Australian High Commissioner, Margaret Adamson farewelled 20 representatives selected from Business Incubation Centres (BICs) in Pakistan as they prepared to depart for a short course in Business Incubation Management in Australia.

 The BIC representatives will participate in a four-week training course in business incubation management in November and December at the University of Queensland. The course is funded by the Australian Government through the Australia Awards Program.

Ms Adamson noted that Australia had a highly developed business incubation system, with two of its Business Incubation Centres rated among the world’s top 10 in 2014.

“This course will enable awardees to learn from Australia’s experience and strengthen their management skills to apply in their work in BICs throughout Pakistan,” Ms Adamson said.

“The exchange of experience with business incubators in Australia will contribute to the advancement of small and medium enterprises, which will be an engine for inclusive and sustainable economic growth in Pakistan.”

Promoting and encouraging entrepreneurship in Pakistan is a priority for development according to the Government of Pakistan’s Vision 2025, and BICs have been identified as a key mechanism to achieve this development goal.  The Higher Education Commission (HEC) has launched 40 BICs in universities throughout Pakistan.

HEC Chairman, Dr Mukhtar Ahmed said the aim was to develop the capacity of BIC personnel to facilitate aspiring small business entrepreneurs to understand business development processes, infrastructure and product viability.

“The Commission recognises the current challenges Pakistan is facing in further developing our business incubation system, particularly in introducing a culture of entrepreneurship within higher education.  Likewise, BICs in the private sector are aware of the need to develop their management capacity to drive innovation in Pakistan,” Dr Ahmed said.

A final week of training will be conducted in Pakistan in December at Plan9 BIC in Lahore under a cost-sharing arrangement between the Governments of Pakistan and Australia to enable the trainees to consolidate their learning and experiences.