Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS: http://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.510924
Title: Business incubation and economic development : a study in Saudi Arabia
Author: Alsheikh, Abdulatif M.
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 2009
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Abstract:
Business incubators have proved to be effective tools for tackling unemployment. diversifying economies and creating wealth in numerous developed countries. By providing timely help and support to new ventures, business incubators hold the potential to create and develop entrepreneurial talent at the micro level and foster an environment for entrepreneurship at the macro level. Business incubation programmes represent a popular approach that many countries have used to assist new business start-ups. Saudi Arabia has struggled with unfavourable demographic tendencies with a dynamic population growth and registers a high level of unemployment, notably among students (33% of graduates) and lowskilled manpower. Also, the local economy, that has long been dependent upon the traditional "transformation industries" needs to be diversified and modernised in order to face the evergrowing fierce international and regional competition. Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) constitute the majority of the Saudi business (in terms of the number of firms), yet a minority in terms of revenue. SMEs and enterprising university graduates are believed to be the motors of developing economies. A business incubation programme in theory is fit in dealing with obstacles facing SMEs and young entrepreneurs. The research attempts to determine whether the economic conditions for business incubation in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are favourable to a programme of business incubation, and to suggest directions on the best ways to implement business incubation in the Kingdom. To meet this objective the study undertook a three -stage approach whereby each stage contributes to the next. The first stage was two focus groups interviews with Saudi experts, the second a series of three questionnaire surveys and the third was a case study of the first Saudi business incubator. The findings of the research indicate a relatively low level of practical business skills and business experience exhibited by Saudi graduates and the weak relationship between academia and the private sector. The links between education and business were also shown to be lacking. From the results it would seem that, any Saudi incubator programme would need to take into account these deficiencies. Poor links between academia and business Business incubators have proved to be effective tools for tackling unemployment. diversifying economies and creating wealth in numerous developed countries. By providing timely help and support to new ventures, business incubators hold the potential to create and develop entrepreneurial talent at the micro level and foster an environment for entrepreneurship at the macro level. Business incubation programmes represent a popular approach that many countries have used to assist new business start-ups. Saudi Arabia has struggled with unfavourable demographic tendencies with a dynamic population growth and registers a high level of unemployment, notably among students (33% of graduates) and lowskilled manpower. Also, the local economy, that has long been dependent upon the traditional "transformation industries" needs to be diversified and modernised in order to face the evergrowing fierce international and regional competition. Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) constitute the majority of the Saudi business (in terms of the number of firms), yet a minority in terms of revenue. SMEs and enterprising university graduates are believed to be the motors of developing economies. A business incubation programme in theory is fit in dealing with obstacles facing SMEs and young entrepreneurs. The research attempts to determine whether the economic conditions for business incubation in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are favourable to a programme of business incubation, and to suggest directions on the best ways to implement business incubation in the Kingdom. To meet this objective the study undertook a three -stage approach whereby each stage contributes to the next. The first stage was two focus groups interviews with Saudi experts, the second a series of three questionnaire surveys and the third was a case study of the first Saudi business incubator. The findings of the research indicate a relatively low level of practical business skills and business experience exhibited by Saudi graduates and the weak relationship between academia and the private sector. The links between education and business were also shown to be lacking. From the results it would seem that, any Saudi incubator programme would need to take into account these deficiencies. Poor links between academia and businessBusiness incubators have proved to be effective tools for tackling unemployment. diversifying economies and creating wealth in numerous developed countries. By providing timely help and support to new ventures, business incubators hold the potential to create and develop entrepreneurial talent at the micro level and foster an environment for entrepreneurship at the macro level. Business incubation programmes represent a popular approach that many countries have used to assist new business start-ups. Saudi Arabia has struggled with unfavourable demographic tendencies with a dynamic population growth and registers a high level of unemployment, notably among students (33% of graduates) and lowskilled manpower. Also, the local economy, that has long been dependent upon the traditional "transformation industries" needs to be diversified and modernised in order to face the evergrowing fierce international and regional competition. Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) constitute the majority of the Saudi business (in terms of the number of firms), yet a minority in terms of revenue. SMEs and enterprising university graduates are believed to be the motors of developing economies. A business incubation programme in theory is fit in dealing with obstacles facing SMEs and young entrepreneurs. The research attempts to determine whether the economic conditions for business incubation in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are favourable to a programme of business incubation, and to suggest directions on the best ways to implement business incubation in the Kingdom. To meet this objective the study undertook a three -stage approach whereby each stage contributes to the next. The first stage was two focus groups interviews with Saudi experts, the second a series of three questionnaire surveys and the third was a case study of the first Saudi business incubator. The findings of the research indicate a relatively low level of practical business skills and business experience exhibited by Saudi graduates and the weak relationship between academia and the private sector. The links between education and business were also shown to be lacking. From the results it would seem that, any Saudi incubator programme would need to take into account these deficiencies. Poor links between academia and business deprives business of the expertise and research knowledge. Furthermore, the findings showed the lack of primary tools that could enable small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to grow and develop. These include lack of funds and credit options, and poor networking. Thus. incubators could have the potential to provide an improvement to the Saudi SMEs. The research shows that numerous business incubation criteria are met in Saudi Arabia and that the Jeddah Business Incubator has been a success. However, important shortfalls are identified, e.g. the unsatisfactory university-business cooperation, deficiencies in the curriculum and the lack of knowledge of the support for SMEs that could be obtained in Saudi Arabia. Most of the findings of this study are consistent with the previous body of research in this subject. Based on the study results, it is proposed that; more effort should be exerted on softer services such as networking; academics business links (closer interactions between academic research and industry) relative to the provision of physical space and hard infrastructure. In addition, there should be a clear focus on economic and business development goals, continuing relationships with external funding agencies will also be required. Incubators will need to be a source of direct funding for tenants firms. Furthermore, the business incubator has to market itself, and has to use the media in order to create an attractive images of it self.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.510924  DOI: Not available
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