A Framework for assessing innovation capability of incubator-based enterprises: case of business and technology incubators

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University of Dar es salaam
Innovation is globally recognised for its contribution towards productivity, competitiveness and social development. Several efforts to promote innovation have included the establishment of Business and Technology Incubators. However, the contribution of the incubators to the incubated-enterprises has been reported more in terms of number of graduating firms, employment creation, sales growth, than in terms of innovation performances. There is limited clarity on the role at which incubators promote innovation of the start-up enterprises. Therefore, this research work focused on investigating it from the perspective of innovation capability of the incubatees / start-up enterprises operating under incubation within the context of a least developed country, Tanzania in Sub-Saharan Africa. Seventy three incubatees were surveyed; six incubator managers were interviewed and focus group discussions with twenty nine incubatees were conducted. The results revealed significant relationship among manufacturing, marketing, networking and managerial capability. In addition, the results showed no statistically significant relationship between incubatees’ innovation capability and their start-ups performance. In overall, the incubatees had high opinion with regards to the incubation value added services, namely infrastructure; business assistance; technical assistance; network access; business incubation policies and business incubator management. However, the results showed no significant relationship between the incubation services and incubatees’ innovation capability. Furthermore, the study developed a tool for assisting the incubator managers to record and track progress of the innovation capability of their incubatees. In order for incubators to contribute towards the promotion of innovation, they need to provide an integrated package of services that align with the capabilities required by the respective incubatees for carrying out their innovation activities. The study further recommends for creation and raising public awareness on the concepts of innovation, business and technology incubation, and their assessment frameworks to be realistic to the local context.
Available in print form, East Africana collection, Dr. Wilbert Chagula Library, class mark (THS EAF T173.8T34M333)
Technological innovation, Incubators, Incubator based enterprise, Tanzania
Machuve, J. Z (2019) Framework for assessing innovation capability of incubator-based enterprises: case of business and technology incubators, Doctoral dissertation , University of Dar es Salaam, Dar es Salaam.