New Book: Creating Communities of Practice: Entrepreneurial Learning in a University-Based Incubator

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Oswald Jones, PingPing Meckel, David Taylor

Series: Springer – International Studies in Entrepreneurship

  • Provides guidance on the transition from higher education to successful entrepreneurial careers
  • Examines the process of creating a business while located in a business incubator
  • Presents empirical evidence for policy-makers and those responsible for managing university-based incubators

This book introduces concepts of business incubation and suggests a learning process. This process begins with prior knowledge at the opportunity identification phase, progresses through the acquisition of new skills and knowledge necessary to develop an opportunity and concludes with a transformation phase where new knowledge is acted upon. The book draws on extensive qualitative data and documentary evidence from a range of stakeholders associated with a University Business Incubator known as Innospace. The process of opportunity development within the business incubator is explored by combining experiential and social learning theories as heuristic tools. Presented implications for policy-makers and incubator managers are that attention and scarce resources should be focused on providing relevant information and encouraging an atmosphere of learning and mutual support. Recruitment practices should be revised to include a more holistic appreciation of potential incubatees contribution to the Business Incubation learning community as well as an assessment of their business plans. For policy makers the book suggests that successful business incubators do not necessarily require a large financial investment in state-of-the-art premises and technology. Appropriate management training together with carefully selected incubatees can create an effective learning community where opportunities are developed and transformed into enterprises and individuals into entrepreneurs.

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