Business incubators nurture the development of entrepreneurial companies, helping them survive and grow during the startup period, when they are most vulnerable. These 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.
A business incubator’s main goal is to produce successful firms that will leave the program financially viable and freestanding, usually in two to three years. These incubator graduates have the potential to create jobs, revitalize neighborhoods, commercialize new technologies, and strengthen local and national economies. Typically, 30 percent of incubator clients graduate each year.
The role of the Oklahoma Department of Commerce in the incubator process is to certify the incubators pursuant to O.S. Title 74 Section 5071-79. It is the responsibility of the incubator owner to hire managers to manage and market their incubators and provide business services to their tenants.
For more information about the characteristics of model Business Incubator Programs and success stories, checkout the Small Business Incubator Certification Program 2020 Annual Report. And to find a incubator program near you, checkout the Certified List of Oklahoma Small Business Incubator Programs.