March 22, 2015

Pathway to Entrepreneurship

For the first time ever, SPARK is proud to announce the development of a curriculum for illiterate entrepreneurs! SPARK’s Yemen office held an event to launch the comprehensive Business Training for Illiterate Youth tool kit which comprised of trainer manuals, trainee manuals and interactive illustrative practice exercises. SPARK is always seeking innovative and inspiring solutions. The business training tool-kit for illiterate youth is the first of its kind in Yemen designed to include a larger proportion of the Yemeni population within development programmes that otherwise would have been overlooked.

Special Guests

An evaluation workshop was held in Hudeidah from the 19th – 20th of January, bringing together a selection of local experts with experience in training youth that cannot read or write. At least two representatives were present from governorates of Taiz, Sana’a, Aden, Ibb, Dhamar and Hudeidah. In order to ensure that the content was clearly structured and appropriately illustrated, the workshop aimed to develop a curriculum that reflected and was sensitive to the needs of the community each governorate represented. In attendance was the Dutch Ambassador, Mr. Aldrik Gierveld along with a number of his colleagues from the embassy, including UNDP Country Director, Ms. Mikko Tanaka.

Contents of the Toolkit

The curriculum is a result of various discussions SPARK has had with local organisations that have faced difficulty conducting business plan trainings for youth in many parts of the country due to the high illiteracy rates. It has become evident that there is a gap between the illiterate communities and curricula introduced by most international organisations as they are typically designed for literate or semi-literate communities. In response, SPARK saw this as an opportunity to develop a more responsive curriculum that is easy to understand for youth who cannot read and write. For instance, the curriculum is heavy on illustrative content. The trainee’s booklet includes stories and examples expressed through drawings and symbols only. It is also heavily interactive with activities, puzzles and exercises to keep the trainee engaged during the training course. The Business Plan Training curriculum and tool kit contains essential components to successfully develop a feasible and bankable business plan. This includes sections on self-assessment, entrepreneurship, marketing, inventory, customer service and managing finances. All this saturated content will help these young trainees understand the process of establishing a business and provide them with the tools to reach their goals and transform their dreams into a reality. The process will teach illiterate entrepreneurs the most effective and efficient way to successfully establish and maintain their small or medium enterprises.

A training of trainers was held in Sana’a with the first batch of 15 trainers already trained.  SPARK Yemen sees this as a great step forward in reaching out to more youth living in rural areas that are often overlooked due to their inability to participate in most of the trainings offered.

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