Small Business Economics

, Volume 23, Issue 2, pp 127–135 | Cite as

Incubators: Tool for Entrepreneurship?

  • Rudy Aernoudt


One of the biggest barriers for the development of incubators in Europe is the lack of entrepreneurship and the underdevelopment of seed financing and business angel networks. While incubation is increasingly being used as a tool for promoting entrepreneurship and start-ups, leading to new policy incentives, the content of the concept is becoming more and more polysemic. Completely different approaches tend to be associated with the incubator concept, which hence becomes more of an umbrella concept. This paper aims to combine a conceptual analysis with an analysis of economic reality, both in the U.S.A. and in Europe. It warns against non-accurate evaluations of the impact of incubators if one does not take into account the different types of incubators. The paper focuses on the dynamic process of incubatio and concludes by underlining the importance of close links between incubators and business angels networks.


Europe Dynamic Process Industrial Organization Conceptual Analysis Close Link 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Aernoudt, R., 1999, 'European Policy Towards Business Angels, in Venture Capital', An International Journal of Entrepreneurial Finance.Google Scholar
  2. Aernoudt, R. and T. Erikson, 2002, Business Angel Networks: Towards European Best Practises, Stockholm.Google Scholar
  3. Allen, D. and E. Bazan, 1990, Value Added Contributions of Pennsylvania's Business Incubators to Tenant Firms and Local Economies, State College, Pennsylvania.Google Scholar
  4. European Commission, 2000, Business Innovation Centres, an instrument for regional development and for the enterprises.Google Scholar
  5. European Commission, 2000, Best practises for support for the creation of an enterprise.Google Scholar
  6. Hansen M., N. Horhia and J. Berger, 2000, The State of the Incubator Market Space, Harvard Business School.Google Scholar
  7. Lyons, T., 2000, Birthing Economic Development: How Effective are Michigan's Business Incubators?, Social Science Research Bureau, Michigan State University.Google Scholar
  8. NBIA, 1997, Impact of Incubator Investments, EDA, Universities of Michigan and Ohio, report prepared under award from the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration.Google Scholar
  9. OECD, 1998, Technology Incubators, nurturing small firms.Google Scholar
  10. Reynolds, P. and R. Hay, 2001, Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, Babson College.Google Scholar
  11. Sarfraz, A., 1998, Technology Business Incubation, University of New York at Oswego.Google Scholar
  12. Taavetti, M., 1999, Incubators in Helsinki Region, in Best Practises in Incubator Infrastructure, European Commission.Google Scholar
  13. United Nations, 2000, Best Practice in Business Incubation, Economic Commission for Europe.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rudy Aernoudt
    • 1
  1. 1.Sint Martens LatemBelgium

Personalised recommendations