Tianjin Women's Business Incubator (TWBI)


  TWBI is based in Tianjin, China's third largest city, and has the status of a non-profit mixed incubator specializing in assisting women entrepreneurs and fostering growth in the employment of women made redundant through economic reform and restructuring. Established 2000, it is China's only women's mixed business incubator. It was established with the financial assistance of the Tianjin Municipal Government, which provided the building and some cash investment, the Tianjin Women's Federation, and three other local government authorities. The incubator had received earlier technical assistance, in the form of business planning, consultancies and training, from UNDP, and has been guided in its establishment and development by Australian and US consultants. Incubator managers have traveled extensively abroad to learn from other incubators, and have drawn extensively on the NBIA website for information.

  It currently has a building area of 5,000 sq. meters, with 48 on-site tenants and 7 off-site tenants, and to date, has graduated 8 enterprises. Directly and indirectly it has been responsible for providing employment opportunities for an estimated 4,000 people, a ratio far higher than developed country incubators. It offers clients start-up assistance, business training, business mastermind assistance, and assistance to graduates, and facilitates an on-site micro credit program which received seed funding from UNDP and the Tianjin authorities. Operating at full capacity, it has managed to develop near financial self-sufficiency through charging for office rents, business services and external training courses. It has become famous in China as a model, and acts as a centre for study tours from other incubators and incubator intenders in China.

  In 2003, TWBI obtained the support from World Bank info Dev Incubator Initiative Project with its unique environment of employment creation and entrepreneur in China. It establishes a foundation for using ICT on enhancing business effectiveness of both TWBI and its incubatee. The info Dev funded work program is to include a mix of pre-incubation preparatory work (facilities set-up and management); incubation program administration (business development, ICT infrastructure, management and legal issues); marketing and networking (branding, and financing); and post incubation activities (knowledge dissemination and outreach functions). TWBI focused on fostering of ICT using awareness and abilities for its staffs and SMEs. Under the support of info Dev, TWBI had qualification of ^Start Your Business ̄ and had computer classroom, had a ability of training ICT. These activities are a role of positive impact on the SMEs development and begin to utilize their benefits.