Author(s): Thobekani Lose
This study explored the competitiveness of business incubators across eight provinces in South Africa. The resource-based theory was used as a lens to assess the resources for the competitiveness of incubators in South Africa. The study question was: What are the sources of sustained incubation competitiveness? A qualitative research approach, based on interviews with managers of the eight (8) existing incubators, was adopted. The analysis of data collected provided evidence that there are valuable, rare, difficult to imitate and difficult to substitute physical capital, human capital and organisational capital resources that are essential for the competitiveness of the incubators. Physical capital resources for competitiveness include the personality, experience and knowledge of the owner of the incubator while organisational capital resources include the quality and accessibility of incubation services provided. Physical resources for competitiveness were found to vary depending on the sector and industry and they include work tools and financial resources. The study recommends that incubators should be supported in realising sustainable competitive advantage to ensure that the need for the growth of the small business sector is realised.