Abstract

Researchers and practitioners agree that business support is a crucial dimension of business incubators, among others such as space, shared resources and access to networks. Yet business support impact is seldom researched. This gap results in no insight about how and how much business support is actually being delivered within business incubators. In this study, we operationalize business support using a framework of problem solving. The chief assumption here is that such problems are intrinsic to new venture development. The incubator value lies therefore in its capability of helping tenants overcome their problems. We seek to answer three main questions: i) Does business support help to explain problem solving? ii) Does the specific business incubator support help to explain problems solving? iii) Are differences across incubator focus impacting their ability to help tenants to solve their problems?

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