“This training will help me support local SMEs in improving their business performance”


From 13 until 17 July a 5-day online training of trainers for partner institutions conducted by Vin Morar of MSM took place. Participants from IPRC Karongi, Bumba TVET school, Gisovu TVET school, Kivumu TVET school and three Cooperatives and SMEs development district officers from Karongi, Ngororero and Rutsiro took part in the training on coaching and counselling of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

Initially cooperatives were simply groups of farmers cooperating voluntarily, without a clear structure. However, especially since the publication of the new law on cooperatives in Rwanda, agricultural cooperatives are becoming major actors in the economic growth of the country and are on a path of becoming full-fledged players in the private sector. At the same time, SMEs and start-ups are increasing their economic activity albeit that SMEs in fragile and conflict-affected regions experience specific and unique hurdles to doing business.

In this context, SEAD West is eager to support SMEs in the western province (farmers, cooperatives and agribusinesses/services) by providing a business counselling training program that is tailored to individuals with little or no direct working experience with SME’s.

Developing business counselling competencies
During this 5-day training the business counseling competencies of the partner institutions were developed to support them and increase their knowledge on business counselling, increase sensitivity towards SMEs and their development needs within partner institutions. Also, ensuring that participants have a clear notion of how a business coach should respond to the challenges and needs of small business operators. Furthermore, the participants were made aware of how to respond to the different challenges and needs of small businesses at the critical stages of an enterprise and introduce them to a variety of tools and methods that will enable them to achieve their coaching function more effectively.

Vin Morar introduced the participants to;

  • General introduction to entrepreneurship:
  • Effective counselling to SMEs
  • Problem solving tools, methods and guides for effective small business counselling
  • Business counselling competency standards and personal development action planning.

Participants appreciated the training and left committed to help different SMEs in their respective districts and institutions. Online training was new to them, but they said it did not hinder their learning at all.

Theoneste Hagenimana, guidance and counselling officer at IPRC Karongi took part in the training and said the following; ”I am glad that I was part of this training, it really improved my skills on coaching and counselling and other relevant aspects which will help me support local SMEs in improving their business performance, I did not know that I am able to coach or counsel some projects and SMEs towards their business objectives. Also, I truly appreciated this new way of E-Learning. In the beginning I kept asking myself how the training will be done without a facilitator on the ground, but he proved us that he can easily train online and went ahead and provided us with relevant examples, he gave us group assignments and most importantly giving us time to ask questions.’’

About SEAD West
The SEAD West Project aims to contribute to achieving sustainable food security in Rwanda. The project is designed to support Rwandan universities and TVET institutions to improve their education and training programmes; research and community services in agricultural production; value chain management as well as land and water management. SEAD West is an institutional development cooperation programme aimed at strengthening educational capacities in partner countries of Dutch Development Cooperation through strengthening post-secondary education and training. The project is funded by the Nuffic Orange Knowledge Programme.

Visit the SEAD website for more information

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