In 2006 Torfaen County Borough Council established its first business incubator – Springboard Business Innovation Centre ~ Wales.
It is important to understand that business incubation is much more than just the physical infrastructure. Whilst the provision of office space is often a key element, it is nonetheless secondary to the tailored, hands-on business support made available to businesses at a stage of their life cycle when they are the most vulnerable. Crucially, business incubation is a process which selects businesses/business ideas, supports and encourages their development, then requires them to graduate or move on.
Business incubation is not a recent concept, in various forms they have been operating all over the world for many years. They are used to boost local and regional economies through the encouragement of entrepreneurial activities – in particular the creation of start-ups with growth potential. Studies show that business incubators can significantly contribute to the success rate of new business start-ups. Some studies put the survival rate of incubation supported businesses as much as 85% compared to just 20% for those that receive none or very limited business support.
Business incubation isn’t a quick fix solution, it takes time for a facility to mature, find its niche market and see the economic benefits come to fruition. In addition, partnership working is key to the success of any business incubator, working with other business support providers from both the public and private sector helps to ensure that businesses using the facility fully exploit every resource that it available to them.
Read about the benefits of business incubators
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