Business incubators and SMMEs performance in South Africa

Tembe, Faith
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Developing SMMEs has become a growing phenomenon within emerging economies. This is because enterprise development is designed to achieve a positive socioeconomic impact by encouraging and investing in entrepreneurship (Peters et al., 2004). Therefore, understanding the performance of business incubators, and how they enable SMMEs to contribute to economic development, is critical for policy makers who have an urgent mandate of growing the South African economy (AlMubaraki & Busler, 2011). This study argues that business development strategies that adopt a blanket approach towards supporting SMMEs operating in different sectors and levels may not be appropriate, given the dynamics of different ventures. This study investigates and compares the effect of sector specific business incubators versus mixed sector business incubators in improving SMME performance to inform policy makers about the state of entrepreneurship of enterprises that engage with incubating organisations. The methodology used in this study was quantitative and cross sectional in nature. One hundred and five responses were received from SMMEs that graduated from a business incubator to assess how their performance has improved over time. The findings revealed that relationships do exist between sector specific business incubators and job creation as well as turnover, but this relationship is not significant. The findings also suggest that there was no significant statistical difference when comparing sector specific to mixed sector business incubators in job creation and turnover. Business incubators should have specific touch points and interventions targeted at different levels of the entrepreneurial process, thus, working towards addressing the diverse needs and challenges pertinent to emerging businesses operating in different industries. The findings which emerged from this study provide a decent base to further explore how sector specific and mixed sector business incubators improve SMME performance
A research report submitted to the Faculty of Commerce, Law and Management, University of the Witwatersrand, in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Management in Entrepreneurship and New Venture Creation Wits Business School Johannesburg, 2018
Tembe, Faith, (2018) Business incubators and SMMEs performance in South Africa, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg,