International Journal of Entrepreneurship (Print ISSN: 1099-9264; Online ISSN: 1939-4675)


The effect of business incubation on start-ups in Harare

Author(s): Joe Kumbirai Karambakuwa, Mohamed Sayeed Bayat

The paper examines the effect of business incubation on new businesses. The research sheds light on how incubation centers are being implemented in Zimbabwe and how beneficial they are. The practice of business incubation is a crucial endeavor that can aid the growth of new enterprises. However, only a few studies have confirmed their influence on start-up survival. This study sheds light on how start-up enterprises evolve when they are exposed to incubation centers. An examination of the literature found that there is a gap in understanding the stages of start-up development because there is no consensus on the specific elements or paths that startupstake. Literature showed that there was little that was known about what happens during and after start incubation since these aspects were considered as ‘black boxes’. This study contributed to thebody of knowledge by examining areas where there were gaps. To assess the influence of incubation on start-ups, the study used a qualitative methodology. Focus groups were used to obtain the data. Twenty-one start-up founders who met the requirement of having gone through the incubation phase made up the sample. To present the outcomes of the study, content analysis was done, and the NVivo software was used to analyses thedata into thematic areas. The study found that hubs made a reasonable contribution to start-up competence and survival. Hubs aided in the expansion of businesses and assisted start-ups. The lack of capacity toaccomplish the desired expansion was blamed for start-ups’ sluggish growth. According to the research findings, start-ups identified incubation hubs as centers that gave exposure and empowerment to start-ups. Hubs were identified as centers of creativity and the generation of new ideas which aided them in successfully nurturing their businesses. Hubs encouraged serious thinking, analysis, as well as creativity and the ability to do things differently. According to the findings, incubation centers offered start-ups mentorship as well as networking prospects. Networking wasfound to be essentialsince it allowed like-minded entrepreneurs to exchange ideas and opportunities and open their minds to new possibilities and commercial options. The study found that hubs offered start-ups resources such as space, machinery, and technical assistance. Asa result, reliance on standard company growth methods had certain limitations. The findings revealed that hubs bridged the gap between theory and practice, supporting lifelong learning and establishing discipline and professionalism in the business environment of start-ups. The hubs provide a well-structured strategy from beginning to end of the incubation process, allowing for better comprehension and lowering the risk of failure. The findings suggest that hubs offered a conducive atmosphere for start-ups and those respondents saw their firms expand. Incubation hubswere found to have a significant impact on start-up survival. Incubators may be a driving force behind the creation of high-impact start-ups. The conclusions of this study have numerous theoretical as well as practical implications for incubation managers, policymakers, academic institutions, and start-up entrepreneurs. Recommendations for future research were made to better understand the constraints surroundingstart-up incubation

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