Chapter 1: Whither modern business incubation? Definitions, evolution, theory, and evaluation
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Chapter 1 articulates definitional challenges, presents evolution of incubator models, use of theoretical lenses, and program evaluation for benchmarking. The author asserts that after 6 decades of use incubation mechanisms have matured, and they continue to be popular policy tools for planned entrepreneurial development, preferably as part of an entrepreneurship ecosystem. Future challenges are identified to include refinement in theory, incubator program sustainability, well-developed benchmarking matrices, use as pedagogy for experiential learning, addressing social equity, and better use of digitization and emerging new technologies. The chapter concludes with a call for further consolidation and refinement of the incubation field through authentic study and reflective practice.