Business News of 2014-01-14

Govt, KNUST sign pact for incubation project

The government has signed an agreement with the Kwame University of Science and Technology (KNUST) under which the latter is to release US$500,000 to support a business incubation project presently running in the school.
The business incubator is a facility designed to assist businesses to become established and sustainable during their start-up phase.
It is also expected to accelerate their growth while helping to manage the risks associated with fast-growing, early-stage businesses.
The agreement was initialed by the Minister of Communication, Dr Edward Omane Boamah, while the Vice Chancellor of KNUST, Professor William Otoo Ellis, signed for KNUST.
Presently, KNUST, in partnership with the National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI), has set up the Kumasi Business Incubator (KBI) to promote entrepreneurship.
The project would promote, nurture, and sustain innovative businesses to inject some pace into the economic development of the country.
It is also targeted to support students desirous of setting themselves up in businesses in key areas such as Information Communications Technology, especially software development application.
Other key sectors to be developed include agro-based product development and production, aluminium and other precious metal-based products, eco-tourism, medical and laboratory products, textile and garments, fashion and design as well as relevant machinery and equipment for these.
Incubation Centre
The incubation centre, located in the Musuem Complex of the university, would function as a non-profit venture.
The incubation period for every tenant would be three years and during the period they would have free accommodation, access to secretarial facilities and utilities.
They would be groomed through business plans preparation and be on industrial and business internship to enhance their entrepreneurial skills. The centre was presently assisting 25 final year and graduate students of KNUST to realise their entrepreneurial dream.
At the signing ceremony the KNUST Vice Chancellor, after initialling the agreement, said the university would ensure the success of the project by ensuring that it marshalled all the resources at its disposal to back it.
“We need to protect our reputation and, therefore, we cannot fail”, he said.
Professor Ellis said the project was also a response to the growing call for tertiary institutions to amend their curricular to incorporate training to enable the students to become mature.
“We ensure that students from the university have entrepreneurial skills because it is key for their survival once they step out of the school and so far, the results on their progress has been positive”, he said.
The Chief Executive Officer of the NBSSI, Mr Lukman Abdul-Rahim, pledged the support of the board to ensure that the project became very successful.
Commercialisation
Normally government sponsored research works, among other things, are not commercialised and they rather sit on the shelves to gather dust.
To reverse such trend, the Minister of Communications said the government was keen on ensuring that what came out from the incubation project was commercialised.