IBTrainer: a training structure for “Inclusive Business for SMEs”
Over the past years much work has been done on developing new ways of doing business. Businesses adapt their governance and implement innovative approaches to enhance and expand the beneficial social impact of business relationships. There has been a corresponding need to turn this wealth of experience into new training materials and courses that can inform newcomers to this space.
For this there is now a Trainers manual and a Trainee workbook for a short course on Inclusive Business. Both were particularly developed for working with small and medium size enterprises. SMEs are usually the ones who directly interact with low-income farmers and rural communities: their way of doing business therefore has great impact on the inclusiveness of the business relationship. At the same time, they have limited time and resources to reflect carefully on their business model. This course caters to that potential for change and limited time and internal capacities.
The IBTrainer Trainer’s manual gives trainers a framework to provide a structured way of a) assessing inclusiveness in a business relationship, b) assessing the business model of a company and c) reflecting on how the business model is built on, strengthened or weakened by any attempt to be more inclusive.
Target audiences for this training are:
- actors engaged in supporting small-farmers through service provision and coordination with buyers
- farmers looking to sell their products
- buyers looking to expand their supply chain to include smallholder farmers
By the end of the training participants should be able to:
- define inclusive business
- evaluate a company / SME from a business perspective
- evaluate a company / SME from an inclusiveness perspective
- evaluate the relationship between business and inclusiveness needs
- identify ways to enhance inclusiveness, while enhancing the business proposition
- identify strategies to create synergies among the actors involved in the business model
If followed completely, the training can be carried out in 3 days. This is generally acceptable for an SME to attend a workshop as an investment in capacity development. An experienced trainer can mix and match elements from both the manual, and the accompanying IBTraining Trainee Workbook to create a tailor-made training.
A matching workbook is for trainees following an IB training workshop. It allows trainees to:
- fill out exercises as they go along, for a completed reference piece by the end of the training
- later find relevant detailed material online through links provided
- be reminded of key pieces of information.
The publications have been designed for an online environment: www.seasofchange.net/ibtrainer. Both manuals are available online, in English and French, as an open resource. The workbook can also be followed online per session. All materials are linked to web resources.
Based on praxis
The manual was not designed behind a desk, but built up and trialled during four workshops with businesses and supporting organisations. Over 80 trainees worked with initial materials and helped refine this to be short, sharp and sweet.
The training manuals were made possible through time and resources from the Food & Business Knowledge Platform, CTA and the Centre for Development Innovation, Wageningen UR. If you’d like to know more, please contact Monika Sopov at .