A Synopsis of Incubators in Non-hub Cities in the Southeast United States

Eleonora Brivio, Erica Negro Cousa, Vahé Heboyan, Francesco Beltrame, Gianluca De Leo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Business incubators are organisations that support the growth of small companies, including start-ups, by providing various resources and services. The aims of this article were to assess the characteristics of business incubators in non-hub cities located in Georgia and South Carolina and to describe the major differences between incubators located in non-hub and hub cities. We surveyed 5 non-hub incubators and visited and analysed qualitatively 10 incubators, 5 in hub cities and 5 in non-hub cities. Results showed that incubators in non-hub cities have less focus and less access to funding capital compared with incubators in hub cities. The implementation of a mesh network among incubators in non-hub cities may help sharing resources, know-how, talents and investments with the goal of being able to compete with incubators in hub cities. While currently incubators in non-hub cities cannot offer the same services to their members, they can still play an important role in giving the people in their communities an opportunity to start a new business, find jobs and increase their income. Business incubators in non-hub cities can ultimately positively impact the overall quality of life of the population they serve. Finally, we proposed that a focus on public health innovation may help incubators in non-hub cities to be successful.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)428-444
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Entrepreneurship
Issue number2
StatePublished - Sep 1 2020


  • Small businesses
  • incubators
  • mesh network
  • non-hub cities
  • public health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Strategy and Management


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