The Business Hatchery Services (BHS) is the third part of Enterprising Ethiopia program. In Harar we ran a pilot program during 2011 that helped 4 of the business start-ups from our Bright Futures/New Venture Creation programs.
From the pilot we have learned that we need to have a structured approach to the support and advice that we give the businesses. This is to avoid them asking the BHS manager to solve all their little problems and in effect taking over responsibility of running for the business from the owners!
The Business Hatchery Service (BHS) is provided in the Ethiopian towns/cities where Alchemy has an Enterprising Ethiopia Program.
Business Hatchery and Incubation, which include a building to house the businesses, have a long history in the USA and Europe and the idea has been adopted in different forms in large number of countries in the developing world.
Virtual Business Hatchery / Incubation, without a building, is also widely practiced and is the form of Hatchery we will be practicing in the Ethiopian BHS.
The working methods we use draw heavily on the best practice methodology drawn up by United Kingdom Business Incubation (UKBI)
The purpose of the BHS is to provide a 1 -3 year support program to businesses that have started as a result of the Alchemy World programs such as Bright Futures, New Venture Creation, and also businesses started as a result of the activities of the University Enterprise Societies. We may also take on businesses who ask to register and meet our criteria but have not been involved with our program(s) before.
Recruiting Business and registration process
The recruiting of businesses to join the BHS needs to be a formal and rigorous process so that both the businesses and the BHS manager know what is expected of them. The opportunities and the limitations of the BHS need to be clearly understood.
The expectation will be that before a business joins the BHS it will have started trading or at the least will be very close to starting.
The portfolio of Business Hatchery Services
Established Hatchery /Incubation environments provide access to a wide range of business development resources tailored to the needs of their clients. The list below shows the top ten business development services provided by UK incubators /Hatcheries
Networking between members
Access to finance
Business Development programmes
Mentoring Legal advice
The Alchemy BIS will have to build up its portfolio of business support services over time. But we will from the outset provide a core of business services which should including access to:
Business planning and basic business skills development (e.g. business plan writing, marketing, recruitment)
Mentoring (i.e. one-to-one, ‘hands-on’, tailored advice and support)
Networking and professional services
Finance and financial advice ideas and knowledge
Accounting and book keeping assistance
Access to specialist loans, grants and seed funds
IT advice and assistance (e.g. ISP service level agreements, domain hosting, etc.)
As well access to specialist services for their clients, dependent upon factors such as their sector, size, age, etc.
Over time, and depending on the businesses that join, the Alchemy BIS may also need to provide other services including:
Technology commercialisation assistance
Technology assessments / proof of concept
Patenting and other forms of intellectual property protection
Sector specific networking
Web-based information ‘portal’
Enterprising Ethiopia with Alchemy World Addis Ababa & London facebook.com/enterprisingethiopia twitter.com/EntEthiopia