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Incubators as Tools for Entrepreneurship Promotion in Developing Countries

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  • Akcomak, Semih

    ()
    (UNU-MERIT, and Maastricht University, Department of Economics)

Abstract

This paper reviews the literature on incubators in developed and developing countries. We show that the concept of incubators has evolved in time according to market and firm needs. Contemporary successful incubators are profit-oriented, provide a wide range of services, focus more on intangible business services, and employ qualified managers and support staff. By drawing lessons from country experiences we assess the appropriateness of incubators as a tool for entrepreneurship promotion in developing countries. The main weaknesses of incubators in developing countries are: (i) focus on tangible services rather than intangible services, (ii) dependence on government, (iii) lack of management and qualified personnel, (iv) lack of incubator planning and creativeness in solving problems. Most successful incubators display a creative and innovative character in approaching problems of tenant companies. This is of course correlated with the quality of the incubator management staff. Moreover, incubators reflect the institutional set-up, creativity, and policy innovativeness in a society. Therefore policy on incubators should be well-integrated with other policies for entrepreneurship promotion and economic development, such as education and institutional deregulation.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT) in its series MERIT Working Papers with number 054.

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Date of creation: 2009
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Handle: RePEc:unm:unumer:2009054

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Keywords: incubators; developing countries; technology;

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  1. John McMillan & Christopher Woodruff, 1998. "Interfirm Relationships and Informal Credit in Vietnam," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 132, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  2. Huseyin Leblebici & Nina Shah, 2004. "The Birth, Transformation and Regeneration of Business Incubators as New Organisational Forms: Understanding the Interplay between Organisational History and Organisational Theory," Business History, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 46(3), pages 353-380.
  3. Marcel Fafchamps, 2004. "Market Institutions in Sub-Saharan Africa: Theory and Evidence," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262062364, December.
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  5. Pier A. Abetti, 2004. "Government-Supported Incubators in the Helsinki Region, Finland: Infrastructure, Results, and Best Practices," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 29(1), pages 19-40, 01.
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  7. Maximilian Zedtwitz & Rosa Grimaldi, 2006. "Are Service Profiles Incubator-Specific? Results from an Empirical Investigation in Italy," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 31(4), pages 459-468, 07.
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  9. Lois Peters & Mark Rice & Malavika Sundararajan, 2004. "The Role of Incubators in the Entrepreneurial Process," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 29(1), pages 83-91, 01.
  10. Etzkowitz, Henry & de Mello, Jose Manoel Carvalho & Almeida, Mariza, 2005. "Towards "meta-innovation" in Brazil: The evolution of the incubator and the emergence of a triple helix," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 411-424, May.
  11. Doi, Noriyuki & Cowling, Marc, 1998. " The Evolution of Firm Size and Employment Share Distribution in Japanese and UK Manufacturing: A Study of Small Business Presence," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 10(3), pages 283-92, May.
  12. Thierstein, Alain & Wilhelm, Beate, 1999. "Incubator, technology and innovation centers in Switzerland; features and policy implications," ERSA conference papers ersa99pa385, European Regional Science Association.
  13. Nowak, Michael J. & Grantham, Charles E., 2000. "The virtual incubator: managing human capital in the software industry," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 125-134, February.
  14. I. Pena, 2004. "Business Incubation Centers and New Firm Growth in the Basque Country," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 22(3_4), pages 223-236, 04.
  15. Bollingtoft, Anne & Ulhoi, John P., 2005. "The networked business incubator--leveraging entrepreneurial agency?," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 265-290, March.
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