Brazilian technolo...

Brazilian technology entrepreneurship leads the way

Brazil is poised to transform itself into a global leader in technology and entrepreneurship, says the Christian Science Monitor. In a lead article prompted by last October's 3rd Global Forum on Innovation and Entrepreneurship, the international publication highlighted Brazil's entrepreneurial leadership and showcased infoDev-supported incubator, the Genesis Institute. The article quotes Eduardo Costa, chief of innovation at the Brazilian Financing Agency for Projects and studies (FINEP) saying technology SMEs are an engine of economic growth and stressing the importance of incubators; "We are betting this will have a transformative effect on the country."

The Christian Science Monitor draws attention to Brazil’s significant investment in R&D, a figure that meets the OECD recommendation of 1% of GDP. Valerie D’Costa, Programme Manager of infoDev, praises the entrepreneurial culture of Brazil, and attributes it to the country’s diversity and Brazilians’ ingenuity in difficult economic conditions.

The Genesis Institute at the Pontifícia Universidade Católica in Rio de Janeiro is featured as an example of young entrepreneurs starting businesses right out of university. It has graduated 47 companies that have created 887 jobs. Genesis is one of the many incubators in infoDev’s network in 86 countries.  

infoDev’s Global Business Incubator Initiative helps small companies to harness new technologies and build scalable businesses, creating high quality, sustainable jobs. Infodev's incubator programs in 86 countries have generated more than 220,000 jobs since 2002. The entrepreneurs they support, Valerie D'Costa says, "are harnessing technology with a view to making a scalable business out of it."

The article’s preparation coincided with the 3rd Global Forum on Innovation and Entrepreneurship and the National Seminar on Science Parks and Business Incubation. These events took place in Brazil's own ‘silicon valley’, Florianapolis, in October 2009 and were attended by nearly a thousand leaders, entrepreneurs, professionals and scholars from around the world. The Global Forum launched a Caribbean regional business incubation network and the Global Innovation Commons.

infoDev used the Forum to focus its membership on the need to strengthen knowledge sharing among developing countries and create further south-south links.  A key element of this effort is iDISC, infoDev’s online portal. iDisc is a support center for incubators and a repository of information and training materials.  iDISC is used by more than 5000 people in the developing world every week.

Co-incubation, mobile technology, clean technology were all identified as priorities for infoDev global incubator network.  The date of the 4th Global Forum on Innovation and Entrepreneurship, to be held in Helsinki in 2011, will be announced shortly.

Background information:

In September 2008, infoDev established a strategic partnership with the Brazilian Ministry of Science and Technology (MTC), the Brazilian Service of Support to Micro and Small Businesses (SEBRAE), and the National Association of Entities Fostering Innovative Undertakings (ANPROTEC). Through this partnership, Brazil joined infoDev's Donors Committee and hosted the 3rd infoDev Global Forum on Innovation & Entrepreneurship in 2009.

infoDev’s Innovation & Entrepreneurship program builds local capacity in developing countries to create the conditions that foster innovative enterprise creation and growth.  infoDev meets this goal primarily through its global network of business incubators.  The network was launched in 2002 with support from the Government of Japan.  Today, the infoDev network consists of nearly 300 incubators in over 80 developing countries assisting 20,000 entrepreneurs that have created more than 220,000 jobs.

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