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Technology & business incubation: Creating opportunities for innovation and entrepreneurship for the youth

Author: 
Reuben Marwanga and Pius Walela
Subject Area: 
Social Sciences and Humanities
Abstract: 

In this age of exponential technology development and relentless globalization, innovation and entrepreneurship have become the prime drivers of economic growth. Thus the role of Technology Business Incubators (TBIs) as part of the system of innovation has become all the more important for the transformation of technological ideas into commercial benefits. More advanced countries have already taken a lead in this direction, developing nations have yet to fully exploit this system particularly to invigorate SMEs which are a crucial part of their economy in terms of employment as well as growth .The research focused on ICT incubation in Kenya targeting start ups and innovators. The key role of the research was to nurture nascent ventures by providing focused guidance and facilitation services together with networking, mentorship and shared facilities. The research incorporated a total of 19 incubatees split into two groups. The research leveraged Strathmore University resources to facilitate the business training and technological support of the participants. The program progressed from pre-incubation, business planning, financing, networking and finally mentorship. The program objectives were fostering innovation and entrepreneurship in Kenya, promotion of job creation, commercialization of technology, and creation of new or better products and services. The outcomes of the program have been two top 100 entrants for the chase business plan competition; Xrystalgenius and HDS logic, winners of the Mobo base pyramid challenge in Finland, Sukuma Africa award and the Kenya ICT board local content development for the private sector.

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