infoDEV seek Agribusiness incubation supporters

August 17, 2010 at 11:10 am | Posted in AgriTech, AIN, Business Support, Economic Development, incubation, incubator, networking, Tools | Leave a comment
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infoDev has partnered with the Government of Finland and Nokia to develop and implement a Programme “Creating Sustainable Businesses in the Knowledge Economy”.   This Programme includes an Agribusiness Component, a summary of which has been captured below for your information. 

In order to kick off the Agribusiness Component,  infoDev is planning a workshop to be held in Kampala, Uganda, from 3 – 6 October 2010 to which African Incubators focusing on agriculture/agribusiness may be invited.  Discussions during the workshop will focus on: 

Opportunities/barriers to agribusiness SME development in your country 

The challenges you face as an agribusiness incubator 

In addition, a training programme for agribusiness incubation will be piloted in February 2011 and to which agribusiness incubators may be invited. 

The purpose of this email is to ask for your assistance in identifying African incubators that focus on agribusinesses.  This could be your incubator, or you may be aware of other incubators, not necessarily yet members of AIN, who would benefit from the proposed infoDev activities as described above. 

Please would you, per return email,  forward directly to Jill the contact details of relevant incubators that fit the category as described above. 

Many thanks and with best wishes 

Jill Sawers
Innovation and Business Incubation Consultant to infoDev
email: jsawers@worldbank.org
www.infodev.org 

Non Incubated v Incubated Agribusiness

Non Incubated v Incubated Agribusiness

 

Summary of Agribusiness Component of “Creating Sustainable Businesses in the Knowledge Economy” Programme 

The  agribusiness component of the “Creating Sustainable Businesses in the Knowledge Economy”   Program aims to contribute towards achieving three development objectives: 

Increasing sustainable income generating opportunities 

Increasing agricultural productivity and competitiveness 

Increasing the proportion of the price paid by end-consumer that is retained by developing countries for products they produce, for instance by increasing market access and efficiencies along the value chain and expanding local value added agro-processing. 

The agribusiness program is focused on enabling innovative agribusiness entrepreneurs that: 

Provide inputs to primary producers in the form of goods and services; 

Add value to primary products (i.e. agro-processors) and play a “catalytic” role in terms of enhancing efficiency, quality and market access across the value chain. 

In line with infoDev’s mission to help developing countries harness innovation and ICT for sustainable development, the program will include an emphasis on enabling access to and productive use of technologies that are available locally, in the region and internationally. 

The Programme aims to: 

Facilitate a south-south, peer-to-peer agribusiness incubation working group 

Assess global good practices in agribusiness incubation 

Develop a training module on agribusiness incubation 

Develop a business incubation model for African agribusiness and adapt the business model to four countries ( Mozambique, Tanzania and two additional African countries. 

Explore the potential to include agribusiness incubation in business incubation activities in Asia and ECA particularly in Cambodia, Nepal and Vietnam. 

These activities will be supported by the development of “sourcebooks” on ICT and Agriculture and Agricultural Innovation Systems respectively . The agribusiness program will also be linked to the SME Internationalization program, which seeks to leverage infoDev’s business incubation network to facilitate international market access for innovative SME’s, and to the regional m-apps labs, which seek to cultivate innovative mobile applications entrepreneurs.  In the future, infoDev will also explore linkages between its new work in clean technologies and agribusiness. 

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Digital divide narrows

June 9, 2010 at 4:06 pm | Posted in B2C, Business Support, Economic Development, ICT, networking, Online Community | Leave a comment
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fibreFrance Telecom and 19 partners will invest 700 million dollars to bring high-speed Internet to 20 countries in western Africa, the company said in a statement yesterday.

The Africa Coast to Europe (ACE) fibre-optic cable will stretch 17 000 kilometres underwater from France to South Africa, and is slated to be completed in 2012.

It will connect 23 countries en route, including Spain and Portugal and countries along the western coast of Africa including Mauritania, Gabon and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Landlocked Mali and Niger will be connected by an overland cable.

France Telecom will contribute $250-million of the $700-million (R5.42-billion) cost of the project, according to the agreement.

“By signing this agreement, France Telecom-Orange is reinforcing its presence on the African continent and helping to reduce the digital divide in the region,” the company said in the statement.

The above reminds me that I have read some time in the past that Google and chosen partners were launching 4 satellites to provide land locked Africans’ access to the Internet.

Can anyone advise us whether this is happening and if so whether it will improve rural access to the Internet?

infoDev’s 4th Global Forum on Innovation & Entrepreneurship

May 13, 2010 at 2:24 pm | Posted in AIN, Economic Development, networking | 1 Comment
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infoDev’s 4th Global Forum on Innovation & Entrepreneurship, in cooperation with the Government of Finland, will be held in Helsinki, Finland on May 30 – June 2, 2011.

Building on its legacy of Global Forums held in India in 2004 and 2006, and in Brazil in 2009, infoDev announced that dates for the 4th Global Forum on Innovation & Entrepreneurship have been confirmed and welcomes you to Helsinki, Finland for another exciting global gathering on May 30 – June 2, 2011.

With its strong national innovation policy and strategic international networks, coupled with the country’s – Living Lab – concept to bring together private and public sector actors on the innovation agenda, Finland presents a stimulating platform for infoDev’s global community of innovation & entrepreneurship practitioners, thought-leaders, stakeholders and donors.

AIN DURBAN UPDATE

April 12, 2010 at 8:05 am | Posted in AIN, Economic Development, incubation, incubator, networking, Online Community | Leave a comment
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This bunch of AIN delegates were the first of three visiting parties to tour SmartXchange and to get an inside track from Robynne and Rajesh as to how the incubator is so successful with their ICT clients and sponsors.

SmartXchange Visit
SmartXchange Visit AIN delegates

 

Thanks to John for sending us the photo to share with you all. 
SMARTXCHANGE APPROACH
SMARTXCHANGE APPROACH

AIN Durban has top billing in this months infoDEV news on www.idisc.net.

We also have increased our AIN subscribers [+21%], profiled members [+70%] and identified incubation locations [+18%] during the aftermath of the Conference.
AIN on YouNoodle 
pre-conf=502 subscribers 77 profiles 
post-conf= 608 [+21%]subscribers 131 profiles [+70%]

AIN on LinkedIN 
pre-conf=144 profiles, 
post-conf=157 profiles [+9%]

Mapped African Incubators
pre-conf=143 locations, 
post-conf=169 locations [+18%]
Thanks to all of you who have updated your profiles and alerted us to additional incubators and support initiatives sub Sahara!
 
PS WE HAVE GONE BACK THROUGH THE CONFERENCE eDIARY AND REFRESHED ALL THE LINKAGES TO THE SPEAKERS PRESENTATIONS. enjoy!!

Links to eDiary of the AIN Conference sessions and events

March 29, 2010 at 2:51 pm | Posted in AgriTech, AIN, Business Support, Economic Development, ICT, incubation, incubator, networking, Online Community, startup, Tools | Leave a comment
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You can just keep scrolling down and go back through time – OR you can click on the links to go straight to your session or event of choice.  As expressed in our newsletter to all AIN subscribers today, please add your comments, observations, tuppence worth and photos.
 
Pre Conference Journey I left home at 8am Sunday 14th to travel from Edinburgh to Durban (RSA). It was 6 deg C……..DAY 1 Welcome to all – Official opening
Session 1 Our international Perspective of incubation in Africa
Session 2
  Role of Incubation in Local Economic Development
SABTIA AGM  A look on the inside
Official Welcome Reception on the harbour front – POINT Yacht Club, Durban [I forgot to take my camera :(( – please post your photos ]DAY 2
Session 1   Women Youth and Rural Incubation 
Session 2  Good Practices and Economies of Scale 
& Session 3     Technology Incubation 
Gala Evening Dinner and entertainment  Dignitaries and Divas 
DAY 3
Touring Durban & award-winning Incubators
 
 
 

2010 AFRICAN INCUBATION CONFERENCE – GALA EVENING DINNER 18th March

March 28, 2010 at 3:12 pm | Posted in AIN, Economic Development, incubation, networking, Online Community | Leave a comment
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By 7:30pm we had all arrived and were seated in a grand setting at the Hilton Hotel in downtown Durban.       

Our Programme Director for the evening Mr Sbu Kunene stepped up to the podium, bid us welcome and warmed us up for the main acts to come.  Regaling us with his reading prowess –  reading how red wine and red meat are not good for you and stopping both the very same day. His third book told how smoking can also damage your health – so Sbu stopped reading immediately .  

Sbu should be on the telly – time after time he had us believing he was on a serious tack and then hit us with his punchline. Jings how can we be so gullible?        

Ms_Lupuwana_AIN_Gala

Ms Lupuwana welcomes delegates and dignitaries to the AIN Gala Dinner

 

 Ms. Hlonela Lupuwama, CEO Seda: topped off her ever-present conference attendance record assuredly by giving us the Welcome Address, including several dignitaries wishing to hear what we had been doing here in Durban for the last 2 days. Ms Lupuwana is clearly a champion of incubation and knows she is speaking to those of us who are in the incubator vanguard.       

Next up was a former classmate of Sbu’s. KwaZulu-Natal MEC Economic Development and Tourism the Honourable Mike Mabuyakhula. In his first sentence he promised not to try to match the humour and entertainment of Sbu and then delivered a superb riposte about  Sbu not reading the right books!       

mike_mabuyakhula _AIN_Gala

MEC Mike Mabuyakhula addresses our AIN Gala dinner

 

We were also treated to an anecdotal story, if I recall correctly, of the two business people each gifted $1M with the proviso that they returned in 5 years time to see who was the most entrepreneurial.  

The first reckoned that with a $1M he had achieved as much as he would in his lifetime and proceeded to sit back and enjoy the benefits of accumulating such wealth.  

The second was so chuffed at being a millionaire, but worried and was concerned that if he spent even $1 he would then no longer be a millionaire? 

However he also had the “triple S’s ”  in his DNA that each entreprenueur is born with.?  

S1 – the innate desire to SEEK and find commercial opportunities.
S2 – The vision to SEARCH for ways to take these opportunities to market.
S3 – The ambition to SUCCEED where others might give up.
  

Starting with the simple idea of buying and selling fruit on a market stall the second person came back to the donor at the end of 5 years a self-made billionaire, with a chain of franchised fruit stalls and stores across the country.  

The second person, despite the donors support of the$1M kick start, told how he was declared a bankrupt having squandered his money within 3 years.  

 We then heard an endorsement of incubation and the difference it is making on the ground, particularly  here in the Eastern Provinces. AIN Address – MEC, Economic Development and Tourism, Michael Mabuyakhulu 

Suffice to say we gave the MEC a standing ovation at the end of his address . Designed to encourage himself and his fellow ministers to deliver the investment promised from KwaZulu-Natal and RSA government in return for more success in KNZ. Similarly to pass on the challenge for the other Provincial and African Governments and Public and Private Partners who do look South-South wishing enviously to emulate and replicate African firsts  – Pan Africa.    

CEO’s and representatives of the SABTIA regional incubators were each called forward  to be presented with Recognition Awards my MEC Mike for the contributions each are making to economic development and recovery in Southern Africa.   

As we then sat down to our dinner entertainment for the evening was provided by local talent. Joe Nina, family and friends guested and created such a great atmosphere to celebrate our week that delegates sang and danced till the midnight hour.       

Julie, Charles and Mbarou

Julie, Charles and Mbarou

 

http://www.last.fm/listen/artist/Joe%2BNina/similarartist… 

Joe Nini and Friends   

Joe Nina jamming with friends and family
Delegates get in the mood to party

AIN Delegates get in the mood to party Hilton style

 

 
Patricia and David

Patricia and David in the mood

 

Sipho and friends are "rapped" by JN

 

Cinderella time

Mbarou, David and Julie chillout - Cinderella time approaches

 

Richard and Julie await oor coach n horses

Richard and Julie await oor coach n horses

     

18th March AIN Conference 2010 DAY 2 AM – Coastlands upon the Ridge Durban

March 25, 2010 at 9:57 am | Posted in AIN, Business Support, Economic Development, ICT, incubation, incubator, networking, Tools | Leave a comment
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solantern 

  Mobile       

 Guid Morning Durban! what a first Day can we keep up this standard – let’s try,        

Our 2010 conference delegates and speakers have each made this long trip to participate in the largest, most extensive AIN conference hosted by infoDEV, Seda & SABTIA we have ever had.
They have arrived safely and on time from the United States of America, the United Kingdom (Well Scotland really – but I never complain ‘cos we run the country anyway – don’t we Gordon and Alistair – well for the next 5 weeks at any rate – vote labour for sustainable recovery!), Senegal, Uganda, Benin, Botswana, Nigeria, Tanzania, India, Zambia and all the delegates from all parts of the Republic of South Africa .     

The early 8am start and the lift up to the 6th floor venue was proving a challenge for many of oor esteemed colleagues = Durban rush hour traffic? jet lag? free beer and SA wine? or too much floor exercise with the DJ last night at the Yacht club. My lips are sealed. RSA seems to dance to its own beat – don’t ya think?      

South

Looking SW

 

SE

Looking South

 

SSE

Lookin SE

 

Hmm ….. time then for a cup of java lava as Steve tells me – coffee and biccies, fruit juice and a stroll around the roof top veranda wi’ ma camera – as stunning and sunny Durban starts a anither new day. Coastlands upon the Ridge has only been open 4 months but you can see how it is going to be a popular venue for conferences in the future!       

E

Looking East

 

N

Looking NE

 

W

Looking West

 

 In addition each room has its own balcony, wicker furniture and light breeze off the Indian Ocean.     

Aah we are getting on the road again, thanks Koogan crack your whip laddie! What do you have in store for us today? PS all hyperlinks below lead to the speakers presentations – enjoy!!       

Alan

Alan & Jayesh

 

Our conference today was to start once again at 8am!!, with Ms. Nandipha Bam, the Acting CEO of Alfred Nzo Development Agency of South Africa, moderating the session on Women, Youth and Rural Incubation, in which the CEO of the Seda Sugar Cane Incubator and Agriwiz, Malelane, RSA (SESUCI) (click to review) , Mr. James Vos shared the platform with Ms. Louise de Klerk, the CEO of Timbali, Nelspruit, RSA , (click to review) an agricultural incubator, Ms. Erica Elk, the Executive Director of  Cape Craft & Design Institute, Cape Town, RSA, all of South Africa and Dr. Mbarou G. Mbaye, an Independent Consultant from Senegal addressing us on Global Research – Incubation for Women (click to review). 

James queried as a member of the male species and not getting any younger his being the choice to lead off this topic but within minutes we could see what a great choice it was. Empowerment of Rural Women through incubation, a Case Study (click to review) I became absorbed in the difference incubation makes to farming – equalling and exceeding the top 5% of commercial farmers within RSA is the entry criteria for their support and participation – jings that’s a tough criteria to meet as an incubatee farmer seeking help to market. I cannot think of many global incubators setting the bar this high. If we all take only one thing from this week for me it has to be this slide from James       

Incubation v Non Incubation

Non Incubation v Incubation {Hello Charles, nice to see you again}

 

 I must admit I thought my short visit to Mozambique for my first AIN conference 3 years ago was an eye-opener but James’ revelation that his staff included legal experts who ensure the title to land passes swiftly to or stays with the surviving female farmer before bankrupcy ensues and land fertility is lost was a shock.     

Although farm workers, including my father his 7 brothers and 2 sisters, in Scotland suffered with farmers and tied cottages as they worked the land – no-one lost their livelihood in the ways described here.     

His presentation is a “must read this folks” – sorry but it takes 10 minutes and is packed with facts and successes. In talking with James afterwards he indicated to myself that there are announcements to come later this year which anyone with an interest in Agritech will benefit from – watch this space.       

Amablom brand

Amablom Brand

 

 Next up was Louise – I am afraid we Scotsmen are apt to wear our hearties on our sleevies and she had me goin’ big time. She immediately made us aware of circumstance, of passion, of dedication, of how we can make a difference working with our clients. The truth in simply stating you MUST record data first in order to be able to measure and reap success. timbali     

  Timbali Technology Incubator’s Enterprise Development Model for Rural Women in Incubation (click to review) I may have become interested and worked within incubation since 1988 but this was someone who is fast tracking horticulturists and hitting export markets – I for one will be looking at the branding of my flowers in UK supermarkets next time. Ms de Klerk, each time I see your picture or till we meet again, “par excellence” sums you up for me.     

Cape Craft & Design Institute      

Cape Craft & Design Institute clients

Having sweetened us up talking about sugar cane production and convinced us to shop for flowers when we get home up stepped Erica to extol the virtues of incubation the craft and design sector in Eastern Cape.       

CCDICape Craft & Design Institute est 2001.

What we are hearing and seeing again this morning is the importance of supporting and encouraging collaboration, cooperation, supply sourcing and joint marketing of sectoral products and initiatives.      

(Presentation still to be uploaded)

   

  

 

Cape Town   

  

  

 Our closing speaker before lunch was Mbarou from Senegal Global Research – Incubation for Women (click to review) WOMEN BUSINESS INCUBATION IN AFRICA: BUSINESS INCUBATION A NEW PATH FOR WOMEN ENTREPRENEURS IN AFRICA. Mbarou is working with Heinz Fielder and others within the infoDEV working party in this very important field of research.       

Many of Mbarou’s slides jumped up for me revealing in their own words the barriers women seek to overcome in deciding to formally start their own business – not just in Africa.       

Starting any business

Starting any business

 

—Overall, there is a lack of policy geared toward business incubation in Africa
—Lack of financing (86% of responses), lack of information (64% of responses), lack of supportive networks (50%)
—Constraints related to gender role and the social status: lack of self confidence (34% of responses) and lack of role models       

Day 2 Continued……….       

   

AIN Conference Durban, PM Wednesday 17th March 2010

March 24, 2010 at 8:43 pm | Posted in AIN, Business Support, Economic Development, ICT, incubation, incubator, startup | 1 Comment
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Lunch was sprinkled with gems – meeting colleagues for the first time that I have collaborated with over the past three years only by phone, Skype and email. Amongst the notables were Phindile, Lynnette, Leone, Lalane, Charles, Ben, Iegshaan, Gordon & Quinton.    

Mark, Beryl, Lee, Alan, Goosain & Paul introduced themselves with business cards and brochures and the new bits of the AIN network jigsaw started to get filled around the edges for me.    

After lunch, we moved on to the role of Incubation in Local Economic Development.

This session was moderated by Mr. Phindile Tshabangu, who is the Business Developer for Innovus Technology Transfer, at the University of Stellenbosch in the Western Cape Province South Africa. Phindile is a cool dude when it come to cartoons!!    

Mr. Nigel Gwynne Evans, Director: Department of Economic Development and Tourism in the Western Cape Provincial Government in South Africa.    

no seats left

Standing room only today

 

Coming after lunch, Nigel came into the don’t dare fall asleep or you will miss some important advice.   Clusters – A framework for Incubation 
Touring Cluster networks in Italy and France brought us to why the Western Cape seem well versed in using incubation as an economic development lever. It came across loud and clear and goes back 14 years now. With 24 established and emerging clusters  – Michael Porter must have visited here for sure?      

‘Nigels department is 250 strong and surely plays hardball in winning budget and projects for his region. Sounds like they have 7 new incubators in the pipeline too – WOW what a note to finish upon!!!! NB Must add Cape Town to my To Do list [and maybe tour the wine cluster] – sheesh I need more paper.    

Nigel’s demand that  Sector Focused Incubators should not be considered unless framed within a cluster context! ensured that we ended his presentation on the edge of our seats with questions in mind.    

in conferenceMr. Phillip Sithole, the Head of Business Support and Markets Unit in the Ethekwini Municipality (of which this beautiful city of Durban is a part), gave us the Eastern Coast experience.  { NB Presentation to be uploaded when available} Philip also whetted our appetite for Fridays tour of Durban’s good and great incubators with SMART XCHANGE top of our list.     

Mr. Caiphus Chauke, the Executive Director is responsible for Local Economic Development in the Tshwane Metro, in Gauteng South Africa.   ENTERPRISE INCUBATION Development Strategy, Twashane LED. RSA 
With a staff of 11 (jings maybe small but performing miracles) he made sure we became aware of the way incubation and technology demonstration centres have mitigated the downturn in manufacturing while strengthening the supply chains and recently  attracting Foreign Direct Investment from the likes of BMW and Ford to his province and elsewhere in South Africa. RSA is definitely punching above its weight in the 21st C.    

With strong support and training programmes for University graduates and entrepreneurs,  Caiphus’s team and their Public and Private Partners have another 9 incubators are in the planning pipeline. Do they get any sleep I wonder.    

Densely populated [90% increase in Southern region and +22% overall ] and with many educational challenges – Caiphus explained the strategic sectoral programmes being implemented with alacrity and focus.  
—Automotives and Related products —Tourism and Related Services —Agriculture and Agro-processing —Aerospace and Defence Technologies —Mixed Manufacturing —Business Process Outsourcing & Off-shoring —Research and Development —Alternative and Renewable Energies ØInvestment Target = R400 million p/a    

Questions were masterfully delegated and speedily despatched by our moderator and even after this session finished many delegates  stayed back and button holed their speaker of choice. No hiding place could be found……….    

 

AIN Conference Durban, AM Wednesday 17th March 2010

March 24, 2010 at 5:06 pm | Posted in AgriTech, AIN, Business Support, Economic Development, ICT, incubation, incubator, Online Community, startup, Tools | 1 Comment
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Up early and revised my speech. Nerves and adrenalin kick in as we move towards the commencement of first day’s proceedings. Decide to skip breakfast and to have a hearty lunch once I have spoken!! Check out my ppt works (phew safety net in place, now I can deliver it?) 

Day1Discover we will have a full conference room with 130+ delegates. There have been a number of last-minute entries and arrivals.  

As everyone registers, we get delegate bags, agendas and brochures including a superb publication “celebrating incubation in Africa 2010” packed with incubator facts, client success stories and forewords from Valerie, Michael and Jayesh. If the proceedings can match this standard of knowledge and dissemination – boy are we all going to be glad we came. 

Incubator exhibitorsThe adjacent room is for coffee and breakout networking and already the place is buzzing. Lots of smiles and handshakes as we re-aquaint or meet for the first time face to face. We are surrounded by exhibition stands revealing the breadth and depth of markets’ AIN and SEDA incubator clients are already taking to Domestic and International markets. 

exhibit2 

These range from essential oils, natural extracts and nutrients for the starving and rural many to products for thoroughbred race horses – organic & “green” cleaning and disinfectants for hospitals – Crafts and jewelry, smart software, digital media and e-commerce. 

One stand is dedicated to franchise opportunities – never thought of bog rolls as a route into your own business? 

Definitely worth spending more time here speaking to the staff and their clients – add to dac’s  TO DO list. 

Koogan Nairoo our programme director gets us all seated and gives us taste for what lies ahead. [click to view doc] Calm and unflappable – just what you need when logistics of late arriving speakers raise their heads. 

AIN2010_Official_opening

Welcome and Official opening By Hlonela, Logie, Valerie, Jayesh & Michael

 

Firstly the CEO of the Small Enterprise Development Agency (SEDA): Ms. Hlonela Lupuwana performed the official opening declaring not only how wedded South Africa is to incubation for economic growth but showing her personal committment to AIN and SABTIA by remaining with us throughout the 2 days proceedings – a first in my experience of previous conferences. Thank you. 

Opening addressMr. Deputy Mayor, Councillor Logie Naidoo avoiding the jokes about the gridlock and Durban traffic welcomed us all to Durban, He regaled us with why come to Durban? It has the World Cup venue closest to the beach and with the most sunshine – we must all decide to be here in June. The best stadium, the city with the most fibre connectivity, the best incubators recognised by the World bank and infoDEV, the best conference venue in Africa AND the best Local and Provincial governments. 

Valerie

Valerie da Costa, Head of infoDEV

 

Now we were all spellbound and glad to be here. We listened as Ms Valerie da Costa Head of infoDEV presented their new investment strategy to the Conference. [click to view ppt] Lots of opportunities for partnership, collaboration and action – just the food to give the troops, sitting on the stage I could see the cogs ticking and the pens writing furiously hanging on her every word. 

THEN Jayesh whispers I am up second before and NOT after him. Before I realise I am in full swing – trying not to get too excited  – speak slowly David as with your dialect no one will understand a word………. 

growing Africa through incubationGrowing the African Incubation Network [click to view ppt] Solvebrand is based in Scotland 1 hour north of Edinburgh but in real-time it is “only an arm’s length away” [between head & keyboard] from everybody in AIN and our virtual business incubator clients within North America, Europe, Africa and New Zealand!
We started using Skype in 2002 as no. 70,000 and 70,001  to support and collaborate with our network. 

David

David, AIN webmaster

 

Now when we go online over 20M people are talking at the same time. VOIP has saved our incubator $10000 in telephone costs alone. Two examples of our most successful clients are Dr Phil Harrington, YouBloom, based in LA/Ireland and Jessica Fulmer Mo-DV Inc, HQ in San Francisco. 

Nobody looks like they are falling asleep from jet lag – good – proof will come in the question time.  

I then showed the audience that;
* From the 50+ incubators on our AIN Bing map 6 months ago, we have now located over 150 incubation centres and hotspots in 25 countries.
* From the 300+ AIN membership, we now have accumulated 500 subscribers including diaspora and expats seeking to support African Incubators and entrepreneurs.
* I also took the opportunity to explain the recent membership experiments with AIN on LinkedIN [click to join  – sourcing fellow incubator professionals, supporters and mentors] and AIN on YouNoodle [click to join – tools for AIN newsletters, networking, competitions and forecasting ventures’ success]. 

Jayesh

Jayesh, Seda STP International perspective

 

Jayesh completed our International Perspective by showing us the impact incubation is making within Southern Africa.   “Turning 8 in 10 failures into 8 in 10 successes”  STP Incubators in Comparison Internationally [click to view ppt] 

AIN RSAI noted there are 29  STP-supported incubators across South Africa serving 17 industry sectors and sub-sectors. 
  1 x Private Sector Incubator  
  4 x Incubators that have Local and Provincial Govt support
  Approx another 5 that do Incubation related services  

Incubation in RSA has been around for approx 10 years  
Almost all Incubators are not University based.  
All STP Incubators models have been adopted internationally but adapted to South African needs creating – Growth, Equity and Employment. 

We now all sat down bang on time and opened the floor to questions – they came thick and fast from the floor, many probed, some enhanced others thirsty for more examples. A lively and rewarding exchange of professional and succinct responses. …………..and so downstairs to lunch

AIN Conference Durban, Tuesday 16th March 2010

March 23, 2010 at 10:03 am | Posted in AgriTech, AIN, Business Support, Economic Development, ICT, incubation, incubator, Online Community, startup, Tools | Leave a comment
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AIN  

I left home at 8am Sunday 14th to travel from Edinburgh to Durban (RSA). It was 6 deg C. 

It was my first ever flights with Emirates and I will definitely use them again if the opportunity arises. Dubai is a stunning airport terminal with every facility you could wish for to pamper your needs. 

Touched down safely and smoothly but somewhat tired at in Durban 6pm local time on Monday evening after international transfers at Manchester and Dubai. Local temperature was a magical 26 deg C!! 

The Airport was busy. This is clearly a World Cup venue as I read all the advertising on display. Pity I am 82 days early and Scotland did not qualify. I am not allowed to say “Anyone but England” as that is deemed to be racist here in UK!! Well we can but hope – “”Come oan South Africa“” we will be watching every move? 

BTW What is this Fitba’ Friday thingie I hear people speaking aboot? (Sorry I do lapse into my Scots vernacular when I start to get excited.) 

Wow – the AIN conference is up on the adverts too – well done Pat & Zama @ ProactivePR. 

AIN conference 2010 

Don’t ya just luv that logo………growing Africa through incubation – yup that works for me. 

At breakfast on Tuesday I met Dr Mbarou Mbaye from Senegal one of the AIN committee members. I had previously talked with Mbarou via Skype so I already knew she is on the infoDEV global research Study team – incubator support for women into business. More on that topic later. 

Delegates continued to appear at our beautiful new venue Coastlands upon the Ridge during Tuesday – early for the conference which was due to start on the Wednesday. I find lasting and effective relationships often start with chance meetings during the times before during and after these collaborative events and today was no exception. 

In no particular order I met Dr. Julie Momah from the Technology Incubation Centres, Nigeria, Ms. Valerie da Costa, head of infoDEV, Steve Giddings, Regional Facilitator, Jill Sawers, InfoDEV Consultant and Ellen Olafsen, Operations Officer from infoDEV. 

InfoDEV support has been crucial and a catalyst and attractor for leveraging government and regional funding much of what has happened to grow AIN to this point – our third Annual Conference in Southern Africa. 

Chris

Chris

 

Another AIN committee member from Bandwidth Barn in Cape Town, CEO , Chris Vermuelen, arrived and we shared experiences on running competitions to select entrepreneurs suitable for incubation support and facilitation. I know he burned the the midnight oil Tuesday/Wednesday to make sure all the entries for the Cape competition were compliant as the 17th was the closing day for entries. Who says men can’t multi-task? 

The BWB Cisco online Entrepreneurial programme has just launched and sounds really good. It is a new exciting initiative for sub Saharan Africa! Good on you Chris. 

Jayesh Ravjee from STP / SABTIA and Michael Reddy FURNTECH /AIN hosted an informal evening meeting to welcome the infoDEV and AIN team members to Durban and to share progress on all fronts – Sub Sahara in advance of the Conference. 

Compared to other regional business incubation networks we are coming from behind. We have just reached 500+ subscribers for our Newsletter, while infoDEV have 5000 subscribers world-wide. Pulling our socks up with this conference is a timely and welcome shot in the arm for everyone interested in making a difference within Africa. 

infoDEV Nokia

infoDEV & Nokia partners

 

For their part Valerie gave us a good heads up, prior to her leading presentation in the morning. The “ink is still wet” on infoDEV’s recently agreed 2 year €11.9 million programme “Creating Sustainable Businesses in the Knowledge Economy” with support from Nokia and the Government of Finland. This will target Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe with particular support for countries including Cambodia (initiatives to support women), Nepal, Mozambique, Tanzania and Vietnam (initiatives to support women). 

With 4.6 billion mobile users around the world today we have the world’s biggest platform for economic development. It can clearly be utilised to transform the ability of the illiterate and computer-less population within developing world giving unfettered access to support within rural and urban communities. 

The recent Mobile Monday rollouts are a core part of raising awareness and the impact of mobile technology can have within Africa 

MobileMonday to launch chapters in Africa
09 Feb 2010 MobileMonday has announced the opening of chapters in Kampala, Uganda and Nairobi, Kenya. The Kampala chapter opens its doors on March 8, and the Nairobi chapter launches on March 11. A new South African chapter will also open in Capetown. After over a year of background work, the global organization formed a partnership with the World Bank to take the community’s concepts to several African countries. … 

and so to bed, my head reeling with new opportunities for sub Saharan Africa……….tomorrows conference launch awaited us.

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