Practical Skills for Microentrepreneurs: ACCION's Experiences with its ABCs of Business Training Program
This document is one in the series of InSight, a bulletin published by ACCION International. It presents ACCION's training program for microentrepreneurs, 'ABCs of Business', and the lessons derived from it. The training program imparts managerial abilities to a diversified group of target audience.
The document states that the program incorporates the following lessons from its analysis of other training programs and needs of entrepreneurs:
- Interactive training methods lead to higher learning;
- Entrepreneurs need solutions that satisfy their business needs;
- New knowledge needs to build and improve on the existing knowledge of the participants;
- Cooperative atmosphere creates more learning;
- New ideas need to be valid and applicable for participants;
- Solutions that show results in the short-run encourage participants to acquire further knowledge;
- Learning that challenges cultural norms is often not accepted;
- New ideas need to be in alignment with the existing environment and business context.
The document conveys that the 'ABCs of Business' program integrates cultural focus with emphasis on gender. It discusses the twelve steps used by the program, which are summarized as follows:
- Problem identification;
- Recognition of participants' knowledge;
- Exchange of knowledge and ideas amongst participants and facilitators;
- Reformulation of the problem;
- Creation of an action plan after evaluating different options;
- Implementation and evaluation of the action plan.
The document also presents participant feedback that shows positive impact of the program on entrepreneurs and their businesses. It concludes with ACCION's strategy to expand the program in Latin America.