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How Business Incubators Work

The basic facts on an alternative to being homebased.

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Incubators are organizations sponsored by public and private investors that assist start-up and young companies in their critical early days with a variety of well-orchestrated business assistance programs. Incubators provide hands-on management assistance, access to financing, shared office services, access to equipment, flexible leases, expandable space and more, all under one roof.

The time your business can spend in an incubator is limited-usually two years-but it can vary. The idea is to get a fledgling business off the ground, turn it into a sound operation, then let it "leave the nest" to run on its own, making room for another start-up venture in the incubator.

Excerpted from Start Your Own Business: The Only Start-Up Guide You'll Ever Need