Incubators and Economic Development

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What is Economic Development?

Because no single definition of economic development exists, it is typically described in terms of achievable objectives that contribute to the community’s wellbeing in the long run. Common objectives of economic development are the creation of jobs and wealth, and the improvement of quality of life. To meet these and other objectives, economic development is comprised of three overarching areas of action: policies undertaken by the government to meet economic objectives, policies and programs to provide services such as infrastructure and medical, and policies and programs to improve the business climate.

Why is Economic Development Important?

Whatever the combination of these areas undertaken, economic development always aims to improve the economic wellbeing of a community through a variety of efforts entailing job creation, job retention, tax base enhancements and improving quality of life. Without implementation of policies and programs to aid economic development, growth within communities would slow – potentially even falling off, and quality of life would decrease for community stakeholders. This being said, it is important to have a strong balance of the three areas of action within any community to provide the greatest opportunity for the economy to grow and develop.

How do Incubators Support Economic Development?

In short, business incubators operate within the third area of action; they create programs that improve the business climate. They do this by aiding startup businesses by enabling them to secure financing, helping with their marketing, offering them mentorship and sometimes a space to operate, and in general supporting their operations in a way that allows them to develop their idea and expand their business. When startups experience the growth that an incubator may facilitate, they may bring in more revenue, hire more employees and operate more sustainably long-term. More revenue means they could potentially pay more taxes, hiring more people means job creation for the community in which they operate, and sustainable operations means doing more of both things for a longer period of time.

How Does TBEIC Impact the Community?

TBEIC, as the only energy incubator in Ohio, has made significant contributions to economic development in our community. TBEIC rents space to 19 companies in downtown Warren, Ohio. It has also assisted 192 energy startups since 2012. These clients have employed over 300 people in Northeast Ohio and have secured more than $60 million in funding. Aside from giving access to resources and supporting others to create successful ventures, TBEIC has contributed to economic development by the new jobs these startups have been able to create and the capital they have infused back into the economy.

More Reading:

The evolution of startup incubators – an insider’s view

Do Tech Incubators Work?

References:

https://www.iedconline.org/clientuploads/Downloads/IEDC_ED_Reference_Guide.pdf

http://ftp.iza.org/dp11856.pdf

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