Africa with its growing share amount of small businesses has seen a few business hubs and incubators being introduced. Although many can argue, business incubation in Africa seems to centre around technology, mainly: software designers, programmers, and young entrepreneurs to connect with each other. Now Dutch NGO (spark) along with its partners have introduced the first Somali business incubator.
Spark and its partners have officially launched the ‘Africa House’, this is the first Business Incubator and Entrepreneurship Development Centre in the Somali Regions. This business Incubator and entrepreneurship development aims to develop entrepreneurship, through a range of activities which include; training, coaching and mentoring start-up businesses.
With the core ideas around the incubator being that of helping start-up businesses grow, this is in-line with the SPARK vision; SPARK: “believes that sustainable economic growth is essential for establishing self-reliance and thereby poverty alleviation. Creating jobs for youth in conflict affected societies and enabling an environment for youth to improve their socioeconomic position, are central in this vision.”
SPARK said that: “The Africa House initiative is part of the ‘Migrant Diaspora Entrepreneurship programme, the overall aim is to support entrepreneurship amongst Somali Diaspora migrants in the Netherlands and EU,”
Like the ‘Africa house’ other business incubators in Africa include: ‘The Wennovation Hub in Nigeria, which “train up to twenty-five entrepreneurs within each funding window (each funding window is to run from 9-24 months), another incubator is: “Ice Ethiopia is a recently established business incubation platform in Addis Ababa, “The company aims to set up a national based collaboration network and an institution for Ethiopian innovations. Combining ICT innovation with skills development and entrepreneurial know – how”
The opening ceremony was packed with prominent speakers from within the community, government and the education sector, Somaliland Minister of Industries Shucaby Mohamed Muuse has labelled the initiative “the first of its kind”. Other notable speakers at this opening ceremony Professor Saeed from Golis University, Abdi-Qadir Jirde former chair of the parliament and the DG of the Ministry of Commerce.
African small businesses are the current core of the economies per country, and such business incubators that will help small businesses go through proper planning stages to ensure that they build a long lasting venture.