On Saturday, 16 incredible people from 8 organizations graduated as our first group of Certified Street Business School Lead Coaches! Coming from Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda, Kenya and Somalia these dedicated individuals spent 8 days with us learning how to train people in their own communities to become successful entrepreneurs.
The week was a tremendous success! The group went through our entire 6 month training in just 8 days! They bonded with each other, formed easy friendships, and had social excursions to the ice cream store and to see the well known Uganda Ndere Dancers. They asked questions, participated in activities, and took lots and lots of notes.
Each day, they went through 2 SBS Modules. The first 2 hours of the session, Coach Racheal Nalukwago taught them as if they were the women participating in the SBS program themselves. This gave them the chance to really experience SBS from the point of view of a participant. The third hour, Coach Chris Harper shared the methodology behind WHY we teach it the way we do, providing them with tips and techniques for successful delivery.
One morning, they went through the module on “Creating a Business Plan” in which they learned the components that are important for a successful business.
They were divided into groups and asked to complete a puzzle. Each puzzle was missing three pieces. On the back side of the puzzle, the components of business planning (minus 3 on the missing pieces) were written. Once they figured out which pieces were missing, they could ask for, and receive the final pieces to finish their puzzle. The lesson: each piece of a business plan is important and leaving one out makes the whole picture incomplete.
The groups then brainstormed over a dozen reasons why a woman might not want to put together a business plan and strategies on how to overcome the objections. Each person is now equipped to anticipate and overcome some of the challenges they will have when helping the women they work with complete business planning, and have a visceral experience of why all the pieces are important.
Furthermore, we are excited to say that each person is now ready to pass on the knowledge and skills of Street Business School to the individuals in the communities they serve. One participant said, “I’ve been to lots of trainings. This one is different. At others they just provide lectures, and you see they are doing it without passion.” Another said, “The content is so simple. I’m always thinking about women in the 47 groups that we have. I can’t think of any woman in any of our groups who won’t be able to understand the content you have shared with us.”
We knew the incredible impact SBS was having on women’s lives. It is wonderful to hear other organizations validating this. As each team returns to their community, they represent the first sparks of an initiative that will ignite 1 million women out of poverty.
Do you know an African-based organization that could benefit from SBS? Find out more about upcoming trainings here.