The impact of business accelerators and incubators in the UK

BEIS Research Paper Number 2019/009

with Jonathan Bone, Juanita Gonzalez-Uribe and Christopher Haley

  • The fast-developing ecosystem of accelerators and incubators has positive effects on startups and the wider economy.
  • Most startups (over 60%) consider the contribution of the incubator or accelerator they attended to have been significant or even vital to their success.
  • Of startups surveyed, 75% perceived direct funding as very useful, followed by office space (59%) and lab space or technical equipment (58%).
  • Our research revealed the large diversity of accelerator and incubator programmes in the UK, both in terms of support offered to startups and their impact.
  • Impact of such programmes is mainly generated by the direct funding offered through these programmes and help with the formation of entrepreneurial teams, although many other channels exist.
  • Our findings suggest levers for public policy to support startups in the UK through accelerators and incubators. However, there is no size that fits all because programmes often target specific types of startups.

The report is available from the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy.