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Business incubators present an increasingly popular approach to attempting to develop private sector businesses in emerging market economies. However, little is known about the nature of incubator activities or how incubators' activities might vary at different levels of market-oriented socio-economic development. The authors build on the institutional development and business incubators literatures to develop new theory about the evolving scope of incubators. They posit that incubators serve as institutional entrepreneurs that provide two major classes of activities, Market Service Substitution (MSS) and Business Capability Development (BCD), and that the balance between the activities shifts towards BCD as socio-economic development advances. Using data from 134 incubators in 68 emerging nations, with four measures of marketoriented socio-economic development, they find support for their predictions and generate additional insights about this phenomenon.
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