Start and Improve Your Business Programme

The Start & Improve Your Business (SIYB) programme is a management-training programme with a focus on starting and improving small businesses as a strategy for creating more and better employment in developing economies and economies in transition.

With an estimated outreach of 6 million trainees, continuously growing network of more than 17000 trainers and 200 Master Trainers in 2500 partner institutions SIYB is one of the biggest global management training systems used for the support of micro and small enterprises (MSEs) currently on the market. Initially developed in the 1980ies, it has now been translated into more than 40 languages and introduced in more than 100 countries.

With a consolidated step by step approach our immediate objectives are:
  • To enable local Business Development Service (BDS) providers to effectively and independently implement business start up and improvement training and related activities
  • To enable potential and existing small entrepreneurs, both women and men, through these BDS organizations to start viable businesses, to increase the viability of existing enterprises, and to create quality employment for others in the process.

What's New

  1. Evidence

    What works in Entrepreneurship

    This new website summarizes the results of recent studies on what works in youth employment, including interesting findings on the impact of entrepreneurship training programmes.

  2. Event

    2016 Youth Citizen Entrepreneurship Competition

    Call for entries of innovative entrepreneurship ideas and projects. Deadline is 30 June 2016.

  3. Training

    Training of Trainers: Start Your Business for Social Entrepreneurs

    Deadline for course registration is 14th March 2016.

  4. Publication

    Practical guidance on how to combine vocational and business management training

    Three case studies on using the ILO's Start and Improve Your Business programme in vocational training.

  5. Article

    Business Practices in Small Firms in Developing Countries

    This independent study uses the contents of ILO's Improve Your Business (IYB) training curriculum to measure whether improved business practices have an impact on enterprise performance in small enterprises.

Key Resources

  1. Publication

    SIYB Implementation Guide

    The SIYB Implementation Guide is intended as a practical tool to support the introduction and roll out of SIYB activities at country level. It provides step-by-step guidance for the successful implementation of SIYB.

  2. Start and Improve Your Business Global Tracer Study 2011

    15 April 2012

    This study traces the outreach of the "Start and Improve Your Business" (SIYB) programme and some other key achievements, including estimates of its impact. The report has been prepared for practitioners in enterprise development who want to use SIYB, as well as any other organization or individual engaged in entrepreneurship and management training.

  3. Publication

    Assessment of the business service and training market in Myanmar

    November 2014

    In June and July 2013, an assessment of the business services market for micro and small enterprises (MSEs) in Myanmar was conducted to generate a better understanding of the situation of business development services and business management training in the country. The assessment comprised a review of available studies, data and documentation, interviews and surveys of more than 300 MSEs in Yangon and Bagan. This paper reflects the findings of the assessment and provides recommendations on how to improve the business services market in Myanmar.

  4. News

    SIYB Update - August 2016

    The August 2016 SIYB Update includes 6 pages of highlights on news on 2015-2016 SIYB activities in 31 countries in all regions (14 in Africa, 7 in Latin America and 10 in Asia); details on the SIYB and Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) paper; details on the Youth Employment Report and an abstract of what will be included in the Global Tracer Study for 2016

  5. Publication

    Access to Finance and Enterprise growth: Evidence from an experiment in Uganda

    Outlines results of a randomized experiment with microenterprise owners in Uganda designed to explore the impact of receiving business skills training using SIYB, loans, cash grants or a combinations of these programmes.

  6. Briefing note

    Lessons learned from a Randomized Controlled Trial using SIYB in Uganda

    The Youth Employment Network Brief Issue 3: Getting it right from the baseline, outlines the lessons learned from an evaluation conducted in Uganda on how to stimulate growth among youth entrepreneurs using SIYB.

Rolling out SIYB in China

Creating Environmentally Friendly Start-ups

Based on the SIYB programme, the Green Business Option (GBO) training encourages entrepreneurship in green businesses among young people. The GBO programme focuses on sectors such as energy efficiency and recycling that contribute both to job creation and climate change mitigation in China.

"My Future is not a Dream" a Chinese SIYB Soap Opera

The ILO collaborated with Sichuan TV to creat a soap opera called "My Future is not a Dream" that would both entertain and inform the target population about the availability of SIYB.