The relevance and challenges of business incubators that support survivalist entrepreneurs

Investment Management and Financial Innovations 12 (2):150-161 (2015)
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Noting that business incubation (BI) receives substantial attention in the entrepreneurship literature as programs that help entrepreneurs overcome business start-up and growth challenges, this paper investigates the relevance and challenges confronting the BIs in the context of South Africa. Mixed methods were utilized in this study; essentially interviews and questionnaires were used to collect data. Using the graduation rates and satisfaction (benefit) of the incubatees as a proxy for the relevance of BIs, the results indicated that, 55.1% of those survivalist entrepreneurs who enrolled in incubation programs benefited from attending the incubation program, whilst 44.9% indicated that they did not benefit from attending the program. Furthermore, lack of funding was found to be the major challenge confronting BIs. Other less significant challenges include lack of support from stakeholders, and uncommitted clients. The implication of these results are that just like their clients, BIs face a number of challenges that threaten their long-term survival, the quality and quantity of service that they render.

Author's Profile

Robertson K. Tengeh
University of the Western Cape


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