Business Incubation for Small Enterprise Development: South African Pathways

Mukovhe Masutha, Christian M. Rogerson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Business incubation is a critical tool for ensuring the survival of start-up small enterprises. Over the past 15 years, South Africa has progressively expanded its commitment to business incubation as part of broader support for the small enterprise economy. The objective in this paper is to highlight the different pathways of contemporary business incubation occurring in South Africa with particular attention to the divergent trajectories as well as common challenges faced by the unfolding network of state-supported incubators and of private sector incubators. This paper extends the limited literature on business incubators in South Africa by offering detailed insight into the differences between incubators operating under state as opposed to private ownership. Methodologically, use is made of detailed case studies of four functioning business incubators as well as the results from a national audit conducted in 2013 of the state of small business incubators in the country.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)223-241
Number of pages19
JournalUrban Forum
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2015


  • Business incubation
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Small enterprises
  • South Africa

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Urban Studies


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