The training will recognize that business outcomes related to firms poor performance partially result from poor business skills and knowledge on: i) financial management ii) records keeping iii) business organisation and iv) marketing skills. In addition, poor performance might stem from negligence regarding non-cognitive skills, namely: i) communication, ii) time management and use, low trust, minimal flexibility with customers and inadequate work place hygiene).
In order to enhance the firm owner’ abilities, firm owners will receive a 2 days training, which will cover a) business management skills, and b) inter-personal skills.
Training in business management modules will include: financial literacy, records keeping, sales and marketing. Modules on inter-personal skills will contain: customer care basics, good practices, and relevance of: communication, trust, flexibility, time management and work place hygiene/cleanliness.
Thus the training aims at improving firms performance through enhancing business practices and behavior, customer satisfaction and loyalty. Ultimately, the intervention aims to sustainably improve SMEs business outcomes and loan performance.
Training modules shall be developed by the research team, together with help from BRAC Microfinance and Adolescents programs trainers. Also, an organisational psychologist will be contracted in order to develop modules on interpersonal skills. Training will be delivered by BRAC Credit officers (CO) given their good relations with the clients. Credit Officers will use both English and pigeon English to be able to accommodate clients with low literacy levels. In order to be able to deliver the training, CO will be provided with a Training of Trainers for two days by the research team with the help of a psychologist.
The study will include both male and female clients. Selected SEP clients through lottery shall be invited to the respective branch locations to receive the training.