What We Know and What We Need to Know
Edited by Alain Fayolle
Chapter 15: Business incubation and incubator mechanisms
The Oxford English Dictionary defines incubation as 'the process or an instance of incubating something in a controlled environment' (OED, 1993). The embryonic developments of an animal within an egg, and exposure to an infection or disease with the appearance of the first symptoms are often quoted as examples of the incubation phenomenon. In its business use incubation is considered as a unique and flexible mix of organized enterprise development processes that enable fledgling new and small businesses to develop by providing critical support to survive and grow in their early stages of development. Therefore, incubation service providing structures/organizations, also known as incubator mechanisms or simply incubators, are designed to serve as launching pads for young and small business start-ups, which need access to support services; they serve as business development tools for providing a nurturing milieu.
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