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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.

Suggested Citation

  • Akcomak, Semih, 2009. "Incubators as Tools for Entrepreneurship Promotion in Developing Countries," MERIT Working Papers 054, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
  • Handle: RePEc:unm:unumer:2009054
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    File URL: https://www.merit.unu.edu/publications/wppdf/2009/wp2009-054.pdf
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    3. 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.
    4. Alain Thierstein & Beate Willhelm, 2001. "Incubator, technology, and innovation centres in Switzerland: features and policy implications," Entrepreneurship & Regional Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(4), pages 315-331, October.
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    6. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Thobekani Lose & Robertson K. Tengeh, 2015. "The Sustainability and Challenges of Business Incubators in the Western Cape Province, South Africa," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 7(10), pages 1-14, October.
    2. Masutha Mukhove & Rogerson Christian M., 2014. "Small enterprise development in South Africa: The role of business incubators," Bulletin of Geography. Socio-economic Series, De Gruyter Open, vol. 26(26), pages 1-15, December.
    3. Huang, Chieh-Wei & Huarng, Kun-Huang, 2015. "Evaluating the performance of biotechnology companies by causal recipes," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 68(4), pages 851-856.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    incubators; developing countries; technology;

    JEL classification:

    • M13 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - New Firms; Startups
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • O32 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Management of Technological Innovation and R&D

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