Michigan Business Incubator Association

Background and Purpose

Background Information

  • MBIA began in 1985 with its primary purpose to enable and empower entrepreneurs and start-up companies as successful business ventures in Michigan.
  • The MBIA provides a supportive entrepreneurial environment that stimulates the growth of businesses to ensure economic vitality and encourage job creation.
  • Business incubators are usually owned by public entities and operate on a non-profit basis.
  • All incubators share a commitment to helping their tenants succeed. A single incubator can support multiple businesses simultaneously, and its different resources are accessed as needed.
  • Business incubators have increased the longevity and diversity of local jobs and economies in Michigan and throughout the country for over 30 years.


  • As of October 2012, there were over 1,250 incubators in the United States, up from only 12 in 1980. National Business Incubator Association estimates that there are about 7,000 business incubators worldwide.
  • A 1997 study found that the average public subsidy for a new job created by an incubator in the US was only $1,109, far less than many other job creation and training programs.
  • Research has shown that for every $1 of estimated public operating subsidy provided the incubator, clients and graduates of NBIA member incubators generate approximately $30 in local tax revenue alone.Source: Extrapolated from data in Business Incubation Works
  • On average, 87% of businesses that have graduated from an incubator remain in operation 5-10 years later. In Michigan, 84% of incubator businesses stay in the community after graduation from the incubator program, and an additional 9% stay in the state.


  • Foster communication and exchange ideas among incubators, their managers, tenants, clients, entrepreneurs, new ventures, and other stakeholders.
  • Serve as a clearinghouse for the collection and dissemination of information about incubators to assist entrepreneurs with new business ideas.
  • Provide a basis for mutually supportive group efforts that promote the public image of incubators and their economic impact.

More and more communities in Michigan have established business incubators or are currently exploring the benefits and sustainability of incubators for their communities. MBIA can help incubators be successful and can help local leaders and entrepreneurs determine if a business incubator would be an economic asset for their communities. MBIA helps existing business incubators,their clients, and their graduates succeed in Michigan. It also promotes the value of business incubators to other areas that could reap economic benefits by establishing incubators.