A Multidimensional Evaluation of the Effectiveness of Business Incubators: An application of the PROMETHEE outranking method
Considerable public resources are devoted to the establishment and operation of business incubators (BIs), which are seen as catalysts for the promotion of entrepreneurship, innovation activities and regional development. Despite the vast amount of research that focused on the effectiveness of incubator initiatives and how to measure incubator performance, there is still a lack of understanding of how to determine incubators that are more effective than others. Based on data from 410 graduate firms, the present article concentrates on this crucial question and compares the long-term effectiveness of five BIs in Germany by applying the multi-criteria outranking technique PROMETHEE. In particular, we investigate whether PROMETHEE is a well suited methodological approach for the evaluation and comparisons in the specific context of business incubation.