Business incubation has been known as one of the most viable tools for increasing the
number of small businesses around the world. In South Africa, there seems to be very little work
done to understand what the role of incubators are and how effective are the mechanism they
have in creating small businesses.
This article seeks to explore the role that business incubators play in growing small
businesses in South Africa. In addition, the research seeks to determine how effective are the
mechanisms which business incubator have implemented in ensuring small businesses stay self-
sustaining after the incubation period has ended.
An exploratory qualitative method was used in this study whereby semi-structured
interviews were conducted with incubators and incubatees in the manufacturing industry in
South Africa. The results showed that the safe and secure working space provided by an
incubation hub, the networking opportunities and the training and mentoring provided, are the
outstanding benefits and contribution incubators make to the sustainable development of small