23 - 30 May, 2001

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Incubation project for fledgling businesses

New entrepreneurs will soon receive much-needed assistance in the form of a business incubation project. The Kordin Business Incubation Centre, located in the spacious premises in a former factory on the Corradino Industrial Estate, is planned to go into operation in the early summer.

The project is being developed by IPSE (the Institute for the Promotion of Small Enterprises), who will also run it. Investment has so far reached Lm250,000.

The Kordin Business Incubation Centre has 57 individual units, ranging in size between 25 and 150 square metres. Tenants for these units are currently being sought, and IPSE will shortly embark on a marketing exercise to promote the initiative. The target business areas are: information and communications technology, mechanical and electrical engineering design, renewable energy, biotechnology, and generally innovative projects.

New businesses that meet the criteria for eligibility – there is a rigorous selection process – will be given space to operate, administrative support, and guidance. New tenants will undergo an intensive training course aimed at giving them a practical outlook on the world of business. They will be permitted to stay on in the incubator for up to three years, with a possible negotiated extension, though they would then forego their subsidies.

Business incubation is an economic development tool designed to accelerate the growth and success of new businesses, helping them to start out. The aim is to encourage entrepreneurship by giving business start-ups as much help as possible, to improve their chances of growth, and to better the overall rate of survival. The business incubator serves to literally ‘incubate’ businesses when they are starting up and need a great deal of support.

The Kordin Business Incubation Centre is the first of its kind for Malta. Though business incubation is used throughout the developed and developing world, in varying forms, and with different degrees of impact, Malta has so far had nothing similar, though the need has been felt for some time. International studies undertaken to evaluate the performance of incubators suggest that they can reduce the failure rate among start-ups to below 10 per cent over a three-year period, as compared to a 60 per cent failure rate among unassisted start-ups.

IPSE chairman Lino Callus said that, in setting up the business incubator, IPSE is seeking to actively encourage entrepreneurship. "The overriding mission is to generate economic wealth by facilitating the emergence of new and innovative businesses," he said. "We are concentrating on making business incubation a dynamic economic tool. This is something Malta needs."

Speaking on site at the Kordin Business Incubation Centre, the Minister for Economic Services, Josef Bonnici, said that Malta’s industrial base is faced with the challenge of moving towards a creative and knowledge-driven approach. "This change requires two main tasks, industrial re-engineering and the creation of new businesses," he said. "IPSE and the Kordin Business Incubation Centre are there to support these two tasks."

Those who are interested in receiving more information about the Kordin Business Incubation Centre may contact Ing. Ray Muscat at IPSE on 233838.

 



The Business Times, Network House, Vjal ir-Rihan San Gwann SGN 07
Tel: (356) 382741-3, 382745-6 | Fax: (356) 385075 | e-mail: editorial@networkpublications.com.mt