Incubators Give Power to Entrepreneurs

Incubators Give Power to Entrepreneurs Main Photo

14 Dec 2022

News, Client Feature Article

This article originally appeared on and was written for Greater River Energy by Golden Shovel Agency.

Entrepreneurs often travel a journey of self-doubt regarding their solutions to a problem. Taking a brilliant idea to the point of business realization can be intimidating. Entrepreneurs in rural communities face significant hardship, as many in those areas face limited access to resources and services compared to more urban areas. Business incubators are often an excellent method to overcome these barriers.

“Incubators offer idea validation and can assist in turning it into an actual business,” said Elissa Hansen, president and CEO of Northspan, a private, nonprofit consulting firm operating out of Duluth. “Incubators give power to the entrepreneur.”

Many of Great River Energy’s member-owner cooperatives are in rural communities that have recognized the need to drive small business development. That focus has led to several existing and planned business incubators. Great River Energy has promoted these as a sound economic development strategy for its communities, often assisting its members with resources like the USDA Rural Economic Development Loan & Grant (REDLG) Program to fund these projects.

Incubator Importance

More than a decade ago, the National Business Incubation Association found companies that participated in a business incubator had an 87% success rate, double the rate for those that did not. Incubators offer many advantages to entrepreneurs and small businesses. They foster connectivity and networking with experts who have already traveled down a similar path. That environment also facilitates putting entrepreneurs in touch with those capable of arranging financial assistance, allowing an easier transition for business growth and surviving the initial, vulnerable stages many startups experience. Incubators often provide physical office space or training at free or reduced costs.

Hansen said the importance of business incubators is amplified in rural communities.

“There are many more opportunities for entrepreneurs and business persons to connect in urban areas,” she said. “Incubators are necessary in rural communities to be that place where entrepreneurs can gather to share and further their ideas.”

Additionally, said Hansen, most entrepreneurs do not know they need the services incubators can supply.

“Most entrepreneurs are creative, hands-on makers who find the prospect of selling their idea, having employees or managing finances quite intimidating,” she said. “Incubators can turn those makers into businessmen and businesswomen.”

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Chuck Friedbauer
Lead Copywriter
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Chuck Friedbauer is a Lead Copywriter for Golden Shovel Agency. He has over a decade of experience as a journalist and content writer. He also has a degree in Chemical Engineering and was an Engineer for 12 years. Chuck enjoys writing economic development promotional content and website redevelopment content for various clients around the country.