SMEF Launches Inventory Management Training To 19 SMEs in Puntland

SMEF Launches Inventory Management Training To 19 SMEs in Puntland

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Proper management of inventories is among the many challenges Somali SME’s are facing and there are even companies that go out of business due to cash-flow shortage. Efficient inventory management can boost the cash flow, while poor management can cause cash flow problems. To overcome this challenge SMEF is currently delivering 2 days training on inventory management to 19 companies in Puntland followed by individual 1-on-1 support to implement software that will support the companies to manage their stocks.

The training is designed and provided by consulting firm Invista, a business development service provider based in Garowe Puntland. The training is expected to strengthen the 19 businesses and make them more sustainable. The companies represent many key sectors of the Somali economy such as agriculture, livestock, fisheries and manufacturing. Some of them are successful SBCF applicants receiving funding from DAI to further grow their business.

The participating SMEs received professional training in inventory management and per company at least two individuals have been trained to work with the new software on daily basis. The topics covered include inventory management in relation to customers (how inventory stock outs can result in disappointed customers and diminishes customer loyalty) and issues of overstocking (increased inventory-carrying costs). Furthermore, a business software with a module for inventory management is being implemented for the participating SMEs.

With the 1-on-1 support that follows the group training the consultant supports the companies in installing the software, tailoring it to individual businesses, entering data and mentoring in its usage such as on how to create management reports or how to interpret inventory figures. The consultant is also available for support after the individual software implementation to maintain the system and troubleshoot.

SMEF provides a wide range of “integrated services” to SMEs, BDS providers, individuals seeking new skills or skills upgrading and young women in Somaliland, Puntland and South central Somalia. For more additional information on these, please visit, smefbds.com

SMEF Supports 10 SMEs from Somaliland Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture.

SMEF Supports 10 SMEs from Somaliland Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture.

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In February 2018, a SMEF accredited Business Development Service provider- QUANTUM-CES conducted a business support and needs assessment for 10 SMEs in the Services sector. The assessment looked into gaps in the SMEs in areas including current level of governance, performance over time, adaptability for future needs, human resources knowledge and skills, financial performance and management, marketing and operations.

On 28 February, 2018, a validation workshop on the general findings of the report was conducted at the Chamber of Commerce, industry and agriculture new offices in Hargeisa. The meeting was attended by the officials of the chamber, SMEF and representatives from the SMEs. The objective of the workshop was to inform the results of the assessment, provide the assessment an avenue for verifying the accuracy and prioritise the major problem areas for possible interventions.

Quantum –CES and the SMEs prioritised the Governance gaps identified, leading to development of a support training to strengthen the governance functions of the SMEs. Eventually the 10 SMEs were provided with group and individualized one on one support.

The BDO implemented and World Bank SMEF project has been working with the Somaliland Chamber of Commerce and Industry to support SMEs affiliated to the chamber. This was after both parties agreed under an MOU with the aim of adding value to each other’s mandate. Both parties agreed to cooperate on providing practical business-oriented support to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Life Experience Events for Entrepreneurial Young Women in Somaliland

Life Experience Events for Entrepreneurial Young Women in Somaliland

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SMEF launched a series of business plan competition events for entrepreneurial young women in Somaliland on 13 Dec 2017. The first event took place in Hargeisa in which 44 young women competed for a business plan. The first event of the business plans competition continued for four consecutive days in Ambassador Hotel, Hargeisa, Somaliland. For the first day, the young women were given the opportunity to review the pre-assignment business plans with their mentors. Together, they took a closer look at the components of the business plan to identify areas of mending on the fundamentals of the plan. By the end, they were given feedback and suggestions for improvement.

On the second day, the participants have introduced the concept of pitching a business plan. They were given the skills to present the business plans in short and quick way by providing the overview of the business and main details that could make it successful. This was followed by a practical pitching session in which the young girls practiced the skills they received from the session. They pitched their business plans and received suggestions for improvement and they could better pitch their business plans to potential investors. Before now, I had no idea how to pitch a business plan to investors. To me, a business plan was a foreign concept and something of strange. Now, I have developed a viable business plan and I can easily bitch investors in search of investment.” Said one of the participants, Hana with the business plan of clothes design.

The third day followed with the networking session. Popular and well know business individuals and institutions were invited to session. During the networking session, some of the successful business women and men were asked to share the stories of their start-ups. They revealed that great desire doing it and that every challenge should be an experience instead of giving up made their business ideas into reality. The young women met business personnel in the networking session. They focused on talking what they did and do about their business. They also looked for opportunities to connect with them and most of them planed the next meetings to continue discussing their business plans and learning from them as well. Nafisa Mohamud, one of the young women who participated in the business plan competition said, “I had initial fear of failure for doing any business. The speech of the business owners is like I had ignited a fire inside me”.

On the fourth day, the business plans developed by young women were judged by a panel of independent professionals, involved in entrepreneurship and different business ventures. Judges were including; successful entrepreneurs, professional service providers, individuals working with the banks and academic institutions. The written business plans were evaluated against a set criteria such as the viability of the idea, value proposition, and solution presented to the customers, marketing strategies, growth potential, financial strength, and benefit for young people in terms of employment generation of the proposed business venture.

Though the essence of the business plan competition is to cultivate a culture of entrepreneurship, sensitise and inspire the spirit of testing business ideas, nevertheless, SMEF with financial help from the World Bank, provided cash awards of $1,000 for the first, $750 for the second and $500 for the third winner respectively. The provision of the cash awards was to give some sort of encouragement and motivation for the young women to move the business plans forward. The winners from Hargeisa were from two clusters, making them six young women as the total of the winners. The winners are Mahuraan kids, Casita Sweats, Dunya Salt Production, Queen Mama, Nafisa Media Production, Ubah Inspire, and fitness centre. The profile of the business will be shared soon.

Though the essence of the business plan competition is to cultivate a culture of entrepreneurship, sensitise and inspire the spirit of testing business ideas, nevertheless, SMEF with financial help from the World Bank, provided cash awards of $1,000 for the first, $750 for the second and $500 for the third winner respectively. The provision of the cash awards was to give some sort of encouragement and motivation for the young women to move the business plans forward. The winners from Hargeisa were from two clusters, making them six young women. The winners were Mahuraan kids, Casita Sweats, Dunya Salt Production, Queen Mama, Nafisa Media Production, Ubah Inspire, and fitness centre. The profile of the business will be shared soon.

Mohamoud Khayre, SMEF Somaliland Regional Coordinator, said “all young women who participated the business plan competition are winners. The real idea of organising this competition is to provide learning opportunities but not for a cash awards. It is to receive the skills and techniques needed to develop a wining business plan, how to pitch to investors and network potential supports, in which you all gained as witnessed by the judges”. He added that, you all have a reasonable chance for success, and I encourage you to seek an investment opportunities, and access to finance”. “We are extremely proud of the business plans developed by the young women. Many of the business plans really impressed us” says Ahmed Dalal Farah, from Quantum-CES consultant firm, speaking on behalf of the judges.

Similar events will take place in other regions of Somaliland, particularly, other five capital cities of Borama, Burao, Berbera, Erigavo and Las’anod.

The competition follows after 128 young women participated in a 5 days training workshops, in which the participants, through the training, develop a concrete business idea and document it for implementation. All the steps and essential element of the business plan development were covered during the training. The participants were equipped with the tools to transform ideas into business plan with clear operational and financial strategies that could deliver the results of the plan. The final portion of the training were provided the skills on how to put the finished parts on the plan altogether.

Seven separate workshops were conducted in the six regions of Somaliland. Out of the 128, 100 young women managed to complete a draft business plans. They further received mentoring and coaching session to further fine-tune their business plans. These 100 young women are clustered per region, are now competing a cash awards for the first and second and third winner positions.

The business plan competition is organised by the Somali Small Medium Enterprises Facility under the Skills Training and Entrepreneurship Pilot (STEP) scheme which seeks to increase the employability and earnings potential of young women in Somaliland. The facility is funded by the World Bank.

A Capacity Building Workshop For the Somali SME Exporters.

A Capacity Building Workshop For the Somali SME Exporters.

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The Somali Small and Medium Enterprise Facility, better known as SMEF has organized a series of workshops, titled: A Capacity-building workshop for Somali SME exporters. 3 workshops were conducted in Hargeisa, 18th – 23rd October, Mogadishu from 25th October to 30th October and Garowe from 1st to 6th November, 2017. These workshops were attended by 76 participants from the Somali existing exporters, potential exporters, as well as the trade support institutions both public and private. 26 out of these 76 participants attended Hargeisa workshop while 22 were present at Mogadishu one and 28 participants for Garowe workshop. The participants were drawn from various sectors of the economy including; fishery, livestock, manufacturing, minerals and agriculture.

The objectives of the training workshop was to provide SME exporters with the knowledge and skills necessary to participate in the international export markets, to create awareness among existing and potential SME exporters on the potential benefits and requirements of exporting, to provide insights to the SME exporting community of the dynamics of the global exporting environment and to provide a forum where the Exporting community can share ideas with the Trade support institutions within Somaliland, Somalia and South Central. Outstanding international expert, Isaac Njoroge delivered the training with lectures, discussions and group work for a variety of topics, were overwhelming, 94% of the participants felt that their objective of the attending the workshop was met to a great degree. The participants confirmed that the training will provide them a competitive advantage in the challenging world of export and international trade.

Both the local authorities representatives and the business communities of the 3 regions, Somaliland Puntland and South Central Somalia recognises the importance of exporting as an engine for economic growth and the importance of such training will lead the business people to get the required knowledge and skills in order to utilize the abundant local resources that could be easily exported to the foreign countries. In addition, they acknowledged that such training workshop would lead them to establish a forum to consistently share the challenges encountered and lessons learned from the export issues. They added that such forums will be based on sector specific with all concerned local authorities and experts will be a members as well.

The World Bank-funded ‘Somali Small and Medium Enterprise Facility’ (SMEF) is being implemented by BDO LLP across the Somali peninsula, with regional offices located in Puntland, Somaliland and the Federal Government of Somalia. The Facility is mandated to provide demand-driven, subsidized non-financial support to small businesses, ultimately seeking to help business owners grow their businesses and create jobs

Better Record Keeping Training for SMEs in Puntland.

Better Record Keeping Training for SMEs in Puntland.

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On June 17-18 June, 2017, Eagle Auditors and Business Consultants has started a high level training on financial management for 15 SMEs in Puntland. The training was conducted in Garowe.

During the training, the participating SMEs will cover the benefits and importance of record keeping in business transactions, the best practices of book keeping, risks of poor record keeping, the typical records that should be kept and the need to analyses and summarize business transactions for management decision making.

The training was delivered in an open friendly and enthusiastic approach where participants took part in a more participatory approach. The participants representing the SMEs shared their stories and the experience they encountered for managing their financial systems.

By the end of the training, there will be one to one follow-up training in which the Eagle Auditors and Business Consultants will provide tailored coaching and consultation to each of the 15 SMEs in their own offices.

Such training is designed to improve the financial system of the small and medium enterprise and will facilitate a future growth of the business in general which will, in turn, will boost the economy of Puntland as the business will create more jobs.

 

Qardho Town Hall Meeting, Puntland

Qardho Town Hall Meeting, Puntland

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On Saturday, March 25, 2017, SMEF hosted a Town Hall in Qardho town as part of SMEF services promotion to SMEs and TVET providers as well as individuals seeking skills development. The event brought together more than 50 people to access information related to SMEF services.

The Mayor of Qardho, Mr. Abdi Saed, opened the Meeting with welcoming of SMEF team to Qardho town. He also urged to the business people in Qardho to carefully understand SMEF services and utilize accordingly. SMEF team presented services of SMEF facility to SMEs as well criteria to select them. In addition, they highlighted to the process in which SMEs could request SMEF services.  They also informed the type of skills in which SMEF will provide the staff of the SMEs.

SMEF website was also introduced to the participants of the workshop. The online application form was introduced to the participants by navigating its content.

The Town Hall meeting provided the SME owners with insight, networking opportunity with SMEF and platform to discuss their experiences of technical problem which their business meet on daily basis.  SMEs showed their interest to participate SMEF programme.

Qardho mayor, closed the event. They all highlighted the importance and benefits of such programme to the local business community.