General Entrepreneurship Trainings for 2500 Trainees from 11 provinces
– Good Practice by ENHANCER
Project Name: Enhancement of Entrepreneurship Capacities for Sustainable Socio-Economic Integration
Duration: 1 January 2020 – 31 December 2023
Budget: € 32,502,249.00
The outbreak of coronavirus disease in 2020 coincided with the initiation of Project ENHANCER (Enhancement of Entrepreneurship Capacities for Sustainable Socio-Economic Integration) Project in Türkiye.
Funded by the European Union and implemented by ICMPD in coordination with the Directorate General of Development Agencies under the Ministry of Industry and Technology of the Republic of Türkiye, ENHANCER aims to contribute to the inclusion of Syrians Under Temporary Protection (SuTPs) in Türkiye to the Local Host Communities through livelihood and employment opportunities.
The ambitious aim of providing General Entrepreneurship Trainings to 2500 potential entrepreneurs from Syrian and Turkish communities in a period of 2 years seemed a hard mountain to climb given the closure measures. After long discussions on alternative routes, the final decision was to get on with the work with a result-oriented attitude instead of waiting for the lifting of Covid measures.
Since then, various inclusive tools and smart solutions deriving from a long list of lessons learned have served to turn the disadvantage of having to conduct these intensive trainings online to an advantage. Today, in September 2022, a total of 1927 Turkish citizens and Syrians under temporary protection have been certified and ENHANCER Entrepreneurship Trainings are becoming the face of ICMPD in Turkey.
The aim of this blog post is to introduce the nuts and bolts of ENHANCER General Entrepreneurship Trainings that may represent a best practice for similar trainings with resembling target groups. Below are some of the methods and practices which may be replicable in other migrant-receiving contexts.
Design of Entrepreneurship Training Content
- Instead of adopting an entrepreneurship training existing in the market, Project Team worked with a group of academicians from Business Management and Law Faculties in Turkish universities and several Syrian entrepreneurs to create ENHANCER’s own training content to respond to the needs of the project’s target population.
- To establish a tailored curriculum that will respond to the needs of Syrian trainees, a Learning Needs Survey was conducted with 1100 Syrians in Şanlıurfa, Gaziantep and Hatay.
- Project Team conducted regular meetings bringing together entrepreneurs with the module experts in order to strengthen the practical aspect of the training.
- The gender aspect of the training content was carefully designed with not only an academic perspective, but also with the contributions of a woman entrepreneur based in Istanbul.
- Since ENHANCER prioritizes integration and classes consist of both Syrian and Turkish trainees, training language is a key aspect. All training slides contain both Arabic and Turkish on the same slide and trainings are conducted with simultaneous interpretation.
- A major risk was weak translation of entrepreneurship terminology to Arabic. Hence, once translated into Arabic, all training material- power point slides and lecture notes were edited by a Syrian entrepreneur with Business Management education.
- All training staff, including assistants and interpreters participated in the Training of Trainers based on the lecture notes and slides in order to learn the training content.
- All trainings were monitored by a Syrian entrepreneur who held quick meetings with the interpreters on entrepreneurship terminology when needed.
Key Points in Training delivery
- With both Syrian and Turkish trainees in the same classes, difficulty in communication among classmates speaking different languages was a major barrier. Hence, Project Team added facilitators among the training staff, 1 facilitator for 10 trainees, to take part in the group work, contribute to the creation of a collaborative learning environment and support the interactivity of the classes. Facilitators have the role of ice-breakers in classes.
- Successful Syrian or Turkish entrepreneurs were invited as guest speakers to each class to motivate, inspire, and inform trainees based on their own experiences. Women and Syrian entrepreneurs are especially appreciated by trainees.
- In 2022, Project Team observed a decrease in the interest towards online trainings due to zoom fatigue in general. Thus, the training schedules were revised and face-to-face trainings were initiated in 11 provinces of Türkiye targeted by ENHANCER.
- Currently, training applicants can select between online and face-to-face trainings. With the introduction of face-to-face trainings, the rate in applications have again increased.
- Apart from the entrepreneurship trainers who conduct the training, each component of ENHANCER Project Team takes part in the trainings with short presentations on their work. This involvement supports the community orientation of ENHANCER beneficiaries, as trainees can directly ask Project Staff questions on ICMPD and other project activities.
- Project Team has a separate e-mail address for trainings, only provided to training participants and where both Turkish and Arabic e-mails are quickly replied. This serves accessibility of Project Team and leads to open and frequent communication with trainees and Project Team.
Training Duration and Agenda
- The duration of General Entrepreneurship Trainings is 24 hours, provided in various time arrangements, including work hours, weekends, during day time or in the evenings. Applicants are asked about their time preference in the application form and if selected, they are placed in a class according to their preferences.
- Training curriculum consists of modules on Introduction to Entrepreneurship, Innovative Entrepreneurship, Creative Thinking, Team Building, Marketing Communications and Customer Relations, Basic Accounting for Accountants, Finance, SWOT and Canvas, Legal Infrastructure of Entrepreneurship and Establishing a Firm and finally, Pitching and Presentation Skills.
- For a participant to be certified in ENHANECER General Entrepreneurship Trainings,
- the trainee has to be present in the minimum of 75% of the training
- the trainee should fill in pre and post tests
- the trainee should provide related ID documents
Monitoring and Data Collection
- Each class is visited by Project Staff and/or a Short Term Expert who fill in a standard Training Monitor Report.
- Trainees fill in an Evaluation Form which is available in both Turkish and Arabic.
- Training Monitor Reports and Evaluation forms serve to find areas of potential improvement in trainings.
- Project Team uses the online Learning Management System (LMS) to administer the training processes, ranging from application, selection, maintenance of ID documents, pre and post-tests, and certification.
- LMS, as a digital learning and data maintenance environment, facilitates the distribution and management of ENHANCER’s training content and include all aspects and materials of the trainings, keep the content centralized in a single source and allow easy tracking and reporting.
Measuring the outcome
- Apart from certification rates, ENHANCER expects an increase in the knowledge of participants and calculates this increase for every certified trainee.
- Pre and post tests measure the increase in knowledge in areas of Concept of innovation, Accounting, Branding, Customer relations, Investment capital, Business model, Legal structures to start a business.
- For a training to be successful, the increase in knowledge should not fall below 20%.
- General Entrepreneurship Trainings target to certify 600 more trainees and end the year with completion of 2500 certifications.
- In 2023, Project Team will start Technical Entrepreneurship Trainings and certify 2500 trainees interested in market and sector specific entrepreneurship trainings.
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