Title: Why are small public incubators 'lagging behind'? Learning from disability in the selection practices of a French incubator

Authors: Inès Gabarret; Annabelle Jaouen; Walid A. Nakara; Benjamin Vedel

Addresses: EDC Paris Business School, OCRE – Labex Entreprendre, 70 Galerie des Damiers, Paris La Defense 1, 92415 Courbevoie Cedex, France ' Groupe Sup de Co Montpellier Business School, MRM – Labex Entreprendre, 2300 av des moulins, 34185 Montpellier Cedex 4, France ' Groupe Sup de Co Montpellier Business School, MRM – Labex Entreprendre, 2300 av des moulins, 34185 Montpellier Cedex 4, France ' IAE University of Lille, LEM – Labex Entreprendre, 104 av du people Belge, 59043 Lille Cedex, France

Abstract: This research examines the selection practices used by a small public incubator (SPI) and its strategic implications. SPIs generally depend on small cities and often face difficulties due to a lack of resources and inadequate competitiveness in comparison with well-equipped and more reputed incubators. The selection of projects is the keystone in the development of these small structures. We develop a qualitative approach based on a single case study. Representatives from all the incubated projects were interviewed, as well as all the managers and we performed a thematic analysis of the discourses. The in-depth study of the selection practices and the project portfolio reveals a paradox regarding the incubator's strategic positioning objectives and the availability of resources. We conclude by discussing the strategic positioning of SPIs regarding in-house resources and the selection practices.

Keywords: small public incubators; SPIs; selection practices; entrepreneurial support; in-house resources; entrepreneurs; strategic positioning; competitiveness; project selection; projects; case studies; thematic analysis; entrepreneurship; disability; France; business incubators.

DOI: 10.1504/IJESB.2014.065679

International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, 2014 Vol.23 No.4, pp.456 - 477

Available online: 04 Nov 2014 *

Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article