InfoDev launched a East Africa Virtual Incubation Pilot on 25 January 2013, which focuses on providing virtual incubation services to rural communities in Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda.
The pilot programme aims to
- Provide the benefits of business incubation to rural areas
- Explore tools and business models that support sustainability of virtual incubation initiatives
- Measure the impact and cost-effectiveness of virtual incubation
- Share best practices and
- Build on InfoDev's existing investment in incubators in Tanzania and Kenya
The two year pilot program is being implemented byAfriLabs a network of technology hubs; Dar Teknohama Business Incubator the technology incubator funded by InfoDev and COSTECH in Dar es Salaam; m:Lab East Africa the mobile incubation centre established with funding by InfoDev in Nairobi; Hive CoLab an Innovation hub and incubation space in Kampala; NaiLab a start up accelerator in Nairobi and the Technology and Business Incubation Facility in Kigali.
Each partner will identify start ups that wish to be supported in rural areas in their respective countries, incubate them through virtual start up support, networking, mentoring and market access services, facilitate access to funding and track post-incubation activities. The aim is to create employment, provide virtual incubation services and actively support entrepreneurs outside the capital cities.
The project is funded through a UKAid Grant of $180,000 to implement the program for two years. This programme builds on the Lessons Learnt from Virtual Business Incubation study undertaken in 2011 and funded by Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland under the Creating Sustainable Business in the Knowledge Economy Programme.
During January 2013, NaiLab has also been awarded the implementation of a three year ICT Incubation Programme on behalf of the Ministry of Information and Communications with funding from the International Development Association of the World Bank as part of the Kenya Transparency and Infrastructure Project. Click here to read this article.