Motives, Supporting Activities, and Selection Criteria of Social Impact Incubators: An Experimental Conjoint Study

  • Mirko Hirschmann (Creator)
  • Alexandra Moritz (Creator)
  • Joern H. Block (Witten/Herdecke University, Trier University, Erasmus University Rotterdam) (Creator)



Social impact incubators (SIIs) are a new type of incubator that support social enterprises (SEs) in their early business stages to foster and develop their hybrid objectives. However, research on SIIs is still scarce, and little is known about SIIs’ motives, supporting activities, and selection criteria. In investigating 71 SII decision-makers, we find the societal duty motive stated as “most important,” while the financial motive is stated as “least important.” Furthermore, we identify the authenticity of the founding team and the importance of the societal problem addressed as SIIs’ most important selection criteria. However, significant heterogeneity exists within the group of SIIs with regard to their selection criteria. In particular, SIIs with strong innovation and societal duty motives stand out and differ in their SE selection criteria from other SIIs. Our results extend prior research on SIIs and contribute to the discussion on the selection criteria of SE supporters.
Date made available2021

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