BDS+ Special Focus 2: Experiences & Takeaways from BDS+ ToT workshops
From helping SMEs develop key contracts and governance documents to drafting a comprehensive financial plan, BDS providers offer valuable support for SMEs, often behind the scenes. As part of our ecosystem building activities, SEED conducts Training of Trainers workshops that help BDS providers better support eco-inclusive small and medium enterprises.
We caught up with a number of BDS providers from Ghana to Indonesia to see how BDS providers experienced the training. What were their biggest takeaways?
Emmanuel K. (SNV, Ghana)
The workshop was good for my work and it was nice that it brought together the experts in this industry. I knew some of the people through my work already, but there were other new people who I met who I still keep in touch with.
The content was really rich. For example, the Investment Decision Tool was useful for entrepreneurs to assess how enterprise investments are going to profit the business, is it going to be profitable for the business? This is really useful for me to use in supporting SMEs.
Emmanuel A. (iCode GH, Ghana)
The training helped me to understand some aspects of business development which I have not really considered before, for example in relation to good strategy. Many (small) companies here are limited to the knowledge of their founders, so they are unable to grow beyond a certain point.
The training provided me with tools to source insights to support these start-ups and break barriers they were facing. I met many participants from different backgrounds, diverse sectors and different levels of experience which helped to broaden our perspectives and know-how.
Martina (Kinara Indonesia)
For business incubation and acceleration here we usually invite someone to come to share experiences & expertise on a certain topic. The approach was different at the SEED BDS ToT because it works on the understanding that each participant already has knowledge about the business and the industry.
From the workshop, we learned that the role as facilitator was to facilitate a mind-shifting process on participants so the focus was really centred on the participants and the role of facilitators helped us probe what we already know and systemise our thinking processes. This is quite different from what I have experienced before and I hope to bring this kind of approach more to our local market.
Aditi (SIDBI Innovation & Incubation Centre (SIIC) at IIT Kanpur, India)
First of all, I am a ‘tech-person’, I work with start-up teams who are often at the ideation and prototyping stages. For me the ToT training was great, as I learned a lot about the business side such as impact analysis, differentiating impact and outcome, how to identify stakeholders, et cetera - all these things are quite new to me.
My cohort was really good, many were business development service providers and I could learn a lot from my peers. One big takeaway for me was around impact analysis; the learning the process of analysing the impact a company has on society and the environment. I actually did the analysis myself after the workshop where I aligned all the start-up companies I work with in relation to the SDGs.
Callum (Yunus Center AIT, Thailand)
I found out about the SEED BDS+ training because I was invited to a SEED Transition Lab on Climate Finance. It sounded like a very interesting way to spend a few days. I like the idea of having the toolkit to take home.
When you spent three days with a bunch of people locked in a conference room you end up making friends, establishing relationships and learning what other organisations are doing. This was a big strong point of the programme and a valuable part of the training. The Toolkit is very easy to use and quite self-explanatory.