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A Case Study of the Effects of Entrepreneurship Programs on Enterprise Performance Open Access

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The common objective of Incubation or Entrepreneurship Programs (IEPs) is to facilitate the entrepreneurial process by meeting the needs of client enterprises and supporting their development. Organizations sponsoring and managing IEPs include a variety of entities that may be public or private, including universities, angels, and venture capital organizations. Policymakers and private-sector leaders need to decide which strategies are most effective and which practices should be changed or modified to invest resources. Many studies have been conducted in different contexts to assess the effectiveness of IEPs by relating the incubation process to businesses’ performance indicators, particularly in terms of job creation and economic development. These approaches present a variety of shortfalls: (1) Attention is not given to the value of the incubation processes. (2) Admission priority may be given to more-developed companies. (3) Most of the studies are based on unilateral judgments of the performance of the program as expressed by management. (4) There is lack of a standard model to facilitate planning and decision-making.To overcome these limitations by providing appropriate information for decision-makers at all levels, we adapted the model proposed by Hackett and Dilts (2007) to fit the context of Puerto Rico, particularly in technological aspects. Statistical techniques provide the necessary engineering rigor to determine the subjacent factors of the business incubation processes and to model them to gauge their effect on enterprise performance. Taking the large set of variables that characterize the processes of the IEPs and using Principal Component Analysis methodology, it is possible to substantially reduce the number of variables needed to capture the principal characteristics of such processes. These new variables are used to develop Multinomial Linear Regression models that allow one to explain the effects of these processes on enterprise performance.

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