Day 2: Programme Objective + Activities

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All comments to the project outline are added in italics.

Pillar 1: African Business Models and Skills for ICT-based SMEs

Performance Objective

ICT associations, their members, ICT-training institutions, universities as well as of other change agents of the ICT field know about regional best practices and compile examples of adapted business models and marketing-related skills in the field of Free and Open Source Software (FOSS). This enables them to spread practical key knowledge and skills to small and medium enterprises (SME) of the IT-field on how to create innovative local businesses with FOSS.

Planned Activities

Action 1: Development of hands-on training material on "African FOSS business models", including African case studies (collaborative process involving key stakeholders)

* there should be a network of FOSS business people and trainers who routinely share and update the resources on FOSS business models; so that it is not a one-off training manual, but the content is generated in a network of experience exchange (> I asked if the FOSS business people in the room were willing to share their experiences in such a network and they said yes)

  • form "Master Mind" groups > that help each other develop sustainable business models; there should be facilitator guides for such groups
  • and there should be regional links for the groups, to know what's happening in a particular countries, and to deal with particularities of the country (> see also below national FOSS councils)
  • develop an FOSS-entrepreneur kit

Action 2: Development of hands-on open training material on "How to communicate FOSS to customers" and on "How to innovate through open approaches" / "building a FOSS ecosystem".

* need for communication with clients, and also with all other stakeholders (> creating your own market) was emphasized

  • this includes skills on understanding the needs of the client, understanding how ICT and FOSS can be an enabler for the client (in other sectors, like trade, finance, products industry, healthcare etc.) and to communicate this to the client
  • also general SME business skills needed; often IT people don't understand much about business and marketing/communication - but they should; as we are talking of small businesses and also individual entrepreneurs, where you cannot have a staff member for each function - don't think as in a conventional business

Action 3: Regional trainings for FOSS associations, training institutions and SME on "African FOSS business models" and the other topics above (targeting regional and national intermediary organizations/associations in the field of FOSS (particularly training and multiplier organizations and InWEnt alumni of it@ab), ICTs and business and SME with outreach potential)

Action 4: Support to national follow-up trainings (through regional training capacity and voucher systems).

* in the project structure, it is important to work with / and to form! national FOSS committee, including the different actors in FOSS in the country; the economic, political and ICT situation and the laws etc. are different in each country; especially for the FOSS business component, here also include business associations in the committees

  • don't work just with one multiplying partner at the national level, but rather a group of partners
  • there was a debate on if at the national level ict@innovation should partner with groups like LinuxChix, or rather with established business schools and universities - because of reasons of institutional strength and sustainability; LinuxChix does not have a strong structure that could take over activities and sustainably be in charge for them
  • customizable content > to be able to change over time and in the different countries
  • have top-class training materials, including appealing design, that are equal to the proprietary certificate training materials
  • use WikiEducator for Learning Materials