Title: MSME-Business Training Content Developer for SISBEC
Project: Strongim Bisnis
Duration: Up to 27 days starting in October 2023
Location: Honiara, Guadalcanal (Solomon Islands)
Reports to: Krista Likaveke – Business Advisor Financial Services Sector
Intervention / area of focus: Financial Services
ASI contact representative: Charlie Petrie, Strongim Bisnis Program Manager
Background to the Strongim Bisnis program
Strongim Bisnis, which commenced in July 2017, is an initiative of the Australian Government in Solomon Islands. It utilises a market systems development (MSD) approach in its goal to stimulate growth in specific sectors (cocoa, coconut, tourism, timber, horticulture, waste management and financial services). Through its activities it seeks to catalyse innovation, improve business practices, strengthen collaboration, manage risks, build resilience, increase women’s participation and empowerment, and actively involve youth and people with disability.
The program has three end-of-program outcomes (EOPOs):
- Business is demonstrating potential for increased productivity, greater resilience, better risk management, more income earning opportunities and access to higher value markets, more efficient use of assets and labor, and new business models that favour employment, incomes or trade.
- The private sector and government work together to increase opportunities for trade and investment, and form external partnerships that accelerate business growth, measured by a more favourable investment climate and external partnerships that accelerate changing business practice; and
- Women, youth, and people with disability have increased economic opportunity, measured by their participation in the above outcomes and the success of specific social inclusion measures for women’s, youth and people with disability economic empowerment.
Background to the Assignment
Limited access to business advisory services, and the low quality of those available, are binding constraints on SME growth. Limited access to finance, poor customer service, slow innovation, and ineffective/lack of marketing amongst SMEs are all tied to business advisory service providers’ (BASP) quality and accessibility. While Solomon Islands does have a business advisory service market, this mainly consists of financial advisory and accounting services, and business associations offering generic support to their members.
The Solomon Islands Small Business Enterprises Centre (SISBEC) provides business training for potential entrepreneurs and small business operators. They have gained recognition within the market for doing this competently, and are periodically engaged by Government, big business, and donor programs to this end.
Strongim Bisnis along with SISBEC carried out a market survey on the demand for business training services and found that:
Banks and Financial Institutions are interested to engage with early stage and potential entrepreneurs to build a pipeline of future customers. Through previous experiences, the institutions found that the default rate was high with enterprises who did not have sound financial management in place or did not have strong understanding of the demand of the services/products they were offering prior to making their investments. Financial Institutions want to engage with micro-enterprises to increase awareness of their services but also improve enterprise capacity on financial management and demand assessment when starting business. The institutions were not keen to support one-on-one business advisory services to micro-enterprises, instead were keen to support group trainings through training service providers.
Micro-enterprises find the fees associated with one-on-one advisory services to be high and the demand to engage advisors for loan preparation was low given the high costs of such services. The enterprises do struggle to access funds to start or grow their businesses, however, also have limited support from major companies that they are clients of. For instance, only a limited number of wholesalers provide credit to retailers or have low engagement with potential agents for distribution. Micro-Enterprises have limited information on the products and support that they can receive from different local actors. Enterprises also require support on social media presence and customer service to be more competitive in the markets they operate in.
There are clusters of potential entrepreneurs including people returning from the seasonal workers program and people retiring from formal employment both in the public and private sector with superannuation funds, who have available cash and a willingness to start businesses though have limited capacity to make the most suitable investments given the small market size and limited number of opportunities.
Overall, through the survey, it was found that trainings can be developed for micro-enterprises aligned with the local market context and the needs of the enterprises and potential cohorts of trainees can come from sources working with retirees and seasonal workers.
Objective of the Assignment
This assignment aims to update the training content and build powerpoint presentations of selected courses provided by SISBEC to the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) in Solomon Islands and align it with the market context of the country.
Scope of Work
The specific tasks are as follows:
- Meet with relevant stakeholders in Solomon Islands across SISBEC’s identified target market sectors to understand their training needs.
- Develop new training courses in the following areas:
“Mastering the Loan Application Process: Securing Funding from Banks” (help SMEs to gain understanding on how to secure loan funding)
“Financial Freedom at Retirement: A Course on Planning and Managing Your Finances” – course for NPF members retirees.
“Seizing Opportunities: Empowering Labour Mobility Participants through Entrepreneurship” – series of training for those in labour mobility scheme.
“Practical accounting/bookkeeping training course” – a practical hands on training to equip participants on practical skills.
- Review the training content of the following current SISBEC courses: “Project management”
“Start Your Own Business”
“Sales & Marketing”
- Update training content of the reviewed courses, aligning it with the needs of SISBEC’s target market and including Solomon Islands specific content to increase awareness among micro-enterprises on the services available to them. The newly developed and updated training should include modules on demand assessment, financial management, availability of local support services relevant for micro-enterprises, processes of applying for local funding sources, social medial presence and customer services.
- Build PowerPoint presentations of the newly developed and reviewed and updated courses.
- Capacity build SISBEC trainers on the new training content.
Deliverables and schedule
The assignment will commence in October 2023 and will require up to 27 days of input. Completion of the assignment is conditional upon approval of the deliverables by Strongim Bisnis and SISBEC.
|Meet relevant stakeholders in Solomon Islands across SISBEC’s target market sectors to understand their training needs.
|Brief on findings
|Review the training content of SISBEC’s Project Management; Start Your Own Business; Customer Service; and Sales and Marketing courses
|Plan for updating content
|Develop new training courses in the 4 highlighted key areas outlined in the Scope of Work section.
|New courses content completed and approved by SISBEC.
|Update training content of the reviewed courses, aligning it with the needs of SISBEC’s target market and including Solomon Islands specific content to increase awareness among micro-enterprises on the services available to them.
|Content updated and approved by SISBEC
|Build PowerPoint presentations of the current selected courses whose content has been updated as well as the newly developed courses.
|PowerPoint slides approved by SISBEC.
|Capacity build SISBEC trainers on the new and updated training content
|Trainings delivered to SISBEC trainers
|Up to 27 days
Skills and experience required
The lead consultant should have:
- Bachelor’s degree in finance, operations, research, statistics, math, economics, or related analytical discipline preferred.
- Business training content development experience; prior experience as an advisor to or executive at an early-stage training enterprise for micro-enterprises is a plus.
- Experience within the training industry in the Pacific is a plus.
- A natural curiosity and a “big picture” mentality.
- Experience conducting trainings to micro-enterprises paid for by private sector is plus.
- Excellent spoken and written communication; comfort reaching out to and interviewing the company’s management, employees, and customer base.
Application: Please apply by 17th of September 2023 11:59 AM GMT and send in your resume and proposal for the assignment to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please reach out to the same address if you have any questions on the assignment.