The Higher Education Commission (HEC) has given permission for five more universities to launch business incubators (BICs).
According to HEC officials, the commission has given its approval for the establishment of BICs at the Muhammad Nawaz Sharif University of Agriculture in Multan, Kinnaird College in Lahore, Fatima Jinnah Woman University in Rawalpindi, Mehran University of Engineering and Technology in Jamshoro, and the Lahore College for Women University.
The authorities added that the HEC promotes the development of BICs in Pakistan’s Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in order to provide young entrepreneurs and researchers interested in launching early-stage businesses with the infrastructure and support services they require.
Organizations known as business incubators provide a range of specialised tools and services to assist new and startup enterprises throughout their formative years. These services were developed or planned by the business incubator, which offers them either directly or through a network of contacts. The main goal of a business incubator is to establish prosperous companies that will leave the programme on their own and be financially stable.
By generating jobs, revitalising towns, and commercialising cutting-edge technology, graduates of the business incubator programme contribute to the growth of local and national economies.
“Instead of producing job seekers, we are changing fresh graduates into employment providers,” a spokesperson of HEC stated.
BICs may be established in public sector HEIs where the Office of Research, Innovation, and Commercialization (ORIC) is currently functioning in accordance with the BICs policy, which the HEC introduced in 2021. To gain from business incubators, the university may work with other HEIs (both public and private).
In addition to an independent incubation centre, the HEIs may potentially organise a group of institutions to create a BIC (ideally composed of four to five HEIs nearby).
According to the HEC legislation, the HEI and the HEC will split financing for the creation of BICs 60:40 for just two years. If the agreed-upon deliverables and output are met, the BIC Steering Committee releases the funds to the HEI (or the top HEI in the consortium) in instalments. The Business Incubator Manager is in responsible of running the day-to-day operations of the business incubator, which also involves developing the facility’s infrastructure, educating new tenants, providing support for existing tenants, and marketing the facility.