Future of Development Begins Small
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Sunday 24/2-1/3/2008 13 North Africa Times Business Incubators of Creativity Future of Development Begins Small By Mohamed Ahmed Al-Aswad international and local comparison and quality tile industries to halt. By eighties, the concept of prises (SMEs) make the majority of the industrial measures. This can be clearly seen in the emer- incubators was spread throughout Western Eu- establishment in most of the countries worldwide S mall and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) are the main driver of economy and growth in most world countries especially in Libya where SMEs which enjoy unique characteristics like ﬂexibly, ability to rapid change and ability gence of global standardization systems in the form of uniﬁed academic scientiﬁc certiﬁcates including the MBA, Quality Management Sys- tems QMS ISO 9000, Environment Management rope and East Asia. The incubators’ names var- ied according to each country until they reached 4300 incubators. At the mid of nineties, incuba- tors started to emerge in Arab countries with the and that they are the main pillar for industrial development. Meanwhile, most of the develop- ments have a direct impact on the development of SMEs. In addition, globalization pushes these Systems EMS ISO 14000, systems of granting cooperation of European Union and World Bank. enterprises forward due to the increasing com- to create and develop. They are the main ab- conformity certiﬁcates for products, services and Meanwhile, United Nations for Industrial Devel- petition. Logically, theses policies and programs sorber of labour and real driver of investment, individuals Guide 65 ISO, systems of granting opment has played crucial role especially in the that are meant to enhance the role of these en- economic growth and competition. The support approval certiﬁcates ISO 17000 and systems of third-world countries and Eastern Europe after terprises shall be according to local conditions, of SMEs will have a positive impact on the over- granting health and occupational safety certiﬁ- the collapse of Soviet Union. resources and skills, especially those skills of the all national economic infrastructure, emergence cates ISO 18000. contractor of each country taking into consid- of promising institutions able to secure jobs for These factors also include the expansion of Financing Incubators eration the priorities of business enterprises and young people. Enhanced sustainable develop- education, private training and access to infor- According to reports and statistics, 70% of the problems they might encounter. Any devel- ment relies on the support of young job seekers mation through distance education and training the incubators are governmentally ﬁnanced, opmental program shall take into consideration, in collaboration with different institutions in or- as well as open universities. Number of uni- whereas 30% are ﬁnanced by proﬁt or private or- while offering support and assistance and exam- der to create a suitable climate for SMEs. This versities and training centers has reached more ganizations or self ﬁnanced enterprises. Incuba- ining the targeted group, the quantity and variety will be accomplished through: than 56000 institutions. Also, the promotion of tors provide youth with the chances of success, of individual enterprises. Therefore, SMEs will -Seeking a clear vision on SMEs through the role played by mega economic institutions promote conﬁdence, improve skills, establish be uniquely the best solution for developing the wealth contribution programs and various lend- in establishing knowledge institutions through connections with various customers, facilitates Libyan economy. ing policies. integrated development programs such as No- communication, provide information as well as This project aims at creating job opportuni- -Wealth distribution programs and various kia, Honda, and Microsoft … etc. Besides the simple equipment and place needed for work. ties, achieving wealth by means of possible policies of lending. reliance on human resources is one of the most As for the state, incubators contribute in en- knowledge networks through initiation, inven- -Reconsideration of legislations and arrange- important components for the national economy hancing the State’s income growth, promote tion and business incubators in order to trans- ments in order to create an appropriate and en- development and sustainability. sustainable development programs and help in form the inventions into SMEs that enhance the couraging climate for the operation of such in- This is attributed to the fact that the human avoiding market failure and stagnation. They also contribution of Libyan work force in the national stitutions in Libya. Such climate shall ensure the mind has longevity and is more capable of in- help in promoting for development and regional income. The project also aims at enhancing the employment of the largest possible number of creasing production whenever its creations in- development, creating job opportunities and add requirements of sustainable development in Lib- job seekers. crease and more methods are rendered available corporate tax as well as upgraded enterprises ya and providing new job opportunities through -Supporting and developing service network to it. Consequently, organizations, foundations taxes; thus, the existence of incubators indicates developing the current work force. for the existing and emerging institutions to and institutions were emerged to nurture inno- the State’s commitment to help. Regarding uni- This shall be achieved by integrating them serve to the needs of each of these institutions. vators and linking such bodies to the supporting versities and scientiﬁc research centers, incuba- in SMEs; increasing their productivity; reduc- This process shall include institutions of higher systems, organizations and foundations and in- tors create a kind of communication among these ing work force working in administrative bod- education and advanced training, research cent- cubation of nascent projects as well as small and universities, training centers, scientiﬁc research ies; helping job seekers to form SMEs; offering ers, various productive and service sectors and medium enterprises, which are known as busi- centers and various economic activities, a thing them support and technical and administrative ﬁnancing sources. ness, technical and technical innovation incuba- which helps marketing inventions to investors as assistance; supporting inventors of the gradu- -Promoting labor force contribution in the tors. well as enabling post graduates and researchers ates from various education and training institu- development of the national economy through to best use their efﬁciency and capabilities and tions in order to materialize their thoughts into the adoption of the innovators’ thoughts as well Business and Technical Innovation Incubators: encouraging their initiatives. SMEs; promoting sustainable development pro- as assisting them in converting such ideas into The incubator is the place where thoughts Concerning businesses and activities, incuba- grams; improving the citizens’ living conditions promising economic projects. are adopted to produce new products or develop tors work on increasing invention opportunities, in Libya; strengthening intellectual property pro- -Spreading of creativity culture and sustain- existing industries through the establishment of create serial management according to social grams; increasing Libyan knowledge capability ing trust through developing personal capabili- SMEs. Such incubators present to these innova- responsibilities and develop knowledge and in- involvement in the national and global economy ties and technical skills of the individuals. tors sufﬁcient information and the studies needed tellectual property economy. As for international and connecting education, training, production -Promoting the intellectual property programs for work plans and project feasibility studies. community, incubators create the opportunity of and service sectors in a comprehensive relation. as well as the awareness competition. They also contribute to marketing their products technical transfer and marketing among corpo- These projects also aim at increasing per capita -Transferring technology amidst the swift de- as well as maintaining their growth in addition rate customers and their respective incubators. income, promoting national income, reduc- velopment of science and knowledge. to introducing comprehensive services such as They also establish a wider understanding of ing monetary loss and upgrading the programs -Use and development of new technologies. providing a location for the projects, services, business and activities culture and facilitate the of approving professions according to global communications along with providing some in- process of expertise exchange whether through standards. The importance of incubators lies in Knowledge Capital puts and equipment. Furthermore, the incubator partnerships, alliance or exchange. creating an atmosphere that helps establishing The capital knowledge is the yield of the hu- assists in establishing a connection with ﬁnanc- In order to succeed and establish successful new companies, increasing job opportunities, man mind or in a broader sense is the scientiﬁc ing sources, laboratories, factories… etc., which enterprises, incubators shall have external factors making use of available human and material yield and capability that could be taken from helps projects to be successful ones. that enjoy the culture of creativity and desire for potentials represented in the factories, universi- human beings, while it is not a human capital. Business incubators are developmental and regional development, sector integration among ties, higher institutes as well as research centers, Therefore, countries surpassing us have made it economical institutions aim at supporting and the different sectors of training education, pro- which would help in providing large portion of by devoting great effort to develop the knowl- parenting innovators and inventors to establish duction and service activities as well as needed needed material or intellectual potentials. How- edge capital of their citizens. Such countries con- SMEs. It also aims at creating jobs, sites and in- ﬁnancing. This is in addition to the political, ever, in the light of the unavailability of clear de- sidered the human resources as the main source creasing the national income through developing economical, ﬁnancial and social support, work velopmental programs, issuance of decisions to of the national economy and have achieved this knowledge capital, utilizing skilful workforce monitoring and helping it to succeed and the con- shift to production and ownership of industrial through several factors, which are known as the and achieving sustainable development through: tinuous assistance inside the incubator until the properties, increasing rate of unemployment and factors of knowledge capital formation. -Developing speciﬁc areas. birth of a result-guaranteed enterprise. the growing disguised unemployment, there has Knowledge management is a new measure -Developing the priorities of a speciﬁc technol- On the other hand, in order to set up an in- been a dire need of this project. and science that contributed to emphasizing the ogy. cubator, a number of major constituents shall be The project started in June 2007 and will pro- concept of global economic competitiveness. -Developing markets and supply of new prod- available such as markets, ﬁnance, connected vide service, facilitated procedures and training It has also divided the world among those who ucts. work plans besides clear vision represented in a to start operation in a number of activities and have knowledge and those who haven’t. This in -Connecting education and training to the labor common vision of the project’s tasks; such vision positively contribute to economic development turn rendered knowledge an important global market. requires youthful human resources. In addition, through maximizing the possibilities of success commodity that can be sold and purchased. It has -Developing knowledge and natural resources. an incubator to be established also needs social and value-added jobs and services via establish- moreover been limited to those who are able to -Enhancing the State’s competitiveness. support, infrastructure needed for the projects, ing Libyan high-tech companies and contribut- create and manage it. detailed work plan for each project in order to ing to receiving internationally recognized cer- Other factors include: the dependence on high There are different kinds of incubators that en- support it, market and public or private ﬁnancing tiﬁcates especially professional ones “Guide 65 education, conducting distinguished occupation- able each country to choose the most suitable resources. ISO and EMS ISO 14000 and other quality as- al training for largest number of people, obtain- economic and social systems. These incubators The operation of the incubator requires a man- surance and chemical treatment certiﬁcates. ing of more efﬁcient scientiﬁc and occupational shall serve the interests of each country in en- agement supported by efﬁcient administrative This makes us expect that the following re- scope in order to increase competition among hancing the national income, using work force services besides supporting inventors through sults will come out: the increasing number of innovators, consider- to the best, providing national market needs and universities, training centers and scientiﬁc re- ●Contribution to providing sustainable develop- ing the students and employees of the universi- boosting their global competition capability. The search centers and connecting the project to the ment, ties and institutions as partners in creativity as objectives of incubators include the following: incubator. Such requirements need technical and ●Development of national technological and in- well as establishing the team work spirit among -Dual-usage incubators (business – technology). social approaches, monitoring, assessment and formational economy, themselves. The above-mentioned factors are -Incubators for serving certain technical objec- exploring outputs. This shall be summarized in ●Direct contribution to creating sustainable job main components in acquiring and developing tives. cost efﬁciency and performance, effective and opportunities and increasing incomes, knowledge. -Incubators for community development. noticeable revenues and sustainable develop- ●Developing integral industries and support of This led to the emergence of new ﬁelds such -Incubators for serving manufacturing compa- ment. intellectual property programs, as biological technologies, visual and simulation nies. Then, why business and technical innovation ●And reducing dependence on the public sector. systems, genetic engineering, knowledge man- The concept of incubators dates back to the incubators have been selected as the most suc- The project then will attract key partners from agement, technology management, electronic beginnings of ﬁfties after the United States left cessful way of work? They have been selected as the specialized popular committees, the Libyan management, medical engineering, mental plan- the World War II where stagnation and unem- such due to the strong administrative support and national Organization for Youth, the National ning and developing personal capabilities. There- ployment increased and big traditional factories simple cost, which was depended on the techni- Organization for Standardization, universities, fore, basic and applied sciences are no longer stopped. cal base. research centers, advanced vocational centers, separated from each other and the increasing In 1973, with US assistance, the ﬁrst English chambers of commerce union, the businessmen scientiﬁc economic competitiveness based on incubator has kicked off due to the industrial The Importance of SMEs for Libyan Economy: council, the Socioeconomic Development Fund, knowledge, initiative, immediate response and stagnation that caused the English steel and tex- Studies show that Small and Medium Enter- banks and scientiﬁc societies.