Discussions for Providing Business Development Services (BDS) will take place here as moderated by Jealous Chirove.
--Victor P. K. Mensah 21:12, 20 March 2011 (UTC)
|Thread title||Replies||Last modified|
|Providing BDS||35||08:47, 21 April 2011|
|Impact Assessment of BDS and Training Programmes||21||02:50, 16 April 2011|
|Sustaining BDS Programmes||13||05:56, 15 April 2011|
Last edit: 19:52, 22 March 2011
Welcome to the new module on this IPYET series, on Providing Business Development Services (BDS). I believe that many of us as practitioners and technicians in youth entrepreneurship in our various capacities will find the topic familiar and the discussions very rich and interesting. To start the discussion, in your view, what is the importance of BDS in youth entrepreneurship?
I invite you to share your experiences and knowledge on this subject.
Business Development Services (BDS)are“… services that improve the performance of the enterprise, its access to markets, and its ability to compete. It also includes an array of business services[such as training, consultancy, marketing, information, technology development and transfer,business linkage promotion, etc.], both strategic [medium to long term issues that improve performance] and operational [day-to-day issues]. BDS are designed to serve individual businesses, as opposed to the larger business community.”
(Committee of Donor Agencies for Small Enterprise Development, 2001)
1. Basically they encourage employment creation.
2. BDS promote economic security by creating an enabling environment for poor entrepreneurs and women to invest in nutrition, housing, health and education of their families.
3. It has the potential of increasing the profitability and promotes growth and competitiveness of enterprises which impacts directly on income levels.
4.It can contribute to development goals in the areas of economic growth and also poverty reduction.--<a href="User:Kafuiaheto">Kafuiaheto</a> 08:47, 22 March 2011 (UTC)
Hi Chirove, looks like this is going to be an interesting discussion. Be-The-Best!
Greeting from the Land of the Brave
The Namibian Experience
The Ministry of Trade and Industry in collaboration with the Financial Institutions in Namibia have taken a keen interest in creating the most conducive environment and support mechanisms to allow business to thrive as a result, in Namibia there is a significant increase in the provision of Business Development Services (BDS) in recent years.
These services are very important to youth entrepreneurs in Namibia because they offer a platform to access services include training, advice, mentorship, coaching, business planning packages, business infrastructures as well as financial services. SMME Development Services which are supporting youth in business (who often don't have collateral) in their efforts to access loans from mainstream banks has been established, whereby young people are also receiving the above-mentioned assistance to start or expand their businesses and create additional employment opportunities.
Hi Chirove, looks like this is going to be an interesting discussion. Be-The-Best!
Hello Mr Chirove Good topic indeed. Business Development Services are Services which are commonly used by business men and women in order for them to operate effectively and efficiently and grow their businesses with a view of contributing to economic growth,employment generation and poverty alleviation using information,training,business conselling,etc.
IMPORTANCE It enables Entrepreneurs to create employment It helps in reducing poverty It also improves the income levels of businessmen and women.
In my view BDS helps to provide focus and sustainibility to a youth enterprise.
Dear Chirove, Thanks for moderating this interesting topic, which is one of the backbone for any business development process as well as in growth stage (micro, small, medium and large enterprises). Especially for the youth led enterprises, the BDS provision is most. Practically youth entrepreneurs need more than access to credit., they equally need to know how to develop their business plan, business management, management of business finances (budgeting), time management, , improving sales, managing and reducing costs, , stock control techniques, marketing etcs.
Basically youth Enterprises needed the most integrated business support services like appropriate Skills training, Business counselling/Mentor support. Access to MIS, as well as Business expansion support. Therefore, effective BDS provision is one of the important elements for youth entrepreneurship development and for their sustainability .
Would like to hear more from other colleagues!!! With best Regards, Ekanath
Hi Chirove ,
Business Development Services(BDS) are services rendered by entrepreneurs to help them operate efficiently and grow their businesses with the purpose of contributing to economic growth, employment generation.examples are; Business plan, Export promotion, Business counselling, Poverty alleviation, Technical assistance etc
BDS in youth entreprenuership is a vital key mainly to help the youth to develop their business plan,to render technical assistance where necessary, improve productivity, which is important in employment creation for youth,etc
I like your point where you say BDS can lead to employment creation for the youth. This is critical as there are not many jobs available for youths. So if BDS can enable them to create jobs for themselves and other youths that is very important in the economy of the nation and alsoin keeping youths from harmful vices.
Hi Chirove and Hi All,
Business Development Services (BDS) are very important for the survival of youth entrepreneurship, because majority of youth entrepreneurs are small scale business owners who are faced with the challenges of starting and managing a business. The youth entrepreneurs have more challenges because they are the group of small business owners that usually have less funds and little of the experience needed to run and grow a successful business, and so provision of a range of services( information, training, counselling, consultancy, buisness linkages , ICT, etc) that will enhance their abilities to run their business and also promote the growth of their enterprise, is essential for their continuous existence.
(from the working paper, International best practice in micro and small enterprise development, prepared by 'Maurice Allal', has been produced as part of the ILO/UNDP 'Support for Policy and Programme Development project on Micro and Small Enterprise Development and Poverty Alleviation in Thailand (THA/99/003)'.)
Business development services (BDS) refer to the provision of information, knowledge and skills, as well as advice on the various aspects of a business. This definition of BDS implies a conscious action performed by the service provider for the benefit of the receiver of the service. Thus, the action of an individual using savings for establishing a business may not be considered as a "financial service". Similarly, information obtained inadvertently by an entrepreneur (e.g. on a supplier of materials) may not be considered an "information service". This is an important distinction that is not made by some practitioners who tend to use the term business development services whether a service provider is involved or not.
BDS are provided to help owners of enterprises get new ideas on how to improve their business through, for example, increasing productivity, reducing production costs, or accessing a more profitable market. These services include the transfer of information in various forms through, for example, consulting services or special events (e.g. exhibitions and trade fairs). The impact of this category of BDS depends on how the owners of enterprises make use of the new ideas.
Many thanks for the additonal information and referenching. As indicated, this is field that is developing and practice sometimes in countries and specific situations have been implemented with varioations based on local contexts. We all want to do somthing that works in our country or setting isn't it? Jealous
In my view,
BDS are realy important in youth entreprenurship, for example, this has been my experience for my organisation. we started off as a small enterprise in 1998 and worked as youths who only had skills in carpentry and no knowledge about business management etc.
But as we went on some organisations started providing information in regard to what we need to put in plce such as the first thing was legality, we were advised to register our organisation as an NGO and letter we were also advised to register as a training centre in order to qualify to offer training to fellow youths.
After registrations the benefit of us having registered our organisation, we started benefiting from TEVETA were most of our Instructors were sent for training. after training of the instructors, the traini9ng at the centre improved and we could manage to raise enough income to sustain the instructors.
on the other hand we did not have adiquente equipment, space, materials and operational funds. we learned a number of skills which includes the proposal writing, stretegic plannning, etc. we receved funding from various donors from our start to now the organisation has received funds more than Euros 200,000.
the BDS, that our organisation received was mainly not in form of money, but was mostly in form of , staff training, providing of equipment, and space as well as advise from many partners including those we are working with in terms of ICTs.
The importance attached here are that, the BDS will enable an enterprise grow and be able to employ, contribute to national economy.
Many thanks for sharing your experience in this elaborate manner. Your experience points to one more point which we need to make, that in reality BDS for small scale entrepreneurs are facilitated by various and different players. One can provide an aspect of it such as business training, another provider will look at another area such as market information and yet another on facilitating access to finance. This means as BDS providers, we need to know who is providing and what and where, and develoip linkages with other providers. This can lead to a referral mechanism if an entrepreneur needs something which we can not provide. In addition, as facilitators we need to have a directory of various providers so that we can refer young people accordingly. This is an important point.
In my view, Business development services are services that help in improving the performance of entrepreneurs, expand, sustenance of youth enterprises and it enables young men and women to participate actively and fully in their society and economy.
Creation of employment and Poverty alleviation.
hello Jelous, I addition to what collegues have already said, I think the provision of BDS services to youth enterprises is one of the critical factors for success. It enables them to diagnose problems early in the business and address them for business growth. I believe BDS is the soft capacity required that enables finances and availability of markets to work for young people.--Smauye 06:18, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
Many thanks to you all for the comprehensive discussion on the topic, and the experiences shared. Your discussions have touched on many aspects of the topic. I would like to take advantage of this opprotunity to make one point which might be beneficial to all of us. One point which we probably need ot make is that, in reality BDS for small scale entrepreneurs are facilitated by various and different players. One can provide an aspect of it such as business training, another provider will look at another area such as market information and yet another on facilitating access to finance. This means as BDS providers, we need to know who is providing and what and where, and develoip linkages with other providers. This can lead to a referral mechanism if an entrepreneur needs something which we can not provide. In addition, as facilitators we need to have a directory of various providers so that we can refer young people accordingly. This is an important point so that we can provide or facilitate comprehensive support to our target groups. Jealous
Thanks Chirove for touching the key issues of making database of BDS providers including their products and services that they are offering in the markets. It will help support youth enterprises to select the appropriate services . Sometime B2B linkages would be the ideal place to include the both BDS supply side and demand side aspects
In my view,the importance of BDS in youth entrepreneurship can be seen by first defining BDS. Business Development Services (BDS) are generally defined as:
“… services that improve the performance of the enterprise, its access to markets, and its ability to compete. The definition of ’business development service’… includes an array of business services [such as training, consultancy, marketing, information, technology development and transfer, business linkage promotion, etc.], both strategic [medium to long term issues that improve performance] and operational [day-to-day issues]. BDS are designed to serve individual businesses, as opposed to the larger business community.”
(Committee of Donor Agencies for Small Enterprise Development, 2001)
From this definition it can be noted that BDS encompasses a wide array of services which are critical to the development and growth of an enterprise. It is most likely that not many youths may have had the necessary business developement knowledge and skills. Some youths could be grade 7 or 9 dropouts or those that have not gotten places in higher education. So BDS helps bridge that gap by enabling the youth entrepreneurs have the basic and significant business services that can lead to a sustainable business as opposed to one that fails to survive due to lack of necessary business skills and know-how.
Hi! Chivore and the rest of the team.
According to country's definition , these are services that are used by entrepreneurs to help them set up,operate, grow their businesses efficiently, hence contributing our EDD strategy.
I would say after several years of working as a youth activist, I have realized that BDS is very very important in youth entrepreneurship, some years back young people used to get grants from the government without the assistance of the BDS ending up with businesses which are not sustainable. But now with the assistance of BDS young people's businesses are able to grow and be sustainable.
From WJ Mbongwe
The Importance of BDS in Youth Entrepreneurship
Busuness Development Services are very important to youth entrepreuship in the sense that these programeme or iniatiaves help to nurture to young person to mature businesswise and be able to withstand challenges associeted with starting or runnning a business
Hello Collueges, In my view, the importance of Business Development Services underscores the whole essence of a business venture. These are tested and trusted initiatives that guide the Entrepreneures in their quest to create wealth, generate employment and eradicate poverty through self employment. The BDS is a road map that when properly followed, can lead to the achivevement of dreams and aspirations of youth Entrepreneures.
BDS (the provision of services and products to entrepreneurs) is very important because it helps their businesses grow and raise their profits. While it is true that some businesses have grown without seeking BDS, for most young entrepreneurs, the lack of information, training infratsructure, etc has been the greates challenge to starting or expanding their businesses
BDS are very important because they provide the support services often required by the entrepreneurs in undertaking and sustaining their businesses. Young entrepreneurs could even obtain more business ideas or refine what they possess through the BDS.
Please we need to be careful and in our training sessions emphasize on who and what sort of services young entrepreneurs should expect from BDS. I am of the view that quality business advice should not be expensive. In choosing BDS providers young entrepreneurs should look out for those who understand their business philosophy, their vision and goals.They could check for the track record of such providers.
Good evening and many thanks to all who contributed to the previous topic on sustaining BDS programmes. Great to come back again with another important related issue. This one perhaps will be a bit technical but we will all bring it down. It is on impact assessment of BDS or training programmes. I say this as we can agree that whatever we do, we need to show results. Impact, which should be measured. How can we measure impact of BDS interventions? What are the core indicators we can agree on to use in measuring impact of a standard youth enntrepnership programme? Number of new businesses created, number of jobs, increased incomes for existing business? What others can we suggest? What impact assessment methods have we used?. What is your take with impact assessment methodology of using control group (a similar group where there is no intervention introduced) and treatment groups (a similar group where the project initiates some interventions) in impact assessment of BDS and training programmes in order to compare results? How feasible is it? Let us share experiences, information and leads on how we can shape the thought process on this for the benefit of ourselves and our projects. Thanks. Jealous
Last edit: 23:35, 24 March 2011
Impact assessment in the light of youth entrepreneurship
Thank you very much for this wonderful and interesting topic, am joining late as usual but i think can still contribute on the intro before i could zero in into today's discussion. BDS approaches for me were interesting looking at what is obtaining on the ground in Zambia especially in the light of FSIP Programs from government, Cash transfer project that people in Eastern province are being given by DFID and HELP Age,constitutes one such initiative that corresponds to traditional approach. People are never consulted in the design, development and implementation of the program. This kind of initiative often, is not appreciated by the beneficiaries because often they do not owner the program. They just passive recipient of development or change and not drivers of that development , initiative or that change. As such sustainability of the project is compromised. Immediate the project funds are exhausted and the project closes, everything just falls to pieces. This is happening in Zambia and thus, though in other perspective impact is said to be there, in reality it is money invested in the drain. However, this is not to say market driven projects are not implemented there are and though not in favour of the developing interprenuers, let me not talk much it is a missed topic. Back on today's topic measuring impact especially in the light of the current enterprise in Zambia. Measuring impact is one important and integral part of any program that is implemented whose input is money(funds). Many donors and funders would want to know how they money was spent, and what was achieved in respect. However, measuring impact can only be done if measures are put in place before the program or business is designed. Indeed one needs to know the six element of effectiveness managent coined as COPIPO, You need to understand context where are you,( baseline and situation analysis), understand the planning , where do you want to be or go, develop management plans, work plans, monitoring plans and sustainability plan e.t.c. Input is another aspect, what do you need to get there,,,staff and financial resources,,is it enough, then one needs to look at Output, what did we produce in the implementation process. Then one need to look at what was the Bold textoutcome, what did we achieve in-terms of our objectives.
Now all these aspects are suppose to be put in place way before implementation then design indicators which should be able to capture all the above aspect.. You need to tell the owners of the money how mach impact was realised and this can only be realised through a robust Monitoring and evaluation plan that has provisions for evaluations ,,midterm, diagnostic impact or just the most important one and critical the end of project evaluation to which baseline survey should serve as comparing point to where the project or program is and impact achieved so far... Sorry i will add more later Regards
Welcome to the forum. And thank you for the comprehensive discussion. I will repond to only parts of it. And you are picking it up from the first topics. I hope you have had chance to go through the discussions we have had so far. It is good that you are giving a case study of what happens locally andhighlighting what could have been docn ebetter, from the start. Thanks you for sharing your COPIPO framework - I hope others learnt from it and can take something from it. And, as you say, a robust M & E system is needed. Many thanks again. Jealous
Thanks for this interesting topic again.
Apart from The DCED recommended universal indicators on private sector development. Generally the following key indicators are common for the propose of the BDS impact assessment. Most of them are already reflected in your discussion question above.
• Number of BDS providers recruited,
• Number of support actions identified
• Number of trainers and facilitators trained,
• Number of courses held,
• Number of trainees participating in the training
• Number of transactions and amount of the transactions
• Type of BDS services provided/offered
Methodology: In our case before any interventions, we use to develop result chain logic/intervention logic (with clear indicators on Inputs, outputs ,outcomes and impacts).Control group mechanism is one of the best approach to compare the results
Good evening and thank you for expanding on these. And the reference to the DCED guidelines, which is useful for everyone participating in the discussions. I urge everyone to google their website. In terms of the indicators, we can have another entire discussion there, so that we are able to go beyond the output / activity level indicators to more outcome oriented ones. Those that measure the results of what has been done (outputs), for instance number of new businesses started, increased sales and incomes of the business oweners, number of SMEs and amount of credit accessed, number of new jobs. these will better show results.
I am happy you share the notion that control growup methodology is the best. I agree as it helps us to answer to the question of attribution. In other words, did the intervention contributed to the results? Would the same result not have been achieved without your intervention. This is really key. We need to exchange more on this. Jealous
Thanks for your elaborative response. Yes impact assessment on BDS interventions is one of the most debatable issues. Another issue is time frame. According to the DCED standards, the standard time frame for impact assessment is 2 years . another critical issue is attribution which you have raised / questioned in your respond. I totally agree with you that actual result attribution is another challenge. Without our particular interventions there might be many other interventions and supports, therefore while attributing the results/ impacts we have to consider the element of “coping in” and “crowding in “aspects. As per the DCED guideline/ standards, if it is possible we need to distinguish the direct and indirect results in our result chain logic.
Dear all, Please visit the webpage www.enterprise-development.org for more DCED guideline and result measurement standards.
With best regards, Ekanath
Thank you very much for you response
For me indicators to measure impact should be well framed. They are supposed to depict the results that one needs to achieve. As i pointed out the key word is what did we achieve and not what did we produce in terms of products or services, this is a very key guiding principle. Now what do we need to monitor as in indicators we can frame for us to ensure that we do not miss our mandate. For me if we are to look at number of courses held, number of transactions transacted and number of BDS providers recruited, then we are going to miss the point. These indicators are giving as output and they are therefore only used for monitoring purposes. Impact is a product of evaluation and that is more inclined to outcomes. If we look at number of trained entrepreneurs that are running there businesses, Owning companies ,Number of Enterprise using the market approach, number of people trained who are able .....e.t.c These type of will help us to know what we have achieved in the light of impact,9reducing poverty,creation employment among other social economic dynamics.
On the Other hand logical frame approach is a very important tool that one can use to monitor and evaluate their programs it is been used extensively noways and it is a donor requirement in most cases so forks it is only better to know it and use it. Logical framework will tell you what risk assumptions to expect,frequency of data collection , under which objective is that activity being carried out, Goal , output and outcome expected. It is simply a beautify monitoring and evaluating tool as it even give provision for the person responsible and the cost involved. I should however, make a mention here that care should be exercises especially when crafting these two tools, indicators and logical framework as it may not be able to detect any deviation from the normal implementation of a program. You may expend money on programs that does not address the objective of that program. However, a robust monitoring mechanism will within no time detect a problem at any given time and help you to make timely strategic management intervention. regards
Thank you very much for your respond. I really appreciate your ideas that we should not focus our impact assessment around outputs only and we should design more impact focused interventions.
Yes I do agree with you about the importance of Logical framework approach which is more elaborative frame work for result measurements. But I do prefer to use result chain logic or intervention logic . The result chain logic/intervention logics are much more easy frameworks to connect inputs- outputs - outcome and impacts logics .
With best regards, Ekanath
Thank you very much for the your response and clarification on what you use and especially the one which is seemingly easier for you to track. Impact measurement is just in a way like any other activity that a program may be mandated to implement. The key thing is for one to own the process and be able to use it effectively,enable you to use your result efficiently and ultimately ensures your organization's project sustainability. This is only also again possible if we take keen interest in formulating frameworks that we can use effectively. I have been working as a consultant on evaluating management effectiveness of programs. At the project design stage good and robust frameworks are adopted some are even way above the organization M&E capacity needs but because people what to please donor they adopt and later labor to adapt. This kind of frameworks beautiful as they may look they do not ultimately help the organization to attain its desired goal. This is waste of time and money. Designing a simple one we understand and be able to offer a clear cut way to tracking progress in results, it is actual thousand times progress than adopting one that one can not use. In life academic exercise do not apply only what one is comfortable with. Sorry Ekinath, this is not to say yours is simple iam just trying to stress the need a for simple and one comfortable models. Good and robust M&E system calls for the adhering to the adaptive management principles, able to monitor results, adapt, analyst ,learn ,communicate and adapt best practices. All these are taken care of in my COPIPO framework for project assessment and impact diagnosing. Regards
Hi Jealous and Colleaques,
The impact of BDS to Youth Enterpreneur has to do with youth iniatives. This is to start with planning to the exercution of the project.That is from start to end. In undertaking a project, participants need to see the needs on ground as need assessement, after that, plan on how it will be carry out. These involve inputs, outputs, outcomes and impacts e.g, the number of people, the type of services to be provided,the people to do the training - facilitators, budgets- that is the costs etc
Great. Normally all this will be contained in the logical framework. I have seen project documents which have logical frameworks that are not solid, especially on the indicators. I have also seen programme managers that make whast I would say 'sloppy' use of the LOGFRAME - they dont follow it, they divert to do other this. It will become difficult when it comes to impact measurement when there were no baselines and no solid indicators. This is important. Jealous
First of all sorry for joining the discussion late. I have had a tight schedule having been on a mission with the African Development Bank to Central and Southern provinces. In the places I was staying Internet connectivity was a real challenge and even my MTN dongle did not come to my rescue due to poor mobile network.
Anyway good to be back regarding the first discussion point: How can we measure impact of BDS interventions?
Monitoring is the routine tracking and reporting of high priority information about aprogramme or project, its inputs and intended results. Monitoring information has to be used at all levels of the system for self-assessment and tracking the progress and decision making. It is therefore important for everyone involved to be clear about which indicators are being monitored as well as the information to be collected and how.
Evaluation is an assessment, as systematic and impartial as possible, or project, programme, strategy, policy, theme, sector, operational institutional performance. Evaluation aims at determining the relevance or appropriateness, effectiveness, efficiency, impact and
sustainability of the interventions and contributions to the organizations. The evaluation
process and methods should be decided during the initial planning process. This requires
prior planning and may require the use of external resource persons / experts. Evaluation
should be based on a set of indicators developed during the initial planning process.
Responding to the question: What are the core indicators we can agree on to use in measuring impact of a standard youth enntrepnership programme? The indicators are:
- Number of new businesses created;
- number of jobs created;
- increased incomes for existing business;
- number of youths starting businesses from urban high density areas
At my organisation we have used a number of impact assessment methods. Before discussing these it is useful to note that "Social Impact Assessment can be defined in terms of efforts to assess or estimate, in advance, the social consequences that are likely to follow specific policy actions (including programs and the adoption of new policies), and specific government actions. It is a process that provides a framework for prioritizing, gathering, analyzing, and incorporating social information and participation into the design and delivery of developmental interventions. It ensures that development interventions: (i) are informed and take into account the key relevant social issues; and (ii) incorporate a participation strategy for involving a wide range of stakeholders" (Misra, 2004:1).
We have used the following impact assessment methods at work:
- Outcome indicators for outcome level results/objectives. Outcome indicators assess
progress against specified outcomes/objectives. For example in 2007 my organisation aranged some business development services that included skills training, entrepreneurship training and book-keeping to small scale women miners. An M & E visit was conducted in 2009 to assess the impact of the training and what interventions were required if any.
Monitoring and Evaluation is a useful method for measuring impact assessment. In my organization measuring impact assessment of youth entrepreneurship programmes is usually done by monitoring beneficiaries. Core Indicators should reflect the underlying reasons for designing and implementing the programme and so the logical framework which reveals details on specific objectives and goals of the programme, expected output, planed activities, targets, etc, serves as a guide to determining appropriate indicators. However, common indicators are: Numbers of new businesses created, Level of production and volume of service of various trainees, quality of products or services, no jobs of created,etc.
Dear Jealous and Colleagues,
Showing the results or on the issue of impact assessment of BDS or training programmes, they can be measured through monitoring and evaluation. Some of the indicators we can measure are individual level impacts: Acquisition of new knowledge and skills, Application of knowledge and skills, improved skills, knowledge and capabilities of workers, increased motivation of trainees and Control over decisions related to business/ enterprise.
Helo! I am very happy about this discussions, especially about the impact assessment. As said ealier Iam from the SIYB Master Training and one of the requirements for my certification is for me to do a complete BDS impact assessment. All this info shared will be useful for me. I cannot thank you enough.
good day all
Impact assessmentis achieved through monitoring and evaluation. The perpose of M&E is to inditify what is working well so that it can continued or improved, or what id not working well and should be stopped. How can we measure impact of BDS inteventions? have to assesse the sucess of the the programme in obtaining pre-determined objectives or goal. the intention is to determine the relevance, efficiance, effectiveness and sutainabilty of of the programme to the organisation. in addition to the aready given indicators , the standard indicators to use in your enterprenuership programme include, among others, % of tenders allocated Youth funded projects, number of Youth Involved income generatimg activites and number of Youth trained in basic business management etc.
Good day colleuges, Impact assessment of BDS is feasible in the sense that anything that has input, output and expected outcome components must be monitored and evaluated in order to ensure that the project is on course and cachieving the desired results.The indicators that may be used include the growth of the project; the number of additional jobs created; the regular returns on investment, etc.
Impact assessment should be at the level of jobs created and incomes generated. Howeer this should be done through a logical process of agreeing on the strating points/baselines, the inputs (including BDS) and outcomes for training, the knowledge and skills acquired which are then used to create jobs and incomes. It must be pointed out that its not as straightforward as it solunds because there are a number of factors that need to be considered eg the environmment, politically, economically etc. For example in a high inflation environment, training and BDS might not have the impact it has in other environments.--Smauye 13:34, 15 April 2011 (UTC)
The impact of BDS interventions can be measured by looking at the extent to which the initial objectives have been met. This is possible if a baseline study was conducted prior to the interventions.
The core indicators to use in measuring the impact of a standard youth entrepreneurship programme include number of jobs created and income levels.
Of all the youth entrepreneurship programmes I have been involved with, none had an impact assessment conducted.
Let me start by thanking all of you who contributed extensively and technically to the introductory topic yesterday. We received and shared more other definitions, more explanations and more reference documents. New information was provided which just helped to further simplify and demonstrate that we are really reading from the same page.
Now, I would like to introduce a new topic in the form of a discussion question. And this is is really an important question. It is around sustainability of BDS interventions. I would like to ask us to share our experiences on what has worked as s sustanability model in your project. Let me explain. You start a BDS programme or project or intervention, say training or provision of market linkages. What sustainability model did you use? Please share with us if you think the model is good for others to learn from. Share with us when the initial project ended? Are the activitioes continuing after the project ended? Why do you think your sustanability model has worked?
I am saying this because as development practitioners we are increasingly now being asked not only to demonstrate impact and results but how to sustain the intervention and those results. Think about it - we have been talking about training and training for ages. We should by now have many good practices, tried and tested models which we can just roll out. Let us learn those models from you. Let us share our experiences so that others from across the world can learn.
wishing you the best,
Dear Jealous, As we have already discussed that the Business Development Services (BDS) comprise a wide range of non-financial services provided by the both public and private suppliers (BDS providers) to entrepreneurs. Basically the types of services in a functioning BDS system are determined by the demand articulated on the part of the businesses and willingness to pay for the services offered.
For developing Sustainable BDS provision, we have to start with the BDS market assessment to find out the current BDS market constraints for both supply and demand side. When I was working with IEDI/RuralEnterprises Assistance programme supported by SNV and ICCO Holland, we did the initial enterprises need assessment and inventory of BDS supply side . After having the study, we conducted various BDS matching events, which perfectly worked.
Sustaining Business Development Services Programmes - City Of Windhoek / Namibia
The SME Incubation Centre is established by the City of Windhoek to provide prospective SMEs with the necessary and relevant capacity building and business support to develop and expand their businesses, the focus being on emerging entrepreneurs , existing and starting SME businesses that intend to grow their business into formal sector. The objectives is for SMEs to be accommodatd at the centre on a temporary basis and within a conducive enviroment that will enable them to grow from informal to formal business.
Business Development services such as Capacity Building and Mentorship Services to the Entrepreneurs at the SME Incubation Centre are been provided for the period of three years and after three years this SME are graduating from the centre and this system is really working, most of the SMEs who were accomodated at the centre having only one or two workers have created more employment opprotunities and are now operating in industrial areas because most of this business has grown from informal to formal businesses. this programme is sustainable because it is working in Namibia , we have also notice that most of the people from different countries in Africa are visiting our centre to learn from our experience.
(We commit ourselves to make the City of Windhoek a vibrant , economic and technological centre of excellence in Africa in order to enhance the quality of life of all our people)
Leah, Windhoek Namibia
Welcome! I really like your case on Business Incubation experiences from Namibia. I hope everybody has gone through it. Business incubation is one programme that is implemented with sustainability in mind, right from the start. I am happy to hear it has worked in Namibia because in some countries, the problem normally occurs when it is time for the 'incubatees' to move out. They keep giving excuses (that we haven't grown enough to be on our own) and stay long and longer and that causes the collapse of the incubation schem if no new prospects are coming. In some cases the issue of their moving out gets plitisized. Nice to hear it is working somewhere. Thanks. JC
Hi Jealous and Colleaques,
The sustainability model that is good for entrepreneur are:
- Conducting a BDS market assessment - this has to do with understanding the markets in order to identify weaknesses and opportunities which has to do with demand and supply of services and the extent of market distortion
- Agree on Delivery and payment Mechanisms- This requires attention to delivery and payment mechanisms as part of the BDS products
- Have an Exist Strategy as the start - This need to be built in the implementation and roll out of project but not at the mid-way 0r towards the end of the project
- Proper selection of Partner Institutions-This has to do with developing a transactional relationships with small enerprises clients based on exchange rather than charity,
These are practical tips that i and few that i know put into consideration for their enterpreneurship development and yielded positive result.
Many thanks for your wella argued intervention. It outlines some of the important steps that are necessary to build in the concept and achieve sustainability. The issue of identifying a need at the start, backed by a proper analysis (needs assessment) will be able to demonstrate a felt need. The issue of payment mechanism is important. Entrepreneurs, including youth entrepreneurs, are rational people. They wil pay for something that brings in value. They will pay for something that will help them to grow. So, if something is good, they will pay for it. The issue of proper selection of partner instituions is extremely important as well. Very important. If you have the wrong bed fellow, things will never work.
You reminded me about the three dimensions of sustainability, which I will allude to as I summarize my discussion in a few minutes. Check it out in a few minutes. JC
Hi Jealous and Hi All,
Sustainability is a major challenge we face in project delivery, most interventions are not sustainable and so I have little experiences to share. However on the issue of sustainability, one project comes to mind, and it is a Youth Development Centres Project implemented by my Ministry in collaboration with UNICEF, it involved provision of a number of BDS services to the youth, such as vocational training, accesses to ICT, information etc. The project ended in the year 2004/2005 and activities are still continuing.
Certain steps that were taken in programme design and delivery that ensured sustainability and these steps are as follows:
• A needs assessment was conducted to ascertain the needs of the programe target (mostly the Youth)
• The youth and members of the community selected for programme intervention were involved in some stages of the programme planning, design and implementation
• Advocacy to a number of stakeholders in government and civil society to involve them in project delivery
• An exit strategy, which was to transfer ownership of project to the community.
Dear Shining Star,
Many thanks again for your your intervention. You raise a number of important points for sustainability. One of them is the demostration of need for the intervention by the target group. So, a needs assessment can hlp to show this. The principle is, if if they need it, they will most likely continue it. Sometimes we as development practitioners are accused of just shoving programmes down the throats of the people and we expect that to be sustained when we have exited! And the issue of the exit strategy is important - having t at the start and having it clearly is helpful. Jealous
I am enjoying the discussions that are going on and I hope are all learning. Thanks for being part of this. i just want to sort of summarize the discussion on sustainability by adding something that one of you reminded me about. If you want to be abit technical, you can talk about 3 deimentions of sustainability;
(a) Organizational element - which answers the question on whether the partner organizations that you have selected have integrated you new (project) intervention into their regular programmes. For instance, if you intrdocue business skills training to technical or vocational instituions, or a youth association, have the organizations included that trainign as part of their calandar? Including it means they have bought into it and they think it adds value.
(b) Technical sustainability - in other words, have you built enough technical capacity (of trainers and facilitators) who can continue with the intervention after the project has ended. Do you have the critical mass? Are the trainers or providers capable of providing the training at the same same quality standards as during the project? What is the quiality monitoring mechnism and how is it sustained?
(c) Financial sustainability. Now this is important. One basic rule of thump is that if as a BDS provider you are not able to find somebody or some instituion to pay for your services or products, it can not be sustained. Simple. The question of who actually pays eventually might not be the most important one, but the other rule of thump is that you have the greatest chances of sustinability if the user or beneficiary pays for the services rendered. I know we can have a long discussion about whether Government programmes or projects are sustainable or not (if there is long term committed funding). But the target group should pay, and pay at least a significant proportiuon of the total cost. That way they will vaue it, and you have a better chance of sustaining it.
Thank you Jealous,
Mine isn't a BDS per se but in terms of training, whenever I work to train teachers in a particular school, I try to get about three people who will be groomed to take over and "localise" the training of teachers even before the end of the workshop. These Trainers continue to enjoy support from me through mobile phone interactions, the internet and personal visits.
The most inportant in this BDS is to know the concept the market assessment and to achieve it's sustainability because is the major challenge they face in it's project delivery.
Why do you think your sustanability model has worked ?
Hi! at this point I can't say there is any project to say that i have been involved using the sustainability model , but so far in my country we have what is called Local Enterprise Authority and their main responsibility is to capacitate young entrepreneurs, I am thier client , we have completed my business plan and waiting to get funds from the local business funders , they have trained me on Entrepreneurship development and they are going to continue training me until my business is well establish.
We also have what is called the Business place which is an NGO which also grooms young people into young entrepreneurs, we also have a private company called Career Diversity which also does the same, and at the University of Botswana, we have the business clinic which does the same for young people who are studying there.
I am proud to say this , reading through the course materials offered in thi course , it helped me to develop a project concept for one of the projects that I am directing this year, we have decided to form a three way partnership (NGOs,Private sector and the government mainly focusing on BDS and business funders ) to see if the BDS can't help our country to have sustainable businesses. I will tell you more about it while I am in Zambia.
Wilson J Mbongwe of Botswana
Sustainabity of Business Development Services
Business Marteting Linkages: businesses exit to make profit through providing goods and services to the consumer. the magic to success therfore is to adopted revevant marketing strategies as interventions to win clints from competitors. thorough the Department of Youth the Botswana government provides business platform like Youth expositions, business creation awereness workshops and others to afford the Youth enterpreneurs the opportunity to show case and market thier businesses. afer each event evalution teams meet to assess the revevance and performance of the adopted strategies and align the reponnses with the current demand. BDS providers should take note of the following; fist understand the existing market inoder to inditify weakness and opportunities, agree on the delvery and payment for provide sevices, have an exist startege at start, prpperly selecedt the partner institution, and perfoemance measurement instruments.
Youth entreprenurs in Botswana are time and again linked with successful business for mentoring purposes and in some instances government buy from Youth enterprises without going through the normal tender process that involves the general public as away of protecting youth entreprises from compiting with extablished business. besides these iniatetives the government of Botwana has established the Botswana Local Entreprise Authority to capacitate Batswana Enterpreneurs in all entrepreneurdhip Development spheres and as such our cliental (youth) are beneffiting a lot.