Title: Exploring the challenges for entrepreneurship business incubator hubs in the United Arab Emirates

Authors: Naveed Yasin; Zeinab Khansari; Kaiser Tirmizi

Addresses: Canadian University Dubai, Al-Satwa, Dubai, United Arab Emirates ' Ryerson University, 350 Victoria St, Toronto, ON M5B 2K3, Canada ' Muscat University, Muscat, Governate, Sultanate of Oman

Abstract: There is a dearth of studies that explore the challenges and experiences among business incubators (BIs), as providers, for their effective performance and operations. An exploratory research design model has been adopted by developing multiple case studies to explore the challenges for BI providers in Dubai (UAE). This study adopts qualitative methods of inquiry through 25 semi-structured interviews with executive members of seven UAE-based BIs. The data were analysed using NVIVO to perform a qualitative thematic analysis (template analysis approach). The findings resulted in the identification of five key thematic areas of challenges, which comprised: 1) financial challenges; 2) market barriers; 3) entrepreneurial infrastructure challenges; 4) socio-cultural barriers; 5) restrictive legislation. The motive-related overlaps between financial challenges and sociocultural barriers were also identified. The results of this research provide initial empirical insights for academics and recommendations for policymakers.

Keywords: business incubator; start-up; small and medium-sized enterprises; SMEs; enterprising ecosystem; entrepreneurship; Dubai; United Arab Emirates; UAE.

DOI: 10.1504/IJGSB.2021.10036825

International Journal of Globalisation and Small Business, 2021 Vol.12 No.2, pp.190 - 212

Received: 19 May 2020
Accepted: 08 Oct 2020

Published online: 30 Mar 2021 *

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