The Stockton Enterprise Arcade: Incubate or Graduate?
In February 2016, the owner of a wool and yarn products retail business in the Enterprise Arcade, a not-for-profit retail business incubator in Stockton-on-Tees, United Kingdom, needed to meet with the manager of the arcade. Based in a central and prominent position in a struggling Northeast England town, the Enterprise Arcade was opened by the local council as a part of a large renovation project. It was intended to regenerate the area and support enterprise and employment by providing small, indoor, market-sized retail spaces for self-employed retail start-ups to test their markets. After 14 months with the incubator, the owner of the wool and yarn business was expected to be ready to move out, but her business models were still unproven, and she wanted to stay longer. The manager had to balance the overall success of the Enterprise Arcade with the turnover and successful graduations of the businesses therein. How should the business owner organize her priorities and prepare to negotiate with the manager? What should the manager advise her to do? Jill Tidmarsh is affiliated with Durham University.