Chandaria Business Innovation and Incubation Centre (BIIC)

The Chandaria-BIIC was launched by Kenyatta University (KU), with aid from partners, to support new and innovative ideas from students. The program aims to realize the goal of training job creators rather than job seekers in an effort to reduce poverty within the KU fraternity and its environs.
2013Kenya

CEI Plus Status

Program Results Status
Monitoring and Evaluation Reporting

Location Data

NairobiNairobiPeri-Urban, Urban

The Chandaria-BIIC is named after Manu Chandaria, a leading Kenyan Industrialist and businessman, whose foundation, The Chandaria Foundation, donated the bulk of the seed capital that has financed the construction of the Centre. The program was launched in July 2011 to support new and innovative Kenyan ideas. In line with Kenya's Vision 2030 and Kenyatta University's current Strategic and Vision Plan, Chandaria-BIIC focuses on supporting up to 100 innovations per year (70% KU students and 30% non-KU students). It aims to blend academic research with innovation through the establishment of companies. The program also aims to incline university students and the general population towards a culture of job creation, rather than a culture of job seeking.

The Chandaria-BIIC program is run by a board of professionals from both public and private sectors. Admission to the program is on a rolling monthly basis. Innovators are required to submit their innovations for consideration following set criteria. A panel of experts sits every month to review new applications and pick out those that meet the set criteria. Innovations can be categorized into any one of several phases: the idea phase, the research and development phase, the prototype phase, the start-up phase, the market phase, or the scale-up phase. Popular sectors with innovations in this program include Agribusiness and Agriprocessing, ICT, Energy, and Health and Nutrition. The incubation period lasts for a maximum of 12 months, although this period can be shorter if the innovation meets a success threshold before the 12 months are over. If, however, after 3 months the innovation does not meet the expected success milestones, it is exited from the program.

Depending on the needs of each innovation, there is a menu of possible support services that the innovators receive in order to nurture their businesses. These support services include assistance with business development, premises, telecommunication, and stationary. These services also include administrative support (provided by a full-time administrative assistant, engaged by the Centre, with a background in business administration and accounting) and professional guidance and mentorship (provided by entrepreneurs, who are regularly invited to speak with innovators, and by a selected team of professionals from relevant disciplines at Kenyatta University, who are available on a daily basis to offer advisory support). 

Additionally, while in this program, innovators undergo comprehensive business training. Innovators learn presentation skills, business etiquette, business regulatory compliance, technology commercialization, and intellectual property management. Innovators are also provided with easy access to bank loans and loan guarantee programs in the course of the 12 months.

 

The program promotes a culture of innovation among Kenyan youth by providing mentorship and entrepreneurial training, as well as access to loans for business start-ups.The Centre faces challenges in funding in order to scale up the number of innovators that go through the program each year.

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