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Nesting Instinct Businesses of a feather thrive together.

By Karin Moeller

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

It can be a cold, harsh world out there--especially ifyou're just starting out in business. Luckily,business incubators can provide you with shelter from thestorms of unfamiliarity.

Assistance programs established to help get your businessoff the ground, incubators nurture your company duringits infancy--when it's most vulnerable to the perils of thestart-up process. In addition to management advice, access tofinancing, technical and business support, and other services,incubators offer affordable rental rates for work space.

Incubators boast impressive success ratios: According to arecent study by the National Business Incubation Association(NBIA), an estimated 87 percent of companies that graduated fromincubators since the 1970s are still in business. In addition,these companies report an average sales increase of more than 400percent from the time they enter the incubators until theyleave.

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