I am delighted when participants realize that their businesses are the sources of employment and incomes that would help them having a better life and supporting their families."Julia B. Leite Araujo, GET Ahead trainer from IADE
Julia said she undertook the Training of Trainers (ToT) of GET Ahead under the supervision of the ILO’s master trainer from Uganda, David Katenderi.
“I was so excited being selected for the second ToT with the international trainer in 2022 after my first ToT in 2008. Out of 15 participants, only four were passed the training and able to move on to the next steps,” said Julia.
As part of the certification process as a lead trainer, she was assigned to conduct two Training of Entrepreneurs (ToE) programmes for 36 participants in two districts, followed with business coaching programmes for three to six months. Before the ToE, she had to select the participants, asses their needs, develop a tailoring training plan and facilitate a 5-day training workshops.
“I literally have to study hard and do a lot of readings and preparations. At the same time, I also have to finish lots of assignments. However, I feel motivated, and I have to fight to reach the end of this long process of being trained as a GET Ahead trainer,” she recalled.
During the training process, Julia was also in the beginning of her pregnancy. Yet, she continued to work hard providing training and assistance to the participating entrepreneurs who also included dropped out youth and female victims of violence.
Fostering entrepreneurship for better incomes and living conditions“The main challenge is different level of understandings among participants. Due to difference in level of education, some participants need longer time to understand compared to other participants. But, at the end, 50 percent of active participants are succeeded to develop their businesses,” shared Julia who is now in her third trimester of pregnancy.
A similar experience was also shared by Jacinta Abu Cau Pereira from AEMTL. As a businessperson herself, she was enthusiastic in participating at the ILO GET Ahead’s ToT twice in 2021 and 2022. “The second ToT has put the emphasis on more detailed and specific business plans and prepared the participants to be a trainer,” Jacinta said.
After the ToT, Jacinta also had to conduct two ToEs and individual coaching for 3 to 6 months. Not only business theory, she added, the ToEs provide practical exercises that are suitable with the reality and experience of each participant. The ToEs also discussed about digitalization and access to the banking system.
I hope that women would be more independent and do not have to solely depend on their husbands."Jacinta Abu Cau Pereira, GET Ahead trainer from AEMTL
Both Julia and Jacinta hoped that the ToEs would help local women and other vulnerable groups to earn incomes and improve their living conditions. “I am delighted when participants realize that their businesses are the sources of employment and incomes that would help them having a better life and supporting their families,” remarked Julia; meanwhile, Jacinta wished,”I hope that women would be more independent and do not have to solely depend on their husbands.”
Both stated that they would continue providing ToEs through their own organizations to help those who wish to start and establish their business, especially women survivors from gender-based violence, LGBTI and people with disabilities. They also would continue promoting GET Ahead training programmes to various business associations, employers’ organizations and relevant national and international organizations to ensure the sustainability of the training programme.
The ILO’s support was given through the Spotlight Initiative in Timor-Leste —a joint initiative of EU-UN to eliminate violence against women and girls. This global initiative is implemented by the ILO together with four other UN agencies in Timor-Leste.
To date, the ILO GET Ahead training programmes have reached a total of 144 women survivors, LGBTI and persons with disabilities. The GET Ahead is a gender-sensitive entrepreneurship training programme addressing some of the barriers women and other vulnerable group face in starting and running a business, including lack of entrepreneurial knowledge and skills, low confidence, and gendered norms and roles that increase the burden of household and care responsibilities.