ASSESSMENT OF INNOVATION PRACTICES AT HIGHER LEARNING INSTITUTION INCUBATORS IN TANZANIA
In recent years, Innovation has experienced a remarkable growth worldwide. This has motivated development of Incubators to nurture new ideas into businesses. In Tanzania most Incubators were developed to nurture innovative projects that are already established into bigger projects and also help in bringing solutions related to the projects to the market. Some of the Incubators/Accelerator include Tanzania Renewable Energy Business Incubator (TAREBI)-Dar es Salaam, Anza Accelerator- Moshi, Reach for Change Foundation-Dar es Salaam, SPRING Accelerato - Moshi, Dar es Salaam, Dar Teknohama Business Incubator (DTBi), Zanzibar Technology Business Incubator (ZTBI)- Miembeni, and many others.
In addition innovation should be practiced in higher learning institutions to prepare young graduates to be creative and solve the existing unemployment problem. Among other efforts, students should be equipped with skills to integrate innovation, incubation and entrepreneurship in their professional disciplines, something that is currently lacking in their degree programmes hence causing them to end up thinking of being employed. This has motivated the development of ICT Incubator at University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM) and Sokoine University of Agriculture Graduate Morogoro Entrepreneurs Cooperative (SUGECO) at Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA) aimed at grooming students to be innovative and entrepreneurial minded. However, there are over 30 Universities that needs the same effort that have been started at UDSM and SUA but little have been done to assess innovation practices in these Incubators and how they have helped solving the problem of unemployment.
This research therefore focused on assessing innovation practices in the Incubators established at higher learning Institution mostly at University of Dar es Salaam and Sokoine University and examined to what extent the Incubators have helped the young graduates in solving the unemployment problem. The result of this research can serve as a guidance and motivation to other Institutions to establish a successfully Incubators.