Business Incubators and Entrepreneurial Perfomance: The Influence of Network Value and Absorptive Capacity
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The vast majority of businesses are either small- or medium-sized enterprises (OECD, 2003; Reijonen & Komppula, 2007; Small Business Administration, 2008). Most larger companies also started out as small businesses, sometimes with only a single entrepreneur (e.g., Olav Thon or Richard Branson). Most start-ups and small companies never become high performers, and many die. To survive and succeed, most, if not all, start-ups need to team up with partners to acquire complementary and in-demand resources to handle a continuous stream of new challenges as they develop. This is simply entrepreneurship, and new small companies need support to develop their businesses and survive. The following questions are especially important for the entrepreneur: What services do you need to make your venture successful? Do you need business plan development support, legal and accounting advice, marketing, Internet access, or specialized manufacturing facilities? Is access to a particular market critical? Do you need to discuss your experiences with other entrepreneurs, to share start-up challenges? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then a business should consider finding an incubator that specializes in its market. Business incubators may provide start-ups with a variety of resources and services intended to accelerate their development.