metrics for measuring the impact of BAI programs on firm performance, along with clear definitions for each performance indicator. The pilot will also demonstrate the successful collection and aggregation of consistent data from multiple BAIs across Canada using a data sharing platform that will streamline the data collection, analysis and reporting process. The aggregated data will then be used to generate a wide range of descriptive statistics that will foster a better understanding of the role BAI programs play in firm growth. Ultimately, this work will inform BAIs and the government on how to most effectively support innovative growth-oriented firms in Canada and these insights, in turn, will help accelerate the growth of world class companies in a variety of high value sectors.