Assessing the efficacy of business incubation in Nairobi County, Kenya: an incubatee’s perspective
This study was aimed at determining the efficacy of business incubation on firm success from an incubatee’s perspective. The study was conducted on firms in Nairobi County that have experienced business incubation. The general objective was addressed by four specific objectives. The first specific objective was to determine the effect of business incubation resources on incubatee firm success. The second was to examine the influence of entrepreneurial traits and competences on incubatee firm success. The third was to establish the moderating effect of challenges faced by incubatees in the business incubators. The fourth was to propose how business incubation can be improved. This study was underpinned by the human capital development theory, personality trait theory of entrepreneurship and networking theory. Questionnaires were administered to the respondents who were incubatees in incubation programmes in Nairobi County. The incubatees were identified through snowball sampling as well as through the incubator managers. The sample size was 384 incubatees. This sample was arrived at using the Cochran’s sample size formula for calculating sample size of unknown populations. Data analysis was done using descriptive and inferential statistics. The findings revealed first, that the greatest efficacy of business incubation can be explained when an entrepreneur is innovative, creative, a risk taker, reliable, and a good identifier and exploiter of new opportunities. Second, that business incubation resources, entrepreneurial traits and competences had a positive significant relationship with incubatee firm success in terms profitability and time at point of exit. Third, that the challenges facing the incubatees included lack of funding, inadequate incubator facilities and infrastructure, inadequate qualified employees at the incubator and weak incubator administration. However, the moderating effect of the challenges was not statistically significant. Fourth, that business incubation can be improved by increasing the availability of funding through government support, improving incubation facilities and services, and evaluating the performance of incubators. Key recommendations to the managers of business incubators and the policy makers is to create policies and enhance existing business incubation programmes to focus primarily on improving incubatee access to business training and skills, business networks, and financial resources. Additionally, incubator managers should improve on administration and staffing to enhance the business incubation experience.