An alternative way for entrepreneurs to improve their businesses

The phenomenon of business incubators is remarkably expanding worldwide particularly in developing countries located in Africa. Research on agri-business incubators in Africa may help us to better understand what factors can contribute to the success of agribusiness firms. At the same time, more investigation can contribute to know what makes effective an incubation process.

Public, private and academic institutions are focusing on business incubators as they have seen the potential benefits that incubation programs have to assist entrepreneurs in creating innovative products. The benefits of an incubation program mainly focus on three levels: infrastructure (office services), counseling (business support such as training), and networking.

Benefits of an incubation program help entrepreneurs to overcome issues such as information asymmetries, competitive advantage, resource shortages, price disadvantage among others. Therefore, entrepreneurs overcoming these issues can improve their businesses; reduce risks; and increase survival possibilities. Additionally, business incubators can contribute to the local development of an area by helping start-ups in the development of their businesses. Then, benefits of business incubators can also have implications in the economic growth of a locality.

Currently, I am doing a research related to agri-business incubators in East Africa. These business incubators intend to enhance the commercialization of agribusiness products by adding value, innovation, and new technologies in the production process. Most of these business incubators target start-ups in rural areas of Kenya and Uganda. My main reason to explore more about this phenomenon is to find contributions at the firm level to enhance performance and consequently influence on the economic growth of rural areas in East Africa.

In general, more research in this field can help us to better understand the effective performance of business incubators located in developing countries, thus, being effective mechanisms to the development of agribusiness firms.

by Roberto Hernández Chea