To support the implementation of the ECOWAS’ MSME strategy and MSME, West Africa Competitiveness and Quality Infrastructure Project came up with various strategies, one of them is to develop a business coaching programme for entrepreneurs at various stages of growth for various target groups (youth, women, social entrepreneurs) to become a standard package of programmes in BSOs, Chambers of Commerce and other related organizations, select counterpart institutions for conducting pilot training, organize a “train-the-trainer” programme for selected counterpart institutions and issue master training certificates and to conduct pilot training in cooperation with certified master trainers.
Up to December 2019, UNIDO considered of a range of different approaches, it determined that the most cost-effective and efficient means for implementing the ECOWAS MSME strategy was to join forces with the International Training Centre of the International Labour Organization (ITC-ILO) to deliver activities by adapting the existing “Start and Improve Your Business” (SIYB) programme to the specific needs and requirements of WACQIP.
Consequently, ITC-ILO will be contracted to deliver, in partnership with UNIDO, the following activities:
Develop a business coaching programme for entrepreneurs at various stages of growth for various target groups (youth, women, social entrepreneurs) to become a standard package of programmes in BSOs, Chambers of Commerce, etc. This action will be completed by UNIDO and ITC-ILO, who will jointly decide about the exact materials to be used in the training.
Select counterpart institutions for conducting pilot training based on a set of agreed criteria. UNIDO, which has recruited a national expert in each ECOWAS Member State, will support this process and ensure transparency by operating an open call for BDS / training institutions to express interest. The SIYB master trainers may also call on the national consultant to support their work.
Organize a “train-the-trainer” programme for selected counterpart institutions and issue trainer certificates after the completion of the trainer cycle. This process will involve an initial Training of Trainers. These trainers will demonstrate that they have acquired the needed competencies by training entrepreneurs in SYB and IYB under the supervision of a Master Trainer (Action 4). Travel and accommodation for participants, as well as logistics arrangements (venue, equipment, catering, etc.) will be covered by UNIDO.
Conduct at least one Training of Entrepreneurs (ToE) in all ECOWAS Member States, under the supervision of the Master Trainer(s), selected counterparts, and national project officers, benefitting at least 270 entrepreneurs. The SIYB master trainers may also call on UNIDO national consultants to support their work.