Business incubation in inner-city emerging markets as an economic development tool



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An examination of business incubator leaders in disadvantaged urban areas is conducted in order to assess the effectiveness of the organizational models, program structures, and best practices of each of these incubator organizations. Advice from these experts as well as their respective lists of common challenges is also examined. In general, business incubators whose driving mission is to revitalize their respective disadvantaged areas through the development of wealth-creating business enterprise are not effectively incubating businesses, and thus, the community is not receiving a maximum return on its investment into these programs. Consistent with the Centralization of Communications Theory, the incubator organizations possess the potential to efficiently assist entrepreneurs in achieving the common goal of successful business enterprise. However, in many cases, the incubators lack the leadership, vision, and knowledge of the industry and the market to realize this potential. As an effect, rather than incubating business owners, these organizations have increasingly become nothing more than tenant-landlord relationships.