Business Incubators: (How) Do They Help Their Tenants?
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Type of Work23 pages
conference papers and proceedings
Citation of Original PublicationRatinho, T., Harms, R., & Groen, A. J. (2009). Business incubators: (How) Do They Support Their Tenants?. Paper presented at 17th Annual High Technology Small Firms Conference, HTSF 2009, Manchester, United Kingdom, 1-23.
Business incubators (BI) have been established worldwide as tools for company creation and small businesses support. BIs claim to help their tenants by providing them with the optimal conditions for increasing early stage survival and long term performance. Practitioners and researchers agree that business support is a crucial feature of incubating businesses. Yet this is seldom researched. In this study we theoretically relate business support to help in solving problems and further investigate to what extent business incubators support their tenants overcome their developmental problems. Results show that tenants do not experience many problems and when they do business support is not necessarily sought. Furthermore, our data suggests that business support is not preferentially sought within incubator environment. When this happens, support provided by the BI does not contribute to problem solving. Finally, we discuss the impact of the type of BI in helping their tenants.