Exploring the critical factors that hinder the growth of incubatees in South Africa

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In as much as entrepreneurial action fosters job creation and economic growth, entrepreneurs encounter the significant risk of failure, and community bears the brunt. Though business incubators were designed to provide support and hope to ailing businesses, evidence suggests that not all on these programs succeed. Going on the assumption that even businesses on incubation programs do not seem to be immune to failure, this study sought to determine the key factors that hinder the growth of incubatees in South Africa.
Adopting a quantitative approach, the questionnaire was utilized as the primary data collection tool, and the snowball sampling method was employed resulting in a sample size of 93 respondents. The research participants for this study were limited to firms that were registered on the databases of two business incubators who promote small business development strategy and programs in Cape Town and Johannesburg, respectively. The findings indicated that lack of funding, lack of credit facility, competition, crime, lack of access to external market, lack of business skills and lack of product selection and design were the key factors that hinder the growth of incubatees.
Given the substantial resources invested in business incubation programs, the fact that business incubators are entrepreneurial ventures in themselves, understanding and finding sustainable solutions to the factors that hinder the growth of their clients (incubatees) would be a win-win solution for the relevant stakeholders.

Keywords: business incubatees, business incubators, entrepreneurship, growth, South Africa.
JEL Classification: M1, L84

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