This study examines technology incubation centres’ contribution to international youth development in Kenya. The concept of the technology incubation centres is increasingly being recognized as a practical tool of entrepreneurship. Kenya seems to be making major strides in its improvement in the ST&I sector and the success is being reflected in the economy. However, there are gaps/ loop holes that exist in Kenya’s technology sector that have greatly hindered the maximization of incubation centres to a level that would propel Kenya’s economic development to a higher level.
The variables analyzed include legal, policy and institutional frameworks, functioning, skills development, employment creation and recognition and challenges encountered in the operations of the technology incubation centres.
The study is conceptualized using a framework that analyses variables like existing sound system, structure, personnel, innovation, nurturing young firms, providing facilities, business networking forums, advocacy, legal advice and IP protection, development funds, government policies and the private sector experience. These factors lead to youth skills and entrepreneurship development, employment and business opportunities.
This study finds out that technology incubation centres contribute to international development of the youth. However, this can only be achieved if strong policy, legal and institutional frameworks are in place. For sustainable functioning, a balance needs to be struck in the set up, research and training and programs. The programs need to be comprehensive, systemic and well planned so as to achieve the expected outcome. In Kenya, sustainability is lacking, as there are challenges of inadequate resources like manpower, low stakeholder input and inadequate funding.
In addition, the study finds out that challenges like lack of long-term courses and trainings that provide both theoretical and practical skills, competing interests between the innovators and the incubation centres and financial constrain incubation centres impacts cannot be achieved.
Recommendations emanating from this study include introduction of policies that address technology incubation centres directly to promote sustainability of the start-
ups and encourage the existence of real enterprises. The government needs to give more direct support for the technology incubation centres as they are recognized as one of the contributors of achieving the vision 2030 goals. It should also work with the private sector in strengthening holistic entrepreneurial support within the technology incubation centres. Further, it is necessary for a balance to be struck between policies and services provided at the technology incubation centres. Since the success of technology incubation centres ultimately results to economic growth and development, it is important for further research to substantiate the economic value attained from the success of technology incubation centres in Kenya.