29 November 2006
| Hyderabad, India
infoDev's 2nd Global Forum on Business Incubation took place in India November 6-10, 2006. The event highlighted the commitment of infoDev and its Global Network of Incubators' to foster ICT-enabled enterprise development in the developing world; solidified the Regional Networks of incubators; and called on infoDev to play an increasing role in capacity building, knowledge-sharing, monitoring and evaluation, and awareness-raising.
More than 300 participants from 60 countries gathered in Hyderabad India to learn more about how to most effectively promote ICT-enabled entrepreneurship, and to increase their capacity through networking and exploration of partnerships.
"We need to extend the benefit of IT and Internet to fuel innovation in traditional businesses...We need to break the myth that technology only serves the rich and we need to bring the benefit to the large section of the society" said the Chief Minister of the State of Hyderabad in his opening speech.
Dr. Reddy, Minister of Industry, Tourism and Sugar followed, stating that "to keep pace with paradigm shift in the economy, Technology Business Incubators have emerged as a powerful tool for nurturing technology and knowledge based enterprise and generation of value added employment."
Participants at the 2nd Global Forum on Business Incubation
Following the opening, the 2nd Global Forum was comprised of panel discussions with distinguished speakers from the private and public sector and academia, and parallel sessions where practitioners discussed key challenges, opportunities and lessons from their work in promoting ICT-enabled entrepreneurship. Along side this program the Regional Networks from Africa, Asia, Europe and Central Asia, the Middle East and North Africa, and Latin America and the Caribbean discussed the priorities and action plans for their regional network activities.
Also showcased at the Forum were video case studies of infoDev supported incubators Busy Internet in Ghana, ITCP in Brazil, TRECSTEP in India and CRC Incubator in Vietnam (see below).
Zhu Hongyan, Women’s Incubator, China
Zhu Hongyan from the Tianjin Women's Business Incubator in China said "in Hyderabad we had the opportunity to interact with the Vietnamese CRC Incubator. They also expressed an interest in learning more about the issues associated with women entrepreneurs, while TWBI in turn can learn from our Vietnamese counterpart on how to garner private sector support. The Forum has been educational not only from the formal program, but also through the networking opportunities."
Similar exchanges continued to take place throughout the Forum, connecting organizations from different countries, joined by their common interest to promote ICT-enabled economic opportunities.
The five day event ended with a Statement from the Participants as well as presentations of the Regional Network Action Plans (see below). Clear common threads among them were the call for increased capacity building for incubators, awareness-raising among policymakers, and international knowledge-sharing.
Eastern Europe & Central Asia Break-out Session
For the second time, the Global Forum on Business Incubation was co-hosted by infoDev and the Department of Science and Technology (DST), the government of India. Upon the presentation of the regional action plans, DST announced its intention to help fund the Asia regional network of incubators.
The Global Forum on Business Incubation forms part of infoDev's Incubator Initiative, an Initiative started in 2002 to facilitate ICT-enabled innovation and entrepreneurship in developing countries. The 2nd Global Forum marked a milestone for the Initiative, and the outcomes of the Forum, along side that of the recently concluded evaluation of the Initiative, will form the basis for the next phase of work in this area.
Forum Agenda and Presentations
Business Incubation Case Study Videos
Recommendations and Regional Action Plans
infoDev's Incubator Initiative
More about infoDev
Session summaries and the final report from the Forum will be available by the end of December 2006.