From classroom to Business & Innovation HUB - TUDARCo and MWECAU
The classroom at TUDARCo before the transformation to a Hub has started.
Plans for Hub space under way at TUDARCo
At TUDARCo we had been been thinking and talking about having a hub of our own for some time. Then the SUSIE project came along with the same idea!
The result area 3 of the SUSIE project focuses on improved accessible and interactive learning environments, with the second output being Sustainable business hubs in use. The result area 3 team at TUDARCo did not have any previous experience of setting up a hub. Knowing that there are other hubs around the country and in Dar es Salaam in particular, the team set out for a reconnaissance trip to check what others are doing and t0 find out how this could be replicated in our project.
The journey started at Sahara Venture, moving to Seedspace and finally to the Tanzania Commission for Science and Technology (COSTECH) and their Buni hub. During the visits, members of the team realized that for a hub to be effective there is a need for sufficient space and it is important to conduct a need assessment before developing programs, addressing the needs of participants. A great hub should also have systems in place which include management teams and policies. Other requirements are equipment, fixtures and furniture, and the staff that will be running the hub has to undergo capacity building to acquire contextual understanding.
The challenge that the team members encountered was how to replicate these hubs in a University setting. To address this challenge, they visited the University of Dar es Salaam Innovation and Entrepreneurship Centre. This visit opened up their eyes on how a functional hub could also look like at TUDARCo. Based on the findings TUDARCo managed to come up with their vision for the TUDARCo hub which included how to create online presence, co-exist in the ecosystem, how to create adequate, functional and practical space and the human resource to make it happen. Additionally, they have decided to make use of the offer by COSTECH to have their capacity built for free, and the offer by other hubs to work in close collaboration with the TUDARCo hub.
The next step for TUDARCo is to start setting systems in place and ensure that by April 2022 a hub will be in place.
Hubs at Seedspace and COSTECH (Buni hub)
Fostering Innovation and Creativity at MWECAU through the Business Hub
The establishment of a campus Business Hub at MWECAU in response to results area 3 is expected to foster innovation and creativity among the university community. The Hub process is designed in the way that the entire University community will actively participate. The University community will be encouraged to come up with ideas to be expanded to tangible results.
The actors in the MWECAU Business Hub shall be students, lecturers, departments, faculties, University Management and the entire Community outside the University. The expectation of the business hub is to develop students’ ideas to what will further yield to the actual products and services for community betterment.
Apart from creativity and innovation fostering, the MWECAU Business Hub is also expected to provide other opportunities to the students, the University and the community. These include learning opportunities, expansion of ideas, producing products and services, marketing opportunities for the University and employment opportunity for the students.
MWECAU is looking forward to developing the effective usage of the hub according to the plan that has already been set.
Author: Athanas Sing’ambi (Business Hub Coordinator for MWECAU)