We’ve written in a previous post about Places and Spaces you can go to help transform that startup dream into a reality. ( Check it out here. )
One of those featured was the Business Incubator, which we are going to look at in a little more detail today. In essence, Business Incubators are specialist programmes that are designed to accelerate the development of entrepreneurial companies through a whole host of support resources and services.
So, if you are an early stage startup…..
Why exactly should you consider joining a Business Incubator programme?
Well, first of all there are the pretty impressive statistics:
According to research by the UKBI , “Business Incubators have an average success rate of 98% of businesses succeeding whilst in the business incubator ( compared to a national average of less than 30% of all small and medium sized companies registered and 87% surviving after 5 years of starting.
But in more practical terms, most Business Incubators generally offer some or all of the following..
– A physical “space” for your business, be that a unit, office space or even a hot desk rented by the hour.
– Professional mentoring and advice from experienced professionals
– Business support services such as secretarial or accounting services and access to meeting rooms
– Business networking opportunities with other startups and entrepreneurs
– Access to funding opportunities and often direct links to investors
– An increased market awareness and visibility for your startup
Wondering what type of business they are aimed at?
There are no fixed rules about this. In the UK alone there are currently almost 300 Business Incubators, servicing all types of industry, market sector and social enterprise. Some programmes are general in nature, whilst others are more “niche”, serving only technology startups for example, or certain geographic or rural areas or perhaps a particular minority group.
Want to find out where they are?
Incubation programmes are literally everywhere and there are more and more being set up all the time. It would be both virtually impossible and unfair for us to single out or highlight any individual programmes which we feel you should check out. The right one for you should be entirely a decision based on your own requirements, be that market sector, geographic location or whatever. To find out what Incubation Programmes are on offer in your area – check with your nearest university or college, local council or economic development organisation. Alternatively check out the Members directory on the UKBI website (click here) for details of incubation centres in the UK, Ireland and further afield.
Starting a business at any time is a challenging process, and even more so in these, shall we say, less than favourable economic times.
Passion, drive, resilience and of course plenty of hard work are among the essential ingredients that you will need to ensure that your business not only gets going but survives. However there can be no denying that the added extras and benefits that you will give your startup, by joining an incubation programme certainly will go a long way towards creating that magical recipe for success. Which after all is what we are all striving for…..