To put it simply, an incubator is like a school for your business...
They are a great option for startups and small businesses who need a push forward for a lot of reasons. They can make it easier for you to gain exposure and possible angel investment or government support. You are normally provided with a selection of resources which are all aimed at helping you and your business on the road to success.
These services can be offered in a variety of different ways and although not all business incubators operate in the same way, they ultimately share the same goals. Their purpose is to nurture the growth of small and early-stage businesses. They do this by helping with the development of all sorts of aspects of an enterprise. Some Business Incubators may also specialise in one type of business sector - Science, health, IT, Tech and so on.
Abusiness incubator will give you somewhere to work as well as providing you with access to an array of different services and mentoring from professionals. A typical incubator will be able to accommodate at least 15 small businesses, and over a period of 6 months to 3 years, you will hopefully use the full range of services and resources which are on offer to help sustain your business. It is very cost effective and will enable you to work on your business in an encouraging, supportive environment with like-minded people and fellow entrepreneurs. Time spent in a business incubator can vary and of course depends on the incubators own goals and targets - sometimes business incubators act very similar to business accelerators, which we will explain at a later date!
Working in a business incubator has a lot of benefits, including business mentoring, and training provision since many incubators are managed by local Small Business Centres / Universities or branded research facilities. As well as this, they may give you reduced rates on your office / desk rates and indeed there is often no short or long term lease / contract required, meaning that it’ll be a lot easier to relocate when you get the chance.
Overall, we think that if you have a fledgling business or startup that needs help getting off the ground, taking up shop in a business incubator may very well be a step in the right direction as you can use the resources and services, such as peer support and networking opportunities to your advantage and drive your business forward!
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