USAID Project Enhances the Capacity of Small and Medium Enterprises in Belarus

USAID Project Enhances the Capacity of Small and Medium Enterprises in Belarus
USAID supports Business EdgeTM trainings that strengthen the management skills of small and medium enterprises.
“This was my first training experience of this kind. Together with other participants, I analyzed actual business cases and discussed real situations that business executives face on a day-to-day basis,” shared Igor Tchivel. “We brought our individual expertise to the training room, and shared experiences and observations in dealing with common problems and organizational needs.”

USAID, in partnership with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), introduced Business EdgeTM (BE), an international-standard training program, to improve business performance and of SME competitiveness in Belarusian provinces. Since its launch in January 2011, Business EdgeTM has trained 1,708 Belarusian SMEs in marketing, human resource management, personal productivity, finance and accounting.

Belarusian regional small and medium enterprises (SME) have limited access to business information and few opportunities to train their personnel in fundamental business management skills. Nation-wide available opportunities for training are limited, consisting of full-time university courses or short-term courses tailored to specific needs. Neither of these meets the needs of the owners and managers of small- and medium-sized businesses in regional cities and smaller towns in Belarus.  In addition, only 5 percent of business training providers operate outside of the capital.

Igor Tchivel, the Director of Nimax, an accounting company in Grodno, didn’t have serious issues with his firm’s operation. Yet, in search for new opportunities, he signed up for several BE trainings.

Among other take-aways, Igor significantly improved his commercial proposal writing skills and introduced a power point instrument specifically designed to present the company’s services  into his company’s operation.  “I benefited greatly from the group work methodology proposed by Business EdgeTM workshops,” added Igor. “This was one of the new approaches I learned.”

After attending the training, Igor became a strong supporter of business education and decided to invest in the professional development of his personnel.  Upon his request, BelBiz provided a corporate workshop customized to the firm’s needs with case studies and exercises relevant to the staff’s everyday work. Within the training framework, each participant developed an action plan that incorporated that they learned into Nimax’s daily operation.

By introducing action plans into the firm’s operation, their business approach has been significantly improved, attracting 25 new customers in only five months. The personnel’s conflict resolution approach was also improved, and customer satisfaction has significantly increased.

Last updated: October 30, 2014

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