Are they helping? An examination of business incubators' impact on tenant firms

Tiago Ratinho

Research output: ThesisPhD Thesis - Research UT, graduation UT

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Business incubators (BI) have been established throughout the world as spurs to economic growth. Promoters and BIs‟ managers claim an important role in creating companies, support them till graduation and therefore often boast their contribution to job and wealth creation. Particularly since the 1980s, policy makers have been endorsing BIs among other infrastructure to stimulate or regenerate regional economies. Yet academic research has not been able to ascertain any of the above mentioned impacts. The reason behind this might be the lack of an appropriate theoretical background combined with the descriptive nature of most studies. This thesis sheds light on the role of BIs in helping tenants. We will analyze how BIs are providing services to their tenants, delving into the mechanisms of business support delivery. We provide a fresh insight on BI research discussing the theoretical foundations of the concept of incubation anchored in three main streams of literature: economies of scale, learning and network theory. The focus is on the internal operation of the BI, tackling levels of analysis such as the firm and the incubator.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • University of Twente
  • Groen, Aard, Supervisor
  • Harms, Rainer, Advisor
Award date13 Oct 2011
Place of PublicationEnschede
Print ISBNs978-90-365-3263-1
Publication statusPublished - 13 Oct 2011


  • IR-78235
  • METIS-278990


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