Incubation of Local Solidarity Based Economy Networks: a Brazilian innovative experience
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This paper presents an innovative alternative led by the Federal University of Bahia,
Brazil: the incubation of local Solidarity Economy Networks.
Etzkowitz (2002) claims that incubators are hybrid organizations that exemplify the triple
helix model of university-industry-government relations with significant implications for the university’s
role in society. He argues that incubation strengthens the university’s third mission: the promotion of
economic and social development.
The first incubators in Brazil date from mid-1980s. Since then, the Brazilian incubator
movement has developed rapidly: according to the National Association of Entities for Promoting
Innovative Enterprises - Anprotec, there were over 370 incubators in Brazil in 2006. The movement
has gained support from universities, government and industry associations. Its potential to contribute
to social economic development has made it a subject of public policy both at federal and state levels.
Incubation in the field of Solidarity based Economy (SE) in Brazil has traditionally focused
on the development of popular cooperatives.