Author(s): Joe Kumbirai Karambakuwa and Mohamed Sayed Bayat
The research examined the role of incubation hubs as agents that can help break the barriers towards inclusive entrepreneurship. Incubation hubs have a role to nurture small businesses and provide support. This can also be applied to socially excluded people to aid them to establish successful businesses. However, very limited research has validated the contribution of incubation hubs towards inclusive entrepreneurship. Start-ups that passed through the incubation hub provided a better understanding of how hubs could assist marginalised groups since they were fully aware of what was involved in incubation hubs. The study was aimed at exploring the untapped potential of incubation hubs towards inclusive entrepreneurship and particularly towards the marginalised groups. The research was undertaken among start-up owners who had undergone business incubation. The research was conducted using a qualitative method. Data was gathered using an interview guide. Three focus groups of start-up entrepreneurs made up the sample. A total of 21 start-up founding members were interviewed. Data was analysed into thematic areas using the nVivo software. According to the findings, hubs can contribute to inclusive entrepreneurship and promote social inclusion by providing all people with equal training opportunities to establish and manage businesses. The study found that hubs could provide specialised skills that were not common in marginalised communities and could be turned into a business. The research also found that incubation hubs might assist in inclusive entrepreneurship by providing training chances for marginalised individuals as well as exposing them to local markets, trade fairs, networks and other associated platforms. The hubs offer the ability to tailor programmes for people of different types depending on their own business experience, education level and interests. While marginalised individuals may have business ideas, the research found that it would be preferable if incubation centres could help them establish their ventures. Because of their various backgrounds, marginalised groups may require different forms of motivation to increase their confidence and ability to succeed in the company that incubation hubs might use. While marginalised individuals may have business ideas, the research found that it would be preferable if incubation centres could help them establish their ventures. Incubation hubs were found to be able to help inclusive entrepreneurship by decentralising their operations to accommodate all stakeholders. In conclusion, incubation centres have the potential to be game-changers in the process of assisting individuals with a variety of limitations to become entrepreneurs through enterprise development training, customised process improvement, appropriate support and access to financial resources.