Academy of Entrepreneurship Journal (Print ISSN: 1087-9595; Online ISSN: 1528-2686)


The Role and Effectiveness of Business Incubators in Growing Small Businesses: A Focus on the Manufacturing Industry

Author(s): Flip Schutte and Tshikani Chauke

Business incubation has been known as one of the most viable tools for increasing the number of small businesses around the world. In South Africa, there seems to be very little work done to understand what the role of incubators are and how effective are the mechanism they have in creating small businesses. This article seeks to explore the role that business incubators play in growing small businesses in South Africa. In addition, the research seeks to determine how effective are the mechanisms which business incubator have implemented in ensuring small businesses stay selfsustaining after the incubation period has ended. An exploratory qualitative method was used in this study whereby semi-structured interviews were conducted with incubators and incubatees in the manufacturing industry in South Africa. The results showed that the safe and secure working space provided by an incubation hub, the networking opportunities and the training and mentoring provided, are the outstanding benefits and contribution incubators make to the sustainable development of small businesses.

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