No Woman Left Behind
Launching of the NO WOMAN LEFT BEHIND phase 2 project
The launching of the NWLB project took place on the 7th of April 2023 at the ITTOG premises in West African Insurance Institute Complex, Kololi, and was presided over by the Minister of Women, children and Social Welfare.
In introducing the project, the Chairman of the Board of ITTOG, Dr. Adama spoke about the activities which includes business skills training and personalized mentoring for the creation of small self-managed businesses by the learners.
In her launching statement, Honourable Fatou Kinteh, the Minister of Women, Children and Social Welfare, expressed delight on this important project and congratulated both ITTOG and AETHNIC of Barcelona, Spain for coming up with this comprehensive training program.
She expressed the hope that following the launching of this second phase, giant strides will be achieved in translating the course core skills of problem-solving, team skills, communication skills, entrepreneurship, and self-management among others into appropriate strategies for the economic empowerment of women.
Other speakers at the event included Victoria Garcia, Project Director of Association Ethnic, Barcelona, Spain.
The event was Chaired by Mr. Sheikh Tejan Nyang Head of School, Institute of Travel and Tourism of The Gambia.
NO WOMAN LEFT BEHIND PHASE TWO IN 2023
The No Woman Left Behind (NWLB) project aims to train Gambian women in a situation of special vulnerability as entrepreneurs and facilitate the creation of small businesses managed by them.
The project will train and mentor the women involved, most of whom have received training and qualification at Institute of Travel and Tourism of The Gambia (ITTOG) in the production of local gastronomic products for the responsible tourism market.
The project empowers these women as entrepreneurs, empowers them in the exercise of managerial functions and contributes to reducing the existing gender inequality.
Participating are selected based on their motivation and interest and will participate from the beginning in their learning process and the creation of their own business initiative.
ITTOG manages the project as part of its Access Business Centre programmes. The project, is structured in the following activities:
• Training program focused on the development of business skills.
• Personalized mentoring and coaching training program for the creation of small self-managed businesses.
The NGOs Gambia Women’s Chamber of Commerce (GWCC) and the Gambia Gender Platform (GP) support ITTOG in the development of the project. The GP supports the project regarding the selection of participants and their training in human rights and gender.
The international partner of the project is AETHNIC of Spain and it is funded by the Catalan Agency for Cooperation and Development.
NWLB DRAGON DEN
The idea of a Dragon Den is a reality television program format in which entrepreneurs pitch their business ideas to a panel of venture capitalists in the hope of securing investment finance from them.
The NWLB dragon Den initiative is different in the sense that the panel are not venture capitalists but mentors who will assess participants to find out if they understand the entrepreneurship lessons they were given in class. From these findings mentors could help them to devise the right strategies to further their business ambitions.
The panel consisted of Sallie Grayson, a successful business woman and volunteer from People and places in UK who are partners to ITTOG; James Roberts a successful business man running a local Mini-market in Kololi and retired banker who worked for Standard Chartered Bank as their IT banking representative in West and Central Africa; and Dr. Adama Bah the project director who successfully ran many small-scale tourism businesses like a restaurant, poultry, art gallery etc.
In the last day they were joined by Ms Adama Manneh who runs a family fish business with her husband and who left her job in the UK as an accountant to come and open catering and grocery shops in The Gambia.
At the end of the programme, most did a good job. However, a few of them are struggling to understand how to run their proposed businesses.
The next stage of this project is to identify mentors who will help them move to the next level of their business ambitions. This stage starts in August 2023.
TRAINING DELIVERY STRATEGY
This activity consists of the development of a training curriculum; promotion of the course; shortlisting, interview and selection of participants. The activity was carried out in January and February 2023 and involved firstly, the development of a training curriculum and teaching materials in collaboration with People and Places UK.
Extensive research was conducted to understand the link between entrepreneurship and economic growth and the role of women in entrepreneurship in The Gambia, identification of entrepreneurial traits and examination of different pedagogy. Research was done through an exhaustive survey of existing literature and through speaking to the different trainers who will be delivering the course.
The team also identified individuals and institutions that will support the delivery of the course including the Gambia Woman’s Chamber of Commerce and the Gender Platform.
A 288 teaching hours practical, experience-based curriculum was designed with some classroom teaching but also making use of guest-speakers and fieldtrips. There is no academic qualification required for admission onto the course and no formal examination at the end – instead trainees will acquire skills throughout the course in problem-solving, team skills, communication skills, entrepreneurship, self-management and readiness for work – all vital qualities for success in business. They will also be assessed on the triple core qualities of skills,
Mode of Delivery
The trainers delivering the programme aim to:
- Liaise with experienced business persons to ensure a relevant course
- Link with company-based training programmes
- Make full use of learner’s experience that they bring to the programme
- Create an interesting learning environment with motivated learners
- Ensure quality is adhered to at all times
- Ensure that appropriate links are made between theory and practice.
- Use relevant and up to date teaching materials
- Ensure learners adhere to professionalism at all times as they will be training for the business environment. This is in terms of; full attendance, punctuality, attitude and deadlines are kept knowledge and behavior throughout all modules.