Written by Mekong Institute

The Mekong Institute was commissioned by Thailand International Development Cooperation Agency to conduct a four-week annual international training course on “Enhancing Entrepreneurship in SME Development and Export Consortia” from 9 August to September 2010 for twenty-one governemnt officiials and private sector peronnel from fourteen developing countries in Asa and Africa.  

The course aimed to develop participants’ appreciation of the importance andsignificance-and complexity- of sustainable enterprise development in a regional and national context. It sought to develop the capacity of participants to assess and consider more effective enterprise and private sector development strategies and actvties in their own countries.

Eleven external resource persons were invited to deliver lectures and facilitate discussions, and share experiences to participants. Nine structured learning visits in Khon Kaen, Nakhon Ratchasima, and Bangkok were conducted to enhance the paricipants’ understanding of the program contents and to apply the principles, process, structure, and stakeholders in planning nd implementing business from the visits.

The training course comprised firve inter-related modules. Module 1 “unleashing Entrepreneurship: Setting the Context” allowed the facilitators and participants to introduce themselves and provided an overview of te learning program, methodology, and process. Module 2 “The Essentials of Enterprse Deelopment: Why adn How”presented various approaches and tools to develop the enterprise sector. Module 3 “Ensuring Business Survval and Sustainable Grouwth” covered the concepts of “enabling enviornment” such as busness development and fnancial services, productivity and competitiveness, and value cahins to strengthen the enterprise sector. module 4 “Managing Enterprises” included study visits to enhance the participants’ understanding on the contents through observation and interaction wth enterprises’ management teams. Module 5 ” Developing Cluster and Business-to Business Networks” introduced the concepts and described key steps and suggested tools and methods for developing business clusters and networks.

The results from a range of evaluaton methods showed high satisfaction rating by the participants. However, recommendations for improvement included providing more information on export consortia, SME policy and PPP, inviting guest speakers from senior management level, providing more case studies, and organizing discusson forum wth local entrepreneurs.

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