From skills and learning to decent jobs: ILO holds its first face-to-face SIYB training of trainers in Iraq
The two-week training brought together trainers from a wide spectrum of financial institutions and NGOs supporting vulnerable youth, potential entrepreneurs, start-ups and existing businesses.
Erbil, Kurdistan Region of Iraq (ILO NEWS) Trainers from a wide spectrum of financial institutions and NGOs in Iraq have completed a two-week training of trainers workshop in February 2021 on the ILO‘s Start and Improve Your Business (SIYB) programme, to support young refugees, internally displaced people, and vulnerable host community members who are interested in setting up their own small business or improving existing ones.
The training, organised in partnership with the Iraqi Company for Banking Guarantees, brought together 20 potential trainers from 12 different organizations including banks and microfinance institutions that the ILO is working with, in addition to trainers from UNICEF-supported youth centres and partner NGOs, as well as local NGOs supporting Small and Medium Enterprises.
The trainers will go on to deliver the training package to youth being supported by different interventions implemented by the ILO. The package covers everything from generating a business idea and setting-up a business to improving existing businesses.
“The SIYB programme is very important for us because it provides a very solid resource that we can use to develop the capacities of our beneficiaries so they are able to start or improve their businesses,” said Noha Andrios, one of the participants, who works for Zakho Small Village Projects (ZSVP), a local NGO which focuses on supporting livelihoods projects for vulnerable communities.
The SIYB programme is very important for us because it provides a very solid resource that we can use to develop the capacities of our beneficiaries."Noha Andrios, one of the participants, who works for Zakho Small Village Projects (ZSVP)
The face-to-face training covered theoretical and practical topics on three inter-related packages: Generate Your Business (GYB), Start Your Business (SYB) and Improve Your Business (IYB), which are designed to respond to the progressive stages of business development.
During the workshop, participants reviewed SIYB modules and practiced their training skills in preparation for delivery. Towards the end of the workshop, participants developed an SIYB training plan outlining next steps and a strategy to train on SIYB in a systematic and sustainable way.
The training of trainers was also an opportunity to play the SIYB Business Game, a practical simulation tool to help participants understand the realities of starting and running a business, which participants can use during their training of entrepreneurs.
“It is not enough to simply finance entrepreneurs and small business owners. It is important to train them on the administrative and financial aspects of having a business, so they become more capable in managing their business, and we hope that through this training of trainers will be able to transfer this knowledge to them,” said Bilal Qasim from the Central Bank of Iraq, during the training.
It is important to train entrepreneurs on the administrative and financial aspects of having a business, so they become more capable in managing their business."Bilal Qasim from the Central Bank of Iraq
The workshop was a joint collaboration under two ILO projects, under the framework of Partnership for improving prospects for forcibly displaced persons and host communities (PROSPECTS), a multi-agency programme supported by the Government of the Netherlands, and the project ‘Improved BDS and entrepreneurship education targeting MSMEs and youth for decent work creation in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq’ supported by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), and implemented in partnership with the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ), which seeks to promote decent work opportunities in small and medium sized enterprises.
Under PROSPECTS, the ILO and UNICEF are working together to help young people transition from learning to decent work, using an inclusive approach through a range of comprehensive and complementary self-employment and wage employment interventions. The trainers will be able to reach 350 young people and business owners during the first year with the aim of institutionalizing Business Development Services (BDS) within their organization’s work plan for the future. This training of trainers is the first practical step in linking the trained youth through UNICEFs’ partners with access to affordable financial services that will help them start up their businesses and establish a decent livelihood.
“There are many young graduates with high potentials and some have business ideas but they don’t have the right opportunities to execute them, whether financially or technically. This training will ensure that they receive the proper knowledge which they can then adapt to their own business ideas,” said Ahmad Hajo, works with ACTED’s team, who attended the training.
There are many young graduates with high potentials and some have business ideas but they don’t have the right opportunities to execute them, whether financially or technically."Ahmad Hajo from ACTED
Under the BMZ-supported interventions, the training builds the capacity of BDS providers to deliver the training to potential entrepreneurs, start-ups and existing businesses. This activity is the second of two training of trainers through which the project seeks to support at least 50 BDS providers, which, in turn, will provide quality services to approximately 1,250 potential and existing entrepreneurs in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. For this purpose, the project facilitated the SIYB programme adaptation to the regional and national context, and is now available in Arabic, Kurdish Sorani and Badini, thus making the program more inclusive.
The certification process will take around 6 months to ensure that trainers have assimilated the core material and are capable to continue delivery to more clients as part of their institutional BDS support.