MANILA (Mabuhay) – To accelerate business opportunity among Filipinos in providing more jobs to unemployed, a lawmaker has filed a bill seeking to promote a business incubation program in schools to give students unique educational opportunities and provide entrepreneurs with enhanced access to a skilled workforce.
Marikina City Rep. Marcelino Teodoro said academic affiliated incubators bridge the missions of academic institutions by bringing together education, economic development, and technology commercialization efforts.
As defined in House Bill 2475, a business incubator is 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.
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 measure 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 this Act.
As for the appropriated funds, the bill provides that the CHED shall use 80 percent of the allocation to make awards, on a competitive basis, in the amount of P20 million to help acquire or renovate space for incubators.
Awards in the amounts of 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.
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.
The CHED is further directed under the bill to use 10 percent of the amount on rewards, in amounts of P20 million to P50 million for feasibility studies for determining the need for or siting of incubators.
These allocations shall be awarded to a degree-granting institution or a non-profit municipality, city township, or community development organization.
Each entity desiring assistance under this Act shall submit an application to the CHED at such time, in such manner, and accompanied by such information as the CHED may require.
The CHED shall give priority to funding applications under this Act that provide strong educational opportunities to students in entrepreneurship, and to those that require significant collaboration between businesses, academia and local government and economic development leaders.
Teodoro said business incubators help academic institutions contribute to the local goals of sustaining economic development in their surrounding communities.
“Education in entrepreneurship and other business formation skills is essential to business success and sustainable economic development,” he concluded.(MNS)