‘Imitate or Incubate?’ Evaluating the Current State of University-Based Business Incubators in the United Arab Emirates

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Sage Publications India Pvt. Ltd
Although there has been extensive research on business incubators (BIs) in the private sector, relatively little is known about university-based business incubators (UBIs) in the context of emerging markets such as the United Arab Emirates (UAE). This study explores the current state of UBIs in the UAE by analysing secondary and primary data obtained through desk-based research and qualitative semi-structured interviews with UBI managers, academics and support staff. Informed by this study comprising nine cases of UBIs in the UAE, the data were collected through Voice over Internet Protocol and telephone during March 2021–February 2022 during the COVID-19 pandemic. Based on the analysis of data using Template Analysis, the findings illustrate that UAE universities’ BIs are relatively young and characterized by eight key themes, which were identified as (a) attracting new students, (b) improving communication skills, (c) curriculum development, (d) extra-curricular development, (e) industry engagement, (f) innovation/spinoffs, (g) research skills and (h) strategic thinking. As per the UAE Vision 2031, UBIs will play a crucial role in innovation and entrepreneurship, and therefore there are implications for academics, entrepreneurs and policymakers. © 2022 Fortune Institute of International Business.
This work is not available in the CUD collection. The version of the scholarly record of this work is published in FIIB Business Review (2022), available online at: https://doi.org/10.1177/23197145221112744
business incubator, cases, ecosystem, qualitative, United Arab Emirates, University
Yasin, N., & Gilani, S. A. M. (2022). ‘Imitate or incubate?’ evaluating the current state of university-based business incubators in the United Arab Emirates. FIIB Business Review, https://doi.org/10.1177/23197145221112744