Global Practice in...

Global Practice in Incubation Policy Development and Implementation

This paper is based on a desk review of the literature relating to best practice in public policy supporting business incubation, supplemented by four national case studies covering Brazil, Malaysia, New Zealand and South Africa. Examples of best practice are drawn from these four case studies plus other published reports we were able to identify.

The paper sets out a clear definition of business incubation and locates it as one of several potential initiatives to provide direct support services to businesses.

The impact of all types of SME support services is affected by the wider environment for business development which is influenced in part by legislative and administrative policies of government. While incubators can be used to help overcome some of the environmental barriers and can act as pioneers in improving the business environment, they are no substitute for necessary wider change to the system that governments are expected to undertake.


Following the review of the global situation and the four case studies, as well as the analysis of the identified key policy dimensions, a number of key recommendations have been identified for the design and implementation of an incubation program:

  • Consistency between objectives and the broader strategic framework
  • Consistency between objectives pursued and suitable service mix
  • Stakeholder support
  • Investing in Pre-incubation
  • Address gaps in the Business Environment
  • Commercial approach
  • Ensuring elements of competition and merit in grants assignments
  • Financial sustainability
  • Networking and Public Private Partnerships
  • Incubator Manager
  • Monitoring and Appraisal




Table of Contents

1. Executive Summary

2. Best practice in public policy development

3. What is incubation

4. Objectives and strategies planning for business incubation

5. Wider business environment for SMEs

6. Funding strategies for business incubation and sustainability

7. Ownership and management of incubators

8. Monitoring and appraisal

9. Key recommendations


Brazil Case Study

Malaysia Case Study

New Zealand Case Study

South Africa Case Study

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