27 June – 3 July 2001

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Business incubation initiative gets off the ground

The Kordin Business Incubation Centre is now in the process of getting off the ground, with a seminar being held yesterday and another this morning at the Radisson.

The Institute for the Promotion of Small Enterprises, IPSE, is in the process of setting up the business incubation centre, Malta’s first, and has allocated a 57 unit area in Corradino for the purpose.

The KBIC, which is due to open next month, is being set up to assist those choosing to start a new business in aspects of training, business plans, financing opportunities, marketing, management, and the general principles of business.

Speaking at a seminar on the soon to be established KBIC yesterday, Economic Services Minister Josef Bonnici commented, "IPSE has been entrusted with a dual role; namely to guide the industrial restructuring process and to assist small firms in general.

"In addressing both these objectives, the initial emphasis has been on helping existing firms to enhance their competitiveness by improving their operational capabilities, by increasing their efficiency, by re-assessing their marketing horizons. Our principal focus, until now, has been to assist existing enterprises to evolve."

Once passing through a selection process for qualification, they will than be allocated a space at the centre for a timer period of up to three years, until they are on a firm footing to make their own way.

"Under one common roof, it brings together no less than 57 units - each of which will provide between 25 and 150 square meters of working space – with access to common support services and shared facilities, including opportunities for training in various fields related to business management," Prof. Bonnici adds.

Each unit to be provided to the new businesses at Kordin are equipped with electricity, water, telephony, data connectivity and basic furnishings. There is also a communal are made up of conference and meeting rooms, a reception area, a kitchen and a common room, while the KBIC premises will be open 24/7 and will be monitored by CCTV, with access granted to those authorised through the use of swipe cards.

According to Prof. Bonnici, "Initially at least, the principal focus will be on ‘applications’ in the field of information and communications technology, mechanical and electrical engineering design, projects related to renewable energy and biotechnology. Innovative projects in other areas, however, will also be considered.

"Ultimately, our objective is to encourage entrepreneurship and to facilitate the emergence of new and innovative business so as to stimulate further growth and the desired development of our economy. It is only through such development that we can secure the increase in our standard of living, for which we all aspire."

IPSE is currently accepting applications from those interested and is looking for new and interesting ideas with a realistic potential for developing into solid businesses.

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