Business incubator is an organization, which is designed to help various start-ups and other companies through array of business support services and resources, which includes capital, training, working space and other common services.
The term was used first back in late 19th century according to Oxford dictionary.(1) It was not a familiar 20 years ago, but it is getting more and more popular nowadays. Business incubators started getting popularity around the year 2000. For instance, from 12 incubators in 1980 North America had found more 1400 business incubators in 2006, while in England the amount of incubators accelerated from 25 in 1997 to 270 in 2005. Moreover, European Commission in 2002 counted around 900 incubators in Western Europe in 2002. In 2011 business incubators are becoming even more successful, since Virtual Business Incubators were discovered, which allowed to create remote locations to various entrepreneurship hubs all over the world.(2) Virtual business incubation programs offer services to clients who are located far away from an incubator, when the program does not offer any multi-tenant space. The International Business Innovation Association (InBIA) estimates that there are around 7000 business incubators all over the world as of today.
(2)Centre for Strategy and Evaluation Services, "Benchmarking of Business Incubators." Brussels: European Commission Enterprise Directorate General, 2002.
Stay tuned. Coming soon a white paper discussing business incubators and how they can help you develop your business idea.