Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ) and Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export) recently hosted business management training geared for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) at the Savannah Hotel in Barbados.
The ProNet training programme was delivered by Georg Villinger and Div de Villiers and included 17 participants from a wide cross section of SMEs including Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO), Belize Trade and Investment Development Services (BELTRAIDE) and the Grenada Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC).
Since 2010, GIZ and Caribbean Export have been involved in an on-going partnership to provide training to Business Support Organizations (BSOs) when modular training in export marketing for SMEs was launched. Export marketing training was followed in 2011 by a related programme geared at increasing the competitiveness and business skills of SMEs. This programme, called ProNET, was delivered by two GIZ Consultants who began the process of training 19 participants.
ProNET is a modular training programme geared towards manufacturing enterprises who want to develop their business and become more competitive, with modules in business strategy, quality management, production, product development, knowledge management, human resource management and financial management. The programme is based on an Experiential Learning Methodology, and is a case study based and driven by practical examples and assignments using techniques such as group work and structured learning exercises, open-ended discussion, brainstorming sessions and field work.
The March 2012 workshop was a success and combined class room style learning with case study work and a site visit to a local manufacturer of pepper sauce in Barbados. The groups are now ready to move on to the next step in the ProNET training process where the newly trained BSO trainers will deliver training directly to SMEs. This pilot process will be supervised by the GIZ Consultants who will provide on-site coaching to the new trainers as they go through their first real training exercise. At the end of this process the participants will be certified as ProNET Trainers and will be able to offer their services to SME’s on their own.
GIZ and Caribbean Export plan to seek the support of regional BSOs to organize the pilot training sessions. These regional organizations will be able to identify suitable SMEs through their national membership and make sure that the training is targeted at companies who will benefit from the knowledge provided by ProNET.
Both GIZ and Caribbean Export are committed to improving the business environment in the region, and the Export Marketing and ProNET programmes are directly designed to position SMEs to access market opportunities under the CARIFORUM-EC Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA). Involving the regional BSOs in this process will ensure that SMEs will be better placed to take advantage of business opportunities and that the programme will become truly Caribbean.
For additional information about the ProNET programme please contact Elena Spence, Coordinator Capacity Building, GIZ at email@example.com.