Business training is an integral part of Partners Worldwide’s approach to supporting local businesses around the world. As of this writing, about 9,000 individuals graduate from business training annually in the Partners Worldwide network.
Our SME Curriculum:
To facilitate the ability of LCIs to teach business principles, Partners Worldwide provides a Business Curriculum for Small and Medium Enterprises. This twelve-session curriculum was developed over 20 years by our global team of trainers and includes sections on finance, marketing, management, pricing, customer service, branding, business ethics, and more, all under the purview of a Biblical worldview of work and a calling to business!
This world-class curriculum has been translated into more than ten languages, which include Spanish, French, Hindi, Portuguese, Haitian Creole, Swahili, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, Tagalog, Russian, Tamil, and Urdu.
Our SME curriculum is taught by certified trainers who have participated in Train-The-Trainer (TTT) workshops. These TTTs are usually led by PW Curriculum Coaches, or master trainers. The Curriculum Coach team consists of our “expert of experts” trainers who guide and implement the PW curriculum all over the world. They train, certify, encourage, and actively coach other trainers and LCI leaders. The Curriculum Coach roster consists of over 25 volunteer trainers from over 15 countries who combine to speak over 35 languages.
Purpose of the Training:
The target participant of our SME curriculum is an entrepreneur who has a desire to not only increase their profitability and create employment opportunities for others, but also to impact their community positively. Upon graduation, business leaders will be equipped to write a comprehensive business plan, run profitable and positive businesses, evaluate options to finance the growth of their business, all while having developed vital networking and mentoring relationships.
Best Practices and Recommendations
As new LCIs seek to implement business training, the following suggestions are given based on the experiences of other LCIs from around the globe.
- Recruit trainers from your LCI network and provide training for them on how to use the PW curriculum, with the commitment that they will teach the training for a minimum of two years. Some LCIs offer an honorarium to trainers, while others use volunteer trainers.
- Recruit business training participants through referrals from previous participants, church networks, and by visiting prospective businesses.
- Establish basic participation requirements, which may include owning an existing business, employing a certain number of people, committing to attend a minimum percentage of the course, payment of a materials/course fee, etc.
- Demonstrate the value of the course by advertising the real market value of the course if it had been offered by a for-profit entity. Have participants minimally pay for the cost of printing the course materials, and do not hand out materials until the fee has been paid.
- Ensure the timely arrival of participants by making those who arrive late sing a song or act out a topic from the training. Encourage punctuality by having a raffle for which participants earn tickets by arriving on time.
- Differentiate between those who simply participated in part of the training and those who completed the full course and wrote a business plan by offering two different types of certificates at graduation.
- Allow training participants to plan the graduation, and have them invite family members, pastors, and friends. Give the opportunity for friends to sign up for the next class immediately after the graduation ceremony.
- Have trainers and LCI leaders visit the participants’ businesses during the duration of the training to learn more about the businesses and provide “on-site” coaching opportunities.
Want to go deeper?
- Here is a preview version of the SME Curriculum.
- The following additional training resources may be helpful in your journey:
- SME Toolkit - this website is a powerhouse of practical tools and resources to help grow your small-to-medium company, on topics ranging from accounting, legal, marketing, human resources, business expansion, and much more.
- The Business Model Canvas - a cutting-edge tool for creating 1-page Business Plans.
- Visit businessasmission.com for thoughts on how to run a Kingdom-minded enterprise, seeing business as a primary way in which we worship God. Always remember that our place in the marketplace is a holy calling.
- The Business as Mission Occasional paper from Lausanne is another good overview on what Business as Mission is and what it isn’t.
- For assessing the effectiveness of training, we find The Kirkpatrick Evaluation Model to be one of the best resources out there. It breaks down training evaluation into four categories: reaction, learning, behavior, and results.
- See also: Gagne’s Nine Levels of Learning
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.