Oleksandr Bondarenko and Arieta Pozhegu, participants in the ITP courses Strategic Business Management and Private Sector Growth Strategies.
Successful training promotes private sector development
A well-functioning private sector is vital for sustainable economic growth. Since 2011 Sida has run two training programmes promoting the development of the business community.
Sida’s International Training Programmes (ITP) supports institutional and organisational capacity development. By supporting participants from key organisations from Sida’s partner countries, the programme contributes to reform processes and organisational change.
Since 2011 Sida has offered two programmes in parallel - Private Sector Growth Strategies (PSGS) and Strategic Business Management (SBM) in two regions; Africa and Eastern Europe/Balkans. While two separate programmes, targeting entrepreneurs in one and authorities and public institutions in the other, the idea has been to promote cross-country as well as cross -sectoral learning and sharing of experiences and knowledge from the two target audiences. In June 2017 the Eastern Europe/Balkans programme convened its two last groups for a final regional meeting in Georgia and two participants were interviewed about their experiences.
“This Private Sector Growth Strategies programme has allowed us to advance our knowledge and share experiences with other people and other countries. The tools and methods presented in the programme have been useful and we have transferred the newly gained knowledge into our work to develop our organisation and support our members.” says Arieta Pozhegu, Executive Director at the Association of Wood Processors of Kosovo.
A well-functioning private sector, markets and institutions are important for sustainable economic growth and strengthening business support organisations in their work to support enterprises is one of many ways to support private sector development.
“Kosovo is a small market and our members need to increase their potential to export to other markets. Today is a globalised world and we can’t rely on one single market for survival. As a direct result of the participation in the programme and our organisational action plan we have been able to promote our members more actively and they have participated in international wood fairs and signed more contracts. “continues Arieta Pozhegu.
Networking and sharing experiences across sectors and countries is a key ingredient to the two programmes’ success as the participants gain new knowledge and new insight into other organisations and sectors while realizing that they have many things and challenges in common.
“I applied to the Strategic Business Management programme after recently having joined the company as I realized that the company and I needed to adapt to new circumstances and new markets. I was interested in learning and sharing experiences with other companies, getting insight into modern management approaches and broadening our business network” explains Oleksandr Bondarenko, Managing Director of Pirana, a personal care and household manufacturer from Ukraine.
A central part of the training programme is the participants own change project. The PSGS programme participants engage in organisational action plans while the SBM participants put together strategic business plans.
“Our change project has been to transform the entire business model of the company – mainly within three pillars: marketing strategy, technology strategy and people strategy. How do we change our marketing approach to promote our brands and launch new products? How do we update our technology to bring it to the next level? And finally, how do we attract the right people and help them grow?” says Oleksandr Bondarenko.
As the programmes focus on change, many of the participants note a big change within themselves and their organisations.
Oleksandr Bondarenko wraps up:
“On a personal level I have started to listen more and to encourage and coach my colleagues to participate more in the development of the company. Within the company we have started to build a corporate structure creating common values, something we didn’t have before.”