Small businesses are making a significant impact on the Central Florida economy generated by the tools, training and infrastructure provided to local entrepreneurs by the University of Central Florida Business Incubation Program. A recent study reveals that more than 3,350 jobs and an estimated $620 million in economic output are the result of companies assisted directly and indirectly, by the non-profit community resource.
Commissioned by the Florida High Tech Corridor Council, the 2013 Regional Impact Study was issued to analyze and document the productivity and sustainability of the UCF Business Incubation Program, a 14-year-old economic development partnership between private enterprise and several local governments throughout the region.
Conducted independently by Dr. Vernet Lasrado, assistant director of research programs at University of Central Florida, the 2013 Regional Economic Impact Study concludes that between October 1, 2011 through June 30, 2013, the UCF Business Incubation Program helped generate a direct regional economic output of more than $327 million, from an estimated total output of more than $620 million.
During the study period the UCF Business Incubation Program also directly sustained 1,856 jobs in the Central Florida region and indirectly sustained an additional 1,500 jobs, resulting in more than $18.5 million in state and local tax revenues. Additionally, it is estimated that employees of UCF Business Incubation Program firms on an average earned an income of more than $58,000.
“For me, the most impressive finding was the ROI [Return on Investment],” said Dr. Tom O’Neal, founder and executive director of the UCF Business Incubation Program. “The study concludes that during the study period the UCF Business Incubation Program helped generate a fiscal return of $6.16 for every $1 of public investment.”
According to O’Neal, the study ultimately indicates what he has been saying all along: that a focused university-based incubation program can be one of the most effective ways private enterprise can stimulate local economic development, spur job growth and help rebuild the economy.
“It’s our client companies and graduate companies that create the new jobs and generate all the local community economic growth. Our sole effort is to accelerate the rate at which they attain their most productive, most sustainable performance,” O’Neal concluded.
According to Gordon Hogan, director of the UCF Business Incubation Program, the 2013 Regional Economic Impact Study used a highly regarded and highly sophisticated methodology to more precisely determine economic impacts.
“The IMPLAN methodology (IMpact analysis for PLANning) was developed by the University of Minnesota for the U.S. Forest Service more than 30 years ago and is widely regarded today as the most reliable tool for accurately assessing economic performance,” Hogan explained.
To obtain a copy of the 2013 Regional Economic Impact Study or for additional information on how the UCF Business Incubation Program helps entrepreneurs grow their businesses, visit incubator.ucf.edu.