(2021). “How Incubators Help Entrepreneurs Succeed.” Knowledge@Wharton.
Becoming a successful entrepreneur requires the right combination of factors, impeccable timing, and often sheer luck. In her latest research, Wharton management professor Valentina Assenova examines what it takes to help entrepreneurs who need more luck than most — those who live in places where inequality is institutionalized and the obstacles to success are even higher to hurdle.
Inspired by a trip to South Africa, Assenova tracked the improvement rates for small businesses in Soweto whose owners received help through an incubator. She found that entrepreneurs who were paired with mentors learned the kind of expertise that enabled them to grow their businesses significantly.