3.4.1.2 Stimulus to the development of local companies

Once the implementation plan has taken into account the ICT productive chain, it is very likely that micro-entrepreneurs will require incentives or subsidies for its growth and investment. It is possible that there may be groups of willing people who want to employ themselves as installers and provide maintenance or develop software. In spite of their interest, they may lack the skills, materials and/or funds to respond efficiently to the demand or business opportunities that present themselves.

In this sense, business incubators have proved useful for the development of micro-enterprises to meet communication needs in remote areas. An example of such a program is the Indigenous communications initiative My-Knet, which is supported by the Smart Communities Industry of Canada Program. It began as a system of personal paging services for Indigenous communities of northern Ontario. Today, the initiative boasts a system of broadband communications with multiple applications.

The successful development of micro-enterprises requires access to four essential elements:

  • Finance - access to monetary resources;
  • Knowledge and technical support;
  • Logistics for buying and selling (access to markets for inputs and the possibility of product placement); and
  • Ability to share risks.

There are multiple ways of ensuring access to these four elements, depending on national circumstances and the resources available. However, it is necessary that all programmes incorporate the four elements.