Economic Development Minister Pete Hodgson today announced that the Incubator Support Programme run by New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) will be enhanced and will get a $1.8 million funding boost. The $1.8m funding is a 67% increase in the $2.7m existing funding.
"The enhanced support and extra funding for business incubators will extend their capacity and capability," Pete Hodgson said.
The Incubator Support Program was established in 2001 to support business incubators around New Zealand. Business incubators provide assistance to fledgling New Zealand businesses to become established and viable during their start up phase. They do this by providing shared premises, business advice, business services, mentoring; a full-time, hands-on management team, and access to investors, markets and international networks.
"The enhanced programme means that business incubators will be able to increase resourcing to better service their client firms, facilitate closer relationships with universities and crown research institutes, expand the range of services they offer to include pre- and post-incubation, and develop international networks with overseas business incubators," Pete Hodgson said.
Funding support for selected incubators will be spread over multiple years, giving them more certainty than they currently have with annual funding rounds.
"The additional funding, and the greater certainty from multi-year funding, means that incubators will be better able to attract and retain high-quality managers who have the knowledge and networks to successfully drive growth," Pete Hodgson said.
The New Zealand incubation industry has developed an international reputation for the quality of its services, evidenced by a recent World Bank study that used New Zealand as an exemplar of best practice. However new practices are emerging as the industry continues its rapid global growth and NZTE will work closely with New Zealand incubators to identify these practices and consult with them when designing and implementing enhancements to the program which will take effect from 1 July 2009.
"Evaluations of the Incubator Support Programme in 2004 and again in 2008 found that firms that were incubated had better business outcomes than those that were not. Other research has shown that incubated firms are more likely to remain in business, have accelerated growth potential and have successfully attracted investors," Pete Hodgson said.
For further information on business incubators go to www.nzte.govt.nz and click on Business Incubators under Business Development.