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UP SKILLING BUSINESS ADVISORS FROM EXCLUDED COMMUNITIES TO BECOME ACCREDITED (UBA)
THE AIMS OF THE PRESENTATION • To discuss the experience of a European Project designed to develop skills for business advisors supporting entrepreneurs from communities at risk of exclusion in the labour market. • To explore the links between business advisor standards, entrepreneurship and social exclusion.
THE AIMS OF THE UP SKILLING BUISNESS ADVISORS PROJECT To promote entrepreneurship in communities at risk of exclusion in the labour market by enabling members of those communities to accredit their skills and become professional business advisors.
SPECIFIC AIMS • To export and adapt a manual “How to be a Brilliant Community Based Business Advisor” which has been develop in the UK by SFEDI and ACBBA. • The manual is specifically designed to enabled people from groups often excluded in the labour market to develop and demonstrate their competence in the skill areas needed by Professional Business Advisors
Background • Limited assistance available for those at disadvantage in the labour market to develop self-employment or enterprise. • That which is available often forms a part of an employment scheme. • Available schemes often focus intensive work on businesses with prospects for high growth. Interest in the professional development of Business Advisors has reflected this.
Partners have been adapting the manual in KONEP Pardubice: Czech Republic Mondragon: Spain Iq Consult : Germany Aga Khan Foundation: Portugal
Partners have been meeting with business advisors and entrepreneurs who are at a disadvantage in the labour market in their countries. They have been most enthusiastic about the soft skills development that the manual offers. Entrepreneurs emphasis the need to form an advisory relationship based on mutual respect and trust.
Sections of the manual which have been seen as most useful and require very little adaptation are those which assist in: Developing Supportive Relationships with Clients, Analysing and Deciding the Way Forward, Enabling Change. Getting ready for self-assessment was seen as a useful tool to assess professional skills. While the sections on Client Development Support Services and Knowledge Top Ups were thought to need much more Adaption.
Overall the partnership research has re-enforced the view that standards can be used to promote the success of all entrepreneurs
Lessons Learnt to Date • Support for entrepreneurs from the most disadvantaged communities must be offered through people, organisations and networks that are trusted. • Consultation with those worst hit by un-employment is essential. • The way forward for development of standards is to start with the basic needs of all entrepreneurs and adapt standards from that point to meet local conditions.
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