The worldwide economic crisis has dominated headlines for months now. But just what does a faltering economy mean for business incubation programs?
Discussion on the NBIA listserv indicates that many members see a silver lining in the dark economic clouds. Recent posts have pointed to myriad factors that could yield more entrepreneurs (and, by extension, more incubator clients), including factory layoffs, corporate downsizing and even large numbers of returning Iraq war veterans. And as surveys show the public placing its faith in small business to revive the economy, many predict increased government interest in entrepreneur support programs such as incubators.
But there are significant challenges for incubators, too. As credit dries up, where will entrepreneurs get the money they need to start new ventures? As consumers tighten spending, who will buy those products and services? And with a shrinking pool of tax dollars available, will local governments and public universities (among the most frequent sponsors of incubation programs) continue to support incubators?
Keywords: advocacy, research -- incubation
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