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Legislator bats for business incubation in schools

A BILL promoting a business incubation program in schools has been filed in Congress.

House Bill 2475 claims it will give students “unique” educational opportunities and provide entrepreneurs with “enhanced” access to a skilled work force.

The proposed law defines a business incubator as “an entity affiliated with or housed in a degree-granting institution that provides space, as well as coordinated and specialized services, to entrepreneurial business, which meet selected criteria during the businesses’ start-up phase.”

According to a paper written by three members of the De La Salle University Center for Lean Systems and Management, “Business incubation in the Philippines has focused on the growth of start-up businesses as individual entities.”

“These normally involve household businesses which have not established their business models. In previous attempts of the government to collaborate with academe in putting up an incubation facility, start-ups were housed in a government-owned facility to nurture their businesses,” Dennis T. Beng Hui, Emil Adrian V. Fernandez and Dhesirey Beryl K. Sio said in their report.

To note, the government operates several incubators with the science and technology department supporting and monitoring one technology business incubator each in Cebu City and Los Baños City, and two in Quezon City. The proposed law said the government would provide services to business incubators.

“These services include shared office space and services, access to equipment, access to telecommunications and technology services, flexible leases, specialized management assistance, access to financing and other related coordinated business or technical support services.”

The proposed measure also authorizes the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) to support the establishment and development of incubators and to appropriate from the National Treasury such sums it may deem appropriate in carrying out the purpose of the law should it be enacted. As for the appropriated funds, the bill provides that the CHED shall use 80 percent of the allocation to award, on a competitive basis, P20 million to help acquire or renovate space for incubators.

The proposed law added that about P20 million to P50 million shall be allocated for developing currircula, providing services, including preparing corporate charters, partnership agreements and basic contracts, assistance with patents, trademarks and copyrights and technology-acquisition services or providing programming for entrepreneurs housed in an incubator.

It added that the allocations shall be awarded to a non-profit entity that has a strong affiliation with a degree-granting institution and manages or provides technical assistance to the degree-granting institution’s affiliated incubator, or in its absence, to the degree-granting institution managing the incubator.

Jovee Marie N. de la Cruz

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