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A Diagnosis Of Business Incubators Operational Environment In Ghana- Gaps And Opportunities

Author: 
Mary Njeri Thiong’o (PhDc) and Dr. Sunday Baba
Subject Area: 
Life Sciences
Abstract: 

A business ecosystem provides the assets and environment within which entrepreneurs and businesses operate. The health status of the business ecosystem influences the development, growth and sustainability of the enterprises. Agribusiness incubation being a new concept in Africa and executed using different models coupled with the sparse assets, there is a need to develop an understanding of agribusiness incubation and the operational ecosystem. An Incubator ecosystem mapping provides the baseline understanding of the resources including assets necessary for successful agribusiness incubation services to be provided. The mapping process included consultations with Agricultural, Technical, Vocational Education and Training institutes (40), recommendations from the project inception meetings, information derived from the field data collected from 24 Research /Vocational/ Technical Institutes, 90 Agribusinesses, 7 Associations, 30 Service providers, 16 Financial service providers, 11 policy related institutions, 3 Government Ministries in Accra, 4 Incubators, 30 Ministry of Food &Agriculture (MOFA) potential incubators, 50 Potential Incubators by Ministry of Business Development and 60 Business Advisory Centers (BACs). The mapping identified several institutions such as colleges of agriculture and vocational institutes with assets that could support agriculture and agribusiness incubation for in cubatees or accelerate small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to create opportunities. The diagnostic concluded that the existing assets were able to enrich the incubation ecosystem and support the growth and development of incubators. Depending on the geolocation and spatial distribution, the different assets could play a critical supporting role in enriching the incubators ecosystems and increase the probability of success of any business incubation program. In conclusion, it was established while the incubator and entrepreneurship ecosystem is improving in Ghana, there were still fundamental changes that needed to happen, especially focused on the management of viable assets, attitudes towards working together, enhanced cooperation and less competition as well as government increasing its efforts to provide affordable co-working spaces and collaborating with private business and capacity development providers. The diagnostic review recommended that there was need for diverse ecosystem actors to collaborate on initiatives aimed at building the business ecosystem. This would improve the business incubation ecosystem, the operating environment; accelerate the nurturing of innovations, which would in turn improve the growth and the success of fledgling start-ups for enhanced decent jobs and wealth generation.

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