Start of the construction of ISDB incubator, Mozambique

13 October 2020

ISDB description

  • Instituto Superior Dom Bosco
  • Located in Maputo
  • Programmes in Engineering, Hospitality, Tourism, Business and other
Associated project 

  • NICHE-MOZ-234
  • Strengthening professional training at ISDB
  • Partner: MSM
  • Link to project

In the final year of the project on strengthening professional training in Mozambique (NICHE-MOZ-234), specific effort was put into developing an entrepreneurial policy and mind-set at the Instituto Superior Dom Bosco (ISDB), a TVET teacher training institute in Maputo.

To achieve this, besides developing an entrepreneurship strategy, an online blended ToT workshop was organized for ISDB. This workshop followed the initiative of another project CINOP is implementing in Ghana.

Additionally, an exposure visit to the BHive incubator of North West University (a previous CINOP NICHE project), the SEDA Platinum Incubator and Riversands incubation hub was conducted earlier this year in South Africa. Linked to the initiative to design a transversal education module on entrepreneurship, this visit inspired ISDB to develop their own incubation activities. Over time, this idea grew to a concept and is now being implemented  with the construction of an incubator at the ISDB campus.

Preparation

Before deciding to build a physical space for the incubation programme, strategic discussions were organised aiming to discuss  the goals of the incubation programme, the integration in the institutional strategy and the overall educational activities.

How would this be supported by a physical space? Is it actually necessary for ISDB to have a physical space for this?

At the start of the COVID-19 crisis, multiple online strategic sessions were organized to brainstorm about these  topics and build the strategy for the incubator of ISDB.

As with many incubators associated with an educational institute, the link between education and entrepreneurship, and the position of the incubator within the organisation sparked debate. On the one hand, the incubator team should work closely together to make entrepreneurship a crosscutting issue across campus. On the other hand, an incubator team should be free of some of education’s rigid processes, rules and regulations to be able to organise innovative activities and inspire students and possibly external clients and partners, to start their own business.

In the end, physical space was deemed necessary to truly bring a presence of entrepreneurship to the campus. Furthermore, the space is to be used for organising events such as business competitions, and host shared office space where the future entrepreneurs can kickstart their business and learn from each other. The incubator team will be present most days of the week, to guide students with questions to the right activity and next steps.

As a consequence of the ISDB mission to support the community, the incubator will be open for the surrounding community inhabitants, to help them with their businesses as well.