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Practical Skills for Microentrepreneurs: ACCION’s Experiences with its ABCs of Business Training Program

Topic :

How can microentrepreneurs acquire the skills they need to compete in an uncertain business environment? In 1995, ACCION International developed a program to help microentrepreneurs improve their business skills and their ability to manage credit. ACCION ABCs of Business1 is a training program for microentrepreneurs that fosters an interactive learning environment and employs adult learning techniques to teach management skills.

This InSight describes ABCs of Business and the premises upon which it was developed. It details lessons ACCION has learned about adult education and how these lessons were incorporated into the interactive training style the program applies.

The objective of ABCs of Business is to provide microentrepreneurs with the means to develop their managerial abilities through educational methods that eliminate the barriers to learning that entrepreneurs often face. These general topics covered by ABCs of Business are presented through specific educational modules.

In addition to providing information about business management, ABCs of Business aims to develop four key abilities that help entrepreneurs turn information into action:

  • Seeing: entrepreneurs gather information to identify problems. They consider what experiences and knowledge they have to resolve these problems.
  • Analyzing: entrepreneurs are taught to find solutions to their problems by analyzing their causes and consequences.
  • Transformation: entrepreneurs establish a plan of action using the training to resolve problems or to improve the conditions for their microenterprises or their personal situations.
  • Evaluation: entrepreneurs examine which business solutions have succeeded and why, and what practices should be changed.

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