Business Development Services (BDS) providers from Northern Tanzania and Zanzibar gathered for an interactive nine-day training workshop hosted by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) on 15th – 25th March 2022.
The workshop, held in Moshi Town, Kilimanjaro, aimed to impart 13 selected DBS providers with the knowledge to be certified trainers to support Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises Development (MSME) recovery and resilience in the post-COVID-19 climate.
ILO’s programme on supporting micro, small and medium-sized enterprises in the horticulture subsector to build back better is part of the UN Joint Programme which includes 3 other agencies UNDP, UNCDF and UNIDO. The ILO component works to provide training through specialised tools to assist MSMEs to expand, gain access to new markets, and transform their businesses to cope with and recover from the negative impacts of a sharp decline in tourism on the horticulture sector.
The training utilised ILO entrepreneurship training kits such as Get Ahead for Women in Enterprise, Improve Your Exhibition Skills (IYES) and sensitized the BDS provider on Popular Version of Labour Laws for MSMEs for Mainland Tanzania, to skill the BDS providers to deliver entrepreneurship training skills to MSMEs in target regions coupled with assistance to develop their own plans and management programmes.
According to Lead Trainer Noreen Toroka, the participatory and interactive nature of the training programme will have a lasting impact on creating good trainers who can have an impact on entrepreneurs from all walks of life:
“We must remember that we work with a variety of individuals, some of them have special needs including those with low literacy skills. We need to learn to communicate with them in a clear and impactful way,” she informed the participants.
The learning by doing training approach was appreciated by the participants.
Tanzania Horticultural Association (TAHA) Agronomist, training participant, Zebedayo Sanga lauded the interactive nature of the training:
“I love to work with farmers, it’s in my blood, but sometimes it is difficult to teach properly. I will always remember what I’ve learned during this training because the trainer allowed us to take part in shaping the training and leading in the learning process. I’ve also learned a lot about practical training. I am looking forward to teaching my farmers’ groups using simple aids and tools to help them understand me better.”
The training used practical and discussion-based methods to introduce participants to several key aspects of agri-business such as:
- Access to Markets
- Access to finance
- Record keeping and costing
- Understanding gender, gender equality, gender roles, responsibilities and how they may relate to enterprise development.
- Business ideas, opportunities, and challenges
- Management of time, people, and resources
- Farming and business life cycles
- Production processes and technology
- Building successful networks
- Challenges women entrepreneurs face
- Labour laws and decent work for MSMEs in horticulture sector.
The soon to be certified BDS trainers are expected to employ the training they have received to empower entrepreneurs to development of innovative solutions in response to COVID 19 particularly in the horticulture sectors were many women and youth work in.