Background of Global Business Labs
GBL originates from Sweden and is a model accelerating new ventures with high growth potential. Through a global network of business labs, GBL strives to support young and driven entrepreneurs in building their ventures. Through providing infrastructure, coaching, knowledge and network, GBL ensures faster time to market, faster growth and higher survival rate. The award winning business lab model increase return on investment, for the entrepreneur, partners, investors, and the local communities.
GBL is an initiative sprung from Stockholm School of Economics (SSE), one of the leading business schools in Europe. Today a separate entity, GBL strives to support driven entrepreneurs in building their ventures through a network of business labs. We provide infrastructure, coaching, knowledge and networks to ensure faster time to market, faster growth and higher survival rate. GBL’s research-based and award winning model of incubation increases return on investment for the entrepreneur, partners, investors and the local communities in which we operate. GBL is not a competitor to local incubators. Instead, GBL is focusing on a niche in the market – that of high potential, well educated, and international growth. The idea is to balance local economic development and extend that on the global market, thereby creating long-term sustainable economic development.
By developing the local markets in terms of knowledge, products and jobs, GBL contributes to poverty reduction through business- and job creation. Economic growth is essential for societal development and SMEs normally constitute about 99% of business in a country. To achieve this, enabling youth to pursue successful entrepreneurship is crucial.
The target group of the initiative is young, highly educated, high potential entrepreneurs with an ambition to grow their business. By cooperating with organizations close to the academic world, GBL gets access to qualitative deal flow, expertise and experience from academic staff and an important network of alumni and stakeholders from the university. Our process is based on over 15 years of research and experience from over 1000 start-ups.
The GBL Network leads to a two-way knowledge exchange not only between people and teams but also across boarders and continents. Furthermore, it provides Lab Companies with the opportunity to expand to other markets at an early stage without high risk as they can open simultaneously in another Lab on a second suitable market. The Labs are set up in partnership with the leading university in each country. The academic partners are providing GBL with facilities and are catering for operational costs once the Lab is up and running. GBL’s academic partners are:
Uganda: Makerere University
Namibia: NBIC, Namibia Business School (NBS)
Botswana: University of Botswana
GBL provides a more intense version of reality and offers a safe haven for start-ups without handholding. In practice this means the entrepreneurs get an opportunity to test their idea and team, however do not get dependent on support they will no longer receive once they graduate from the program. This model has proven to result in higher survival rate as well as faster growth. There are some success stories that have emerged from our initiative. For instance, Egora Inc. which was started by two young entrepreneurs, Mwesigye Mugisha Prosper and Mugulusi Ronald. Ten months ago Egora Inc. released a product for bulk SMS called Egosms. With this product the companies today has a steady growth but are looking to expand and accelerate their business. They are planning on releasing their second product: Ego-cash, which aims at making the microfinance sector mobile a next step of expansion.
Yet another one is Namugongo Good Samaritan that was started is lead by two young entrepreneurs called Aero Lillian Olok and Noel Babirye. By producing and selling African craft such as jewelry, table mats and bowels – all made out of recycled paper, Namugongo Good Samaritan is making profit and doing well at the same time. Today the company sells their products both in Uganda, The US and The Netherlands, employing around 50 women. With a clear objective of expanding their international market Lillian and Noel are joining Global Business Labs to get that extra push and network that they need.
GBL Next Frontier
After proving successful in Sweden over the past decade and nurturing companies now valued to more than 1 million US Dollars, GBL is now launching its entrepreneurship program in Uganda, in cooperation with Makerere University. The selection process of potential lab candidates entails six steps with the main emphasis on the scalability of the business/business idea that an entrepreneur presents to us. In the end a successful candidate becomes a GBL Lab Company and they will get access to office space, coaching and a worldwide network. Once a company is admitted to the program, eight intense months of business development and acceleration awaits the young entrepreneurs. The selection process is carried out every three months to recruit new lab companies. Through helping these start-ups with scalable ideas Global Business Labs aim at creating jobs and alleviating poverty.
Editor’s Note: This is a sponsored and guest post by Iliana Björling Lindeberg, the Country Manager, GBL Uganda. She can personally be reached using his email [email protected] If you are interested, you can apply for the GBL Uganda program by sending an email to [email protected] describing your business/idea and remember to include your name and phone contacts. They are currently located at Makerere University, College of Computing and Information Sciences Block B Level 6 and are opened Monday-Friday 9am-6pm. Should you want a sponsored post, visit our contact us page or drop us an email([email protected]).