Bite Sized Wisdom

Why Enterpreneurship Program Doesn’t Work

This post is a part of Bite Sized Wisdom series.

Nowadays, there are a lot of organization that promotes enterpreneurship to rural areas. They aim to encourage people to start businesses, to grow the economy, and making an impact to the community. There are banks with incubation programs, government bodies with enterpreneurship training program, but the impact still leaves much to be desired. With more than 250 million people in Indonesia, with all the resources that exist here, Indonesia should be able to grow much much more than this.

One big matter that was identified was the continuity. Programs that is designed to help enterpreneurs are generally treated more like a project, for example, a 6 month coaching, and then they leave the enterpreneur to fend for themselves and to keep up the habit. In theory, this is not wrong. But in practice, these enterpreneurs, these people that were trained, needs a longer term guidance. Programs like this must not be a one time thing, there must be a continuity.

Of course the fault doesn’t lie on the enterpreneurship program itself, but in part it’s the habit of the people that they’re trying to help. Habit is not easy to break, and there are tons of research and books on this point. It’s necessary to help these budding enterpreneurs change their habit slowly instead of expecting them to change everything after a workshop/program period.

One way this can be done is to have an “account team” that periodically checks on the enterpreneur and be a point of consultation for them. Enabling chat via WhatsApp to a single number is also helpful, as people are becoming more reliant on instant messaging, and they avoid calling people in fear of disturbing others, and in part because of anxiety of calling.

In combination with the above, a welcome addition is to deliver bite sized workshops and programs that is longer in period, but less compacted in content. For example, instead of a workshop encompassing a single week, or a few months, make a year long program with checkpoints, and monthly workshops. This will enable the enterpreneurs to develop the habit, and help the organization track the retention and application of the knowledge that they’re trying to teach.

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