December 8, 2008 - Today is Global Business Incubation Day. It will pass almost unnoticed; there will be no parades or speeches or football games. But for the nearly 7,000 business incubators around the world and the hundreds of thousands of businesses they have helped nurture over the last 50 years, today is a way to quietly recognize their contribution to supporting the backbone of the American economy, the small business.
Annually, North American incubators assist more than 27,000 start-up companies that provide full-time employment for more than 100,000 workers and generate annual revenue of more than $17 billion.
Business incubators nurture the development of entrepreneurial companies, helping them survive and grow during the start-up period, when they are most vulnerable. Incubator programs provide their client companies with business support services and resources tailored to young firms. The most common goals of incubation programs are creating jobs in a community, enhancing a community’s entrepreneurial climate, retaining businesses in a community, building or accelerating growth in a local industry, and diversifying local economies.
North Iowa Area Community College’s John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center (JPEC) opened a new mixed-use business incubator on campus in November 2007 with support from Congressman Tom Latham and the Small Business Administration. The NIACC JPEC incubator hosts start-up companies that manufacture, distribute, and offer professional services, everything except retail.
At a time when the news is full of businesses that are troubled and failing, it is important to know that the three year start-up survival rate is 90% for companies in incubators compared to less than half for businesses that do not incubate.
“This business incubator and incubation system started out as a dream over four years ago,” Jamie T. Zanios, director of the NIACC John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center, said. “Through the support of NIACC, our area Economic Development Corporation Partners, local and national legislators, Iowa Department of Economic Development and our valued advisory council, it has become a reality and already is serving North Iowa with a home for new businesses to gain traction and success. We look forward to fulfilling the dream of regional incubation over the next couple of years, and expect that this work will lead to new jobs for North Iowa.’
Space is available in the main incubator on campus and work is underway to identify a potential site for the first satellite incubator. For more information on the NIACC JPEC business incubator, contact Mark Olchefske at 641.422.4191 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Some information courtesy of the National Business Incubator Association