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Competency-based Economies through Formation of Enterprise Training Program for Illiterates

Competency-based Economies through Formation of Enterprise (CEFE) provides individuals in developing countries with entrepreneurial skills and trains them to start their own businesses. The CEFE Training Program for Illiterates is an entrepreneurial education course targeted toward semi- and illiterate, rural populations, and the program has been successfully tested on groups of rural women in Latin America, Asia and Africa. This program is based on the CEFE core curriculum, but has been adapted for use in Afghanistan by the International Rescue Committee and its sub-contractor Contor Consulting, with funding from the U.S. Department of Labor. The course contains five modules, and is designed to improve the economic and entrepreneurial activities of its participants.

The Training Program for Illiterates Instruction Manual is provided in English, and the Workbook and Guidelines for Trainers are provided in Dari.

Training Program for Illiterates Instruction Manual

  • Module 1: Opening [PDF]
  • The first module consists of several games meant to break the ice and forge relationships between group members. In addition, the trainer(s) will communicate administrative details and course content to participants, and participants will be asked to share their expectations for the program.

  • Module 2: Entrepreneurial Competencies [PDF]
  • The second module uses exercises and lessons to help participants identify their own skills and manage relationships with people who can either help or impede the success of their business. Objectives include indentifying personal strengths, practicing entrepreneurial characteristics, learning how to improve relationships with members of their family and environment (with an emphasis on managing these relationships to increase the chances of business success), and practicing simple bookkeeping.

  • Module 3: Matching of Person with Project [PDF]
  • The focus of the third module is on identifying business ideas that match the participantsí core competencies. The exercises in this module prompt participants to brainstorm business ideas that match their core competencies, critique each othersí ideas as a means of fine-tuning, and narrow the ideas down to three prospective opportunities.

  • Module 4: Business Planning
    • Sub-Module: Marketing [PDF]
    • The business planning sub-module is focused on teaching participants the basics of business planning and economics. The activities and lessons in this module are meant to teach the four Ps (place, price, product, promotion), stress the importance of supply and demand on business activities, and demonstrate strategies for maximizing profits. Participants will take part in an exercise that teaches them how to gain information about demand for a product or service and also learn how to set seasonal prices and identify potential high-income months so that they can achieve maximal profits.

    • Sub-Module: Finance [PDF]
    • The finance sub-module is meant to provide students with the financial tools and skills they will need to run successful businesses. The exercises in this sub-module provide participants with basic knowledge of the concepts of profit margins, liquidity, and business reinvestment. They also teach participants methods for calculating monthly and yearly production costs and income. Finally, participants will be asked to prepare a business presentation and will receive feedback from the trainer(s).

  • Module 5: Ending [PDF]
  • The final module has course participants plan the steps they will take over the next three months in order to realize their business goals. As part of this module, the trainer(s) will also set up a structure for the ongoing monitoring process and will ask participants to describe the extent to which their expectations for the course were or were not met.