Small informal businesses, artisans, traders and local services represent the main pool of employment and form the principal source of revenue for millions of people (90% of jobs created between 1990 and 2000 in Africa were informal businesses, according to the International Labour Organisation). However, these small businesses are fragile and without support they have little chance of survival or growth.
This is why, since the end of the nineties, IECD with its partners has put in place a programme of Support to Small Enterprises which assists the beneficiaries, heads of small business or start-up entrepreneurs, to strengthen their management skills in order to consolidate and expand their business. Over time, these successful companies generate more stable incomes and create jobs. They contribute to improving the living conditions of the entrepreneur, his/her family and employees.
IECD and our partners focus on management skills and the ability of the entrepreneur to develop his/her business, through training and a personalised follow-up. An initial training programme allows for the response to the needs of active entrepreneurs (Basic Management Training – BMT) or those who wish to develop their own business (Start-Up Training – SUT). These training programmes include many hours of personal guidance, up to one year after classroom sessions have ended. This support plays an essential role in the appropriation of concepts and management tools by entrepreneurs.
After this, the beneficiaries have the opportunity to join one of the Entrepreneurs Clubs, where themed evenings, specialised training (management, marketing, accounting-finance and IT) is proposed, personalised advice and access to computers is available. The Club allows people to meet, and favours the creation of a network for the beneficiaries who are often professionally isolated.
Support program to small enterprises (french video) – IECD – 2010.