Friday, July 03, 2009

Educational Incubation For Urban Communities by Akindele Akinyemi


We are at a crossroads here in Detroit. For the next two years we will experience a leadership shift in ideology that we have not seen in decades. For silver rights activists this is the time to seize the time by creating educational incubators within our educational system to generate wealth and increase our educational attainment.

The way we halt voting by name recognition here in urban Michigan is to have an approach that will force those in power to either come up with innovative ways to keep our communities intact or push them out of the way with new leadership that will eventually work for us.

Educational incubators are programs designed to accelerate the successful development of educational entrepreneurial companies through an array of business/education support resources and services, developed and orchestrated by incubator management and offered both in the incubator and through its network of contacts. Educational incubators vary in the way they deliver their services, in their organizational structure, and in the types of clients they serve. Successful completion of a education incubation program increases the likelihood that a start-up school will stay in business for the long term.

Educational incubators differ from research parks in their dedication to start-up and early-stage companies. Research parks, on the other hand, tend to be large-scale projects that house everything from corporate, government or university labs to very small companies. Most research and technology parks do not offer business assistance services, which are the hallmark of a business incubation program. However, many research and technology parks house incubation programs. The goal here is to "marry" both the research park and educational incubator.

Unlike many educational assistance programs, educational incubators do not serve any and all needs of the school. Entrepreneurs who wish to enter a educational incubation program will have to apply for admission. Acceptance criteria vary from program to program, but in general only those with feasible business ideas and a workable business plan are admitted.

The reason why it is important for both government, business and technology industries to take a look at educational incubation here in Detroit because Detroit Public Schools cannot be fixed. While I applaud the DPS Emergency Financial Manager Robert Bobb's efforts to bring DPS back to fiscal health he has concluded that DPS should file for bankruptcy.

I have long been a proponent of breaking up Detroit Public Schools into 7 smaller school districts. With in these districts we need to set up what is called an educational empowerment zone where not only we will be able to allow the Office of the Mayor to authorize charter schools but support the creation of educational incubators through public-private partnerships.

More than half of all educational/business incubation programs will be "mixed-use" projects; that is, they will work with clients/students from a variety of backgrounds.

Educational incubation can lead to a variety of economic and socioeconomic policy needs, which may include:

• Creating jobs and wealth
• Fostering a community's entrepreneurial climate
• Technology commercialization
• Diversifying local economies
• Building or accelerating growth of local industry clusters
• Business creation and retention
• Encouraging women or minority entrepreneurship
• Identifying potential spin-in or spin-out business opportunities
• Community revitalization through urban and regional planning

These educational incubators must be non-profit, faith based or community organized.

Utilizing educational incubators within the educational community here in Detroit will help bring forth a new silver right initiative for our future student population who are ready to become future small business owners.

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