The Influence Of Business Incubation On Job Creation

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The National Business Incubation Association estimates in 2005 alone, North American incubators assisted more than 27,000 start-up companies to provide full-time employment for more than 100,000 people as well as generating more than $17 billion in annual revenue.

The National Business Incubation Association estimates in 2005 alone, North American incubators assisted more than 27,000 start-up companies to provide full-time employment for more than 100,000 people as well as generating more than $17 billion in annual revenue.

As local, state and national government agencies examine ways to create jobs and turn around the struggling economy, business incubation programs are featuring prominently in the debate as well they should. Although business incubation is still a relatively new industry, programs around the world have impressive results demonstrating the important role incubators play in stimulating economic growth and creating jobs.

A 2008 study conducted by consulting firm Grant Thornton for the U. S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration found business incubators produce new jobs at a lower cost to the government. The report, Construction Grants Program Impact Assessment Report, found for every $10,000 in EDA funds invested in business incubation programs, an estimated 47 to 69 local jobs are generated. As a result, business incubators create jobs at far less cost than do other EDA investments, such as roads and bridges, industrial parks, commercial buildings and sewer and water projects. In fact, the study found incubators provide up to 20 times more jobs than community infrastructure projects at a federal cost per job of between $126 and $144, compared with between $744 and $6,972 for other infrastructure projects.

For 30 years locally and 50 years nationally, incubator programs, like the one sponsored by the Centre County Industrial Development Corporation (CCIDC), have provided entrepreneurs access to resources through the incubator, business community, local colleges and universities and other business assistance programs to help them develop the skills they need to grow successful companies.

In Centre County, there are currently 28 member companies in one of two business incubators and the incubator affiliate program. Graduates include some well-known success stories and provide family-sustaining employment for nearly 1,000 local residents. Some incubator graduates are highlighted at http://www.centrecountyidc.org.

“Like many others, I have faith in the ability of entrepreneurs to jump-start our sagging economy by generating revenue and creating new jobs. But many times, they need a guiding hand to help them turn their ideas into viable businesses, particularly during times of economic crisis. The world’s existing network of business incubation programs, and the many new incubators under development, can assist entrepreneurs in growing new businesses that can help put many people back to work,” Phil Park, CCIDC’s Business Incubator Manager, adds.

By focusing on developing a new generation of entrepreneurs, most of whom have ties to the local area, communities are helping to build companies that will create jobs and spark economic growth in the region for years to come. Because these programs provide targeted business assistance to firms at their earliest stages of development when they are most vulnerable, business incubators help support new ventures that a have a greater-than-average chance of success.

About the Centre County Industrial Development Corporation:

As the designated economic development agency for the county, the Centre County Industrial Development Corporation (CCIDC) provides assistance to emerging and established businesses in finding office/commercial and laboratory space, securing financial support through their internal loan fund and state economic development programs, provides access to workforce development and educational training opportunities in addition to operating two business incubators. One distinct asset to the Business Incubator Program is being located nearby the main campus of Penn State University which provides a comprehensive support system to facilitate managed economic growth and development while improving the quality of life valued in our communities. For additional information, visit http://www.centrecountyidc.org or email IDCinfo (at) cbicc.org

About The National Business Incubator Association:

The National Business Incubator Association (NBIA) is the world’s leading organization advancing business incubation and entrepreneurship. Each year, it provides thousands of professionals with information, education, advocacy and networking resources to bring excellence to the process of assisting early-stage companies. For additional information, visit their website at http://www.nbia.org .

About the Economic Development Administration:

The U. S. Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) investment policy is designed to establish a foundation for sustainable job growth and the building of durable regional economies throughout the United States. This foundation builds upon two key economic drivers – innovation and regional collaboration. For more information, visit http://www.eda.gov

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