There may be slightly fewer business incubators in Brazil than five years ago, but those businesses assisted by incubators are now on average hiring more employees than before - despite the country being in the middle of its biggest economic crisis in decades.
A study released earlier this month by Brazil's incubator organisation Anprotec revealed that the country has 369 incubators. This is down 4% from 384 in 2011, according to an earlier Anprotec study.
Yet an an analysis by Small Business Insight reveals that incubators appear to be making a difference on those firms they have assisted - particularly in the area of job creation.
Graduated firms increase hires
A total of 306 enterprises graduated from Brazilian incubators between 2011 and last year, bringing the total number of graduated firms to 2,815 - while their combined revenue has also trebled – from 4.1 billion in 2011 to 13.8 billion reals last year. Added to this these firms added 29% more jobs between 2011 and 2015 - from 29,205 to 37,803 (if the the number of indirect jobs are included the number comes to 373,847).
'Better quality of life'
Anprotec president Jorge Audy (pictured above) said earlier this month that by understanding the role of innovation and of entrepreneurship in economic and social growth, the government and society together with universities and business can construct a new, more modern country and one with a better quality of life.
The latest Anprotec study also highlighted the role that incubators can play in local economic development. In particular in the city of Florianópolis, the Celta incubator employs 800 people directly.
A further 45 000 jobs are generated by 28 businesses in Celta at present and 93 firms that have graduated from the incubator (the 15 firms that have graduated from the incubator in the last two years added close to 1 billion reals to the economy).
Brazil has one of the biggest incubator systems in the world. The US, with about 1,100 incubators and China with about 1, 200 incubators are among those countries with the highest number of incubators in the world.
The Latin American nation's incubator figures are again evidence of the impact that incubation can make. If Brazil is to build more high-growth firms (it has too few, see this earlier post) incubation and acceleration support could play a vital role.
For more on lessons from Brazilian incubators click here to download a copy of the 2011 TIPS report titled "How South Africa can boost support to small businesses: Lessons from Brazil and India". Timm writes on small business. Follow him on Twitter at @Smallbinsight.
Stephen Timm is a