National Business Incubation Association; Your source for knowledge and networks in business incubation


Incubation programs are a great source of assistance for entrepreneurs; however, when resources are limited, sometimes even incubators can use a helping hand. Learn how your program can work with Small Business Development Centers to more effectively serve clients.

Strength in numbers: Incubators, SBDCs partner to help grow businesses

by Herb Amey

April 2007

Going it alone isn’t the easiest way to start a business. That’s why many entrepreneurs turn to business incubation programs for assistance getting their new ventures off the ground. Sometimes, though, that assistance is limited by the size of the incubator staff and limited resources. In those cases, even incubators can use a helping hand.

In Carbondale, Ill., the Small Business Incubator at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale works with the university’s Small Business Development Center to provide business assistance to incubator clients and other entrepreneurs in the region. The two organizations – as well as several other technical assistance providers that participate in the Illinois Entrepreneurship Network – are located within the Dunn-Richmond Economic Development Center in the university’s research park, providing a one-stop shop for entrepreneurs.

As many incubator managers have discovered, partnering with local SBDCs often makes good business sense. How do incubator managers create and maintain successful partnerships with their local SBDCs? To gather helpful ideas, NBIA asked several incubator managers and representatives of the SBDC program about their experiences. Following are some of their collective suggestions.

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Keywords: business assistance provider, coaching clients, partnerships -- organizational/corporate, seminars and training programs, service provider network

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