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Challenges and opportunities for incubators in West Africa

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 Challenges and opportunities for incubators in West Africa

The population boom in West African countries is bringing more and more young people into a labor market that cannot yet absorb them. Many of these young people are now turning to entrepreneurship as a source of employment. This, however, often takes the form of subsistence and informal entrepreneurship.

Unlike growth and innovative entrepreneurship, this form of entrepreneurship is not capable of generating sustainable jobs and therefore cannot act as an engine for economic development.

Innovative entrepreneurship is proven to be a determining factor of growth: it stimulates productivity, creates jobs and helps improve citizens’ quality of life. So-called ‘growth entrepreneurs’ are the drivers behind this innovation and they contribute to their countries’ economic and social development. As Joseph Schumpeter once said, ”innovation is the driving force of economic progress, and entrepreneurs are the agents of innovation.”

Crossed views on incubation - Example from a French " public "Allegre"-type incubator

After encouraging the creation of companies based on the results of public research, the challenge for public authorities is now more to grow these companies to benefit the national economy from their high potential. This article examines the role that support can play in the growth of these businesses. It draws on the analysis of ten years of operation of a public incubator, Languedoc-Roussillon Incubation, to propose avenues for action. Article is available in French language only. 

Academic paper on the entrepreneur-support structure relationship through various theoretical models from management sciences

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entrepreneurisl support academic article

This contribution offers a modelization of the entrepreneurial accompanying relation with a focus on players'games and intersubjectivity which are constitutive elements of the accompanying relation. Critical configurations which restrict nascent entrepreneur's learning capability are described. The article is only available in French language. 

Business Incubation Management Training Program (infoDev)

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Business Incubation management  training

Toolkit for Business Incubators in developing countries and training materials consisting of the following modules: 

  1. Business Incubation Definitions and Principles 
  2. Planning an Incubator
  3. Marketing and Stakeholder Management
  4. Financing an Incubator
  5. Managing the Incubator
  6. Monitoring, Evaluation and Benchmarking
  7. Implementing a Mentoring Program
  8. Deals and Financing for the Incubator Clients 
  9. Technology Commercialization Through Incubation
  10. Setting up Virtual Services
  11. Agribusiness Incubation