Many local and international bodies seek to support, develop and provide assistance to small enterprises, and these entities may be affiliated with the government sector or the private sector. There are parties that are limited to providing financial support programs, while there are bodies that provide additional assistance, such as advisory, administrative and other assistance. Examples of various entities that support small projects are: the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the US Small Business Administration, the Enterprise Europe Network, the Islamic Development Bank, etc.
In addition, business incubators and accelerators are among the most important providers that provide support and assistance to small projects, so we will talk about them in some detail below.
Business incubators and business accelerators and the difference between them
Business incubators and accelerators play an important role in helping individuals and groups to start establishing and managing their own projects and accelerate their growth process, and they also provide them with many services such as: financing, training, mentoring and mentoring, networking, and others.
Many people confuse the concepts of business incubators and business accelerators because they have several points in common, including that they both aim to help new ventures and startups grow by providing assistance and advice to them, but in fact. There are basic differences between business incubators and business accelerators. These differences include:
Business incubators provide their services to projects that are in the beginning of their launch and need a lot of development and support, while business accelerators provide their services to semi-completed projects in terms of maturity, which are characterized by the possibility of rapid growth. The period of incubation of projects in business incubators extends for longer periods (more than six months, and may reach years), while the incubation period in business accelerators ranges between one and six months. The criteria that business accelerators adopt for selecting projects are more stringent than those adopted by business incubators.
Note: There are many business incubators that are subsidized by governments, which enables them to provide their services for free. As for business accelerators and private business incubators (not supported by the government), they provide their services in exchange for a percentage of the shares of companies and entrepreneurial projects, and sometimes they provide them with loans that they must repay.
Missions and benefits of business incubators and accelerators
Business incubators and accelerators carry out several tasks, and the most important of these tasks are:
Coordination and management of start-up businesses. Provide startups with training, services, and equipment to support technology. Helping startups find clients and market them. Accelerate the process for startups to reach their goals and help them become able to manage their operations on their own and qualify them to succeed in the markets they target. Helping startups obtain the necessary investment and financing for their development. Facilitate the process of renting places for startups and providing offices for them.
In addition, there are many benefits to business incubators and accelerators, and the most important of these benefits are as follows:
Providing the necessary support for the success of projects and start-ups. Reducing the risk of projects and startups failing. Developing innovative ideas, especially in new technical fields. Contributing to economic development and wealth building. Combating unemployment and providing job opportunities. To diversify the fields of activity in the local economy and distribute wealth on a large scale by creating a vital sector of projects and start-ups. Encouraging entrepreneurs to establish and develop companies through the means and expertise that it provides to them to help them succeed.
Examples of business incubators and accelerators
The Badir Program for Technology Incubators and Accelerators is one of the most important national and creative environments in the field of innovation and support for the establishment and growth of pioneering and emerging projects in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which was established in 2007 by the King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology. Since its inception until today, the program has launched several business incubators; The number of incubators has reached eight in seven cities across the Kingdom, which in turn seek to support Saudi entrepreneurs and women entrepreneurs, and to establish a fertile environment for the emergence of emerging technology projects, based on the principle of reducing risks and building companies that are viable and sustainable.
Qatar Science and Technology Park
Qatar Science and Technology Park is one of the entities involved in research, development and innovation at Qatar Foundation. It is a free zone and a major incubator for applied research, innovative technology and entrepreneurship projects in the State of Qatar. Qatar Science and Technology Park paves the way for the development of new, cutting-edge technological products and services, supports the commercial marketing of promising technological products, and at the same time provides the modern facilities and atmosphere suitable for incubating technological companies, and focuses on four main axes: energy, environment, health sciences, and technology Communication and information.
Oasis 500 is one of the first investment funds in emerging projects and business accelerators in Jordan and the region. It was established in 2010 under the umbrella of the King Abdullah II Fund for Development. The fund focuses on supporting emerging entrepreneurial projects linked to two tracks: the technology sector and creative industries, and it has contributed to supporting more than 140 start-up companies, and was ranked in 2013 as the best business mentors initiative in the Arab world, after receiving the Mohammed bin Rashid Award for Supporting Youth Projects .
Flat6Labs is a regional business accelerator program that nurtures and invests in entrepreneurs who have a passion for developing and distinct ideas. It provides seed financing, strategic mentoring, workplaces and numerous perks and training on business, technology and entrepreneurship, and supports startups directly through a wide network of partner institutions and mentors. And investors. Flat6Labs business accelerators are currently operating in Cairo, Jeddah, Abu Dhabi, Beirut, Tunis and Bahrain, and are making efforts to expand into more regions in the MENA region soon.
Business and Technology Incubator (BTI)
The Business and Technology Incubator (BTI) of the Islamic University of Gaza is the first and largest incubator in the Gaza Strip, Palestine. It helps innovative entrepreneurs to develop their entrepreneurial ideas and projects, and provides them with administrative and technical training, guidance, counseling, incubation and networking services, as well as financial, technical and logistical support, and assists them in The processes of developing and marketing their products.
The concept of social entrepreneurship (or social entrepreneurship) has become a common concept in our time, but social entrepreneurship – in fact – has been applied since ancient times before thinkers turned to it and classified it under one of the branches of social sciences and derived a distinct concept for it. Writers and researchers disagreed about defining what is meant by social entrepreneurship, and there were many attempts to define the concept of social entrepreneurship, but most of them dealt with how to find innovative solutions to the problems of society without developing a comprehensive unified concept for this unique modern trend.
We can define social entrepreneurship in general as: the use of creative and innovative methods to develop projects and institutions that aim to achieve large-scale social benefits and impacts. We conclude from this that commercial profit is not the primary goal of social entrepreneurship, even though it uses traditional commercial methods to achieve social goals.
Social entrepreneurs are individuals who have innovative solutions to the most pressing social problems in the fields of health, education, environment, etc. They are similar to traditional entrepreneurs in that they are characterized by creativity, innovation and adventure, but they are distinguished from them by high humanity, self-denial, love for social work, belonging to people, commitment to social responsibility and long-term commitment With the projects they adopt, they dedicate their lives to working on them and not paying attention to material profits.
Effects of social entrepreneurship
Dr. Amal Khairy Amin indicates in her book “Experiences in Social Entrepreneurship” that the most important effects of social leadership on development in society can be measured according to the following levels:
Short term: tangible changes in the society’s economy (creating jobs, generating output, or increasing savings). Medium term: The value of social leadership is reflected in the fact that it works to achieve the well-being of society and improve its conditions, and then its success is measured by its ability to increase productivity and implement development projects. Long term: The most important contribution of social entrepreneurship occurs in the long term, and is measured by its ability to generate and invest social capital.
Handbook of Social Entrepreneurship
Do you want to be a social entrepreneur? Below we’ll show you the steps you can take to become a social entrepreneur.
Define your message in life: Al-Rafi’i says: (If you do not add anything to life, you are in addition to it). Life is not just about eating, drinking, and working for the sake of making a living; Rather, one should set a lofty goal that he strives to achieve, such as: reducing poverty in society or improving the quality of education. Create change with simple ideas: Many community problems can be solved with simple ideas such as: using photography or graphic design to serve a specific social cause, or addressing the problem of waste accumulation by recycling it. Dedicate yourself to a cause: Identify a social problem that interests you, gather information about it, try to benefit from the experiences of others, and make sure of your commitment and ability to take responsibility before you start using your skills and talents to solve that problem. Plan for the future: After you have defined your goal in life and have chosen the problem that you want to contribute to solving, you should draw plans that show you the path that you will take to achieve that goal, and you should evaluate your achievements first. Maintain your motivation: No one can continue to succeed in any work he accomplishes unless he maintains his enthusiasm and motivation, and this can be achieved by seeking the help of God and reminding oneself of the importance of the goal that you seek and following up on everything new regarding the social cause that you have devoted your efforts to serve. Create a creative idea: It is known that the process of generating ideas is not an easy thing, but there are many methods that can help in this, such as brainstorming and others, and most importantly, do not underestimate any idea; Many large projects start with small, simple ideas. Start implementing the idea: The idea will not turn into reality unless you start implementing it, and you should face the obstacles and difficulties that may get in your way while you seek to solve the social problem and not give up easily. It is worth noting that you will – most likely – need to hire other people and put together a team to work on implementing this idea. Team leadership: It is imperative to accurately identify and motivate team members and distribute tasks to them according to their skills and abilities. Team members also need to be developed and provided with the necessary training to keep them effective. (In Chapter Thirteen we will talk about the concept of leadership in detail.) Community awareness: You should launch many campaigns to convince the community of the importance of the idea and its role in solving the social problem that you seek to overcome, and you should also listen to the needs of the beneficiaries of the idea and their ideas that may inspire you and help you to achieve Idea development. Find sponsoring organizations: You can seek help from organizations that provide grants and support to social entrepreneurs, or that hold annual competitions, think tanks, and other activities that benefit every social entrepreneur or person who wants change.
Realistic example of social entrepreneurship
The rich American young man, Scott Harrison, was living his life like millions of other people without aim, selfishness and indifference to others until one day in 2004, he felt a stifling feeling of spiritual emptiness and despair, so his desire to change his current lifestyle pushed him to go on a trip to the shores of West Africa. Scott joined a volunteer group that travels by ship from one region to another to provide free medical care in some poor African countries, and he noticed the great difference between the luxurious life he was leading and the modest life he lived while on board the ship, but when he arrived at the shore and saw the amount of suffering he had. The poor in that region suffer from it, and he realized that everything he encountered on the deck was incomparable to the condition of these sick poor people.
Scott was shocked by the numbers of patients infected with many diseases transmitted through contaminated drinking water, and decided to do something for them in order to have access to clean drinking water, so he decided to cancel the celebration of his 31st birthday and donate the costs of the ceremony in favor of delivering clean water to the poor and invited his friends and relatives to donate In fact, more than 700 people donated money, which contributed to the financing of the first projects implemented by the Charity Water Foundation (the foundation established by Scott), and since then hundreds of Scott’s acquaintances have refrained from celebrating their birthday in favor of donating to purification projects Water for those deprived of it.
Charity Water’s mechanism of action is based on launching electronic donation campaigns for water purification projects that are implemented by very simple means, such as digging wells, using sand filters, or installing rainwater collectors. Since its establishment, the Foundation has implemented many water purification projects in several countries, and has also sought to improve living conditions in those countries by establishing sustainable projects in which local residents work to provide a source of income for them and their families.
Translation – and acting – of the chapters The Small Business Administration and Trends in Entrepreneurship and Small-Business Ownership from the book Principles of Management