by Linda Knopp
Incubation professionals know firsthand the important role their programs, their clients and their graduates play in helping spark economic growth in their regions. Now, with the release of NBIA’s latest industry data, they have up-to-date information to demonstrate incubation’s effectiveness to potential stakeholders and the media.
Throughout the industry’s history, business incubation has experienced periods of rapid development as well as times of more gradual growth. NBIA surveys North American incubation programs periodically to determine where the industry stands and where it is heading. The 2012 State of the Business Incubation Industry report is the latest of these studies.
Since NBIA last conducted its SOI survey in 2006, an increasing number of communities and organizations have investigated business incubation as a way to encourage new business development and spark economic growth. Many of these groups have created new business incubation programs (or will in the near future).
At the same time, several existing incubation programs have shut their doors in recent years because of budget cuts or diminished support from sponsors and stakeholders. Still, despite the recent economic downturn, NBIA estimates that approximately 1,400 business incubation programs operate in North America today, up from 1,100 in 2006.
Across North America and around the world, business incubation programs are supporting entrepreneurs in their endeavors to turn their business ideas into profitable, thriving new ventures. In 2011 alone, NBIA estimates that North American incubators assisted about 49,000 start-up companies that provided full-time employment for nearly 200,000 workers and generated annual revenue of almost $15 billion.* As communities around the world look for new ways to promote economic growth, business incubation programs are playing a vital role.
This article also is available as a PDF Quick Reference document through the NBIA Bookstore.
Keywords: advocacy, budget – incubator, economic development, economic impact, financial management – incubator, funding sources/fundraising -- incubator, impact of incubation, stakeholder development, stakeholder relationship management
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