Entrepreneurship is a long lasted event that helped the developed countries reach here. There is no question that Ethiopia and many other African countries need entrepreneurship to get rid of poverty. Governments in these poor countries should encourage entrepreneurs by providing a better environment so as to help them achieve their goals and contribute to the development of their countries.
It is through this initiative that the “locally new” business incubation project was started in Ethiopia. The project focuses on Information Communication Technology (ICT) and started the incubation process in five regional states of the country. These incubation centers accepted young ICT graduates from their respective region and provided training and other necessary office materials to start their own ICT business. These projects were initially supported by ICTAD, a World Bank project that focuses on development through the use of ICT. Currently, the projects are handed over to their respective regional ICT Development agencies.
One of these incubation centers is SNNPRS ICT Business Incubation Center(SICT-BIC). It is located in Hawassa city, a capital of the Southern Regional state of Ethiopia. The project accepted 12 companies in January 2010 and currently there are about nine companies, some of them are currently inactive due to “internal problems”. But generally speaking, these companies have survived the new and challenging business environment for the past 13 months.
These companies are established mostly by new ICT graduates who had no experience in business, and who left college just few months before the establishment of their companies and even the incubation center itself. They received trainings on business, entrepreneurship and other management and accounting principles.
Even if there are challenges that these companies are facing, most of them are still struggling to win the market so as to develop their financial capacity. These companies have different visions which they hope to fulfill in few years to come. But the current financial status of these companies is not that much satisfactory. In a meeting with officials one of the guys in a company said “…our income is just from crimper to mouth…”.
The role these companies will play for the development of the country strictly depends on their persistence to stay in the challenging business environment. The companies are expected to graduate and leave the incubation center for another entrepreneurs at the end of December 2011. Having almost a year ahead, the companies are struggling to make their business grow and achieve their visions in the years to come.
(…off course if there is something called “luck“)