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Organisational Development, Technical and Entrepreneurial Skills Capacities Enhancement support for youth groups/Start-ups/Small Micro Enterprises. Maize value chain Kano

The development of four select agricultural value chains (maize, cassava, rice, Irish potato) across eight Nigerian states was just one of the bilateral projects that was being implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) under the special initiative, The Green Innovation Centres for the Agriculture and Food Sector (GIAE). The aim of this intervention was to increase the income and productivity of small-scale farmers and micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises MSMEs) as well as boost youth entrepreneurship and employment by providing mentoring and training opportunities.

Ikore’s partnership with the GIAE, which focused on the maize value chain in Kano, sought to achieve this using a three-pronged approach.

  • Supported organizational development of youth groups and cooperatives to improve collective action and linkages with the relevant institutions
  • Strengthened technical and entrepreneurial capacities of youth start-ups and youth-owned MSMEs through training and coaching, and Facilitated more straightforward access to finance to the youth in Kaduna and Kano.
  • Over the past few months, Ikore worked with various youth-based cooperatives and individual entrepreneurs in the Maize value chain to improve and enhance their capacity to deliver

Highlights of the activities for the capacity development project were:

Organizational Development for Youth Groups and Cooperatives

  • Accessed relevant existing materials on organizational development, including GIZ materials as a starting resource material for the OD support to the target group
  • Conducted and Validated Needs assessment
  • Designed and Validated capacity enhancement support plan for the youth groups and cooperatives to include training and coaching plan.
  • Conducted training, mentoring, and coaching support for youth groups and cooperatives
  • Supported trained groups to Promote initiatives that create mindset change among the youth to invest in agriculture as a viable venture.
  • Facilitated linkages and networks that can help the youth connect with new suppliers, partners, and customers
  • Monitored intervention progress and outcomes by trainees
  • Designed sustainability and exit strategy
  • Supported the trainers to develop robust training packages that add value, are cost-effective and affordable for groups and associations
  • Made targeted efforts to ensure inclusion of female youth groups and cooperatives
  • Ensured involvement of relevant support institutions and agencies that can adapt the training approach

Technical and Entrepreneurial Skills Capacities Enhancement for Youth Start-ups and youth-owned MSEs

  • Validated capacity enhancement support plan with relevant organisations and youth groups
  • Developed essential training programmes with the combination of technical, enterprise and financial to improve their eligibility for bank financing with relevant and up-to-date curricula that integrated technical and entrepreneurial aspects of training with coaching support for youth
  • Implemented training and coaching support using the design training program
  • Monitored intervention progress and outcomes by trainees
  • Designed sustainability and exit strategy
  • Ensured involvement of relevant support institutions and agencies that could adopt training approach
  • Stimulated youth to take up opportunities in climate-smart agribusiness ventures
  • Identified and selected trainers that could provide continuous training to the target beyond the end of the project

Our Strategy

  1. Preparatory Phase (Needs Assessment)
    Their skills level, technical and entrepreneurial, were assessed to set a baseline of capacity and to guide the design of the training and mentorship programme. Moreover, the information aided the adaptation of the GIAE manuals to transfer relevant knowledge and skills.
  2. Curriculum development
    Synthesis, contextualizing, and adaptation underpinned the curriculum development process. Key concepts, principles, and implementation protocols adapted based on contextual information (obtained from the needs assessment above) formed the underpinning theoretical framework of the curriculum.
  3. Training delivery
    Training materials were produced for an online format and in-person delivery. Although the online format required the adoption of various techniques to aid interaction and keep participants engaged, in both cases, technology played a significant role in taking opinion polls, in-class quizzes and other engaging platforms to drive participation. Our team of trainers aimed to transfer relevant knowledge and skill to each participant by adopting different training methods and youth learning principles ranging from;
    ❖ Youth and adult learning techniques ❖ Lecture ❖ Participatory ❖ Presentations ❖ Role Plays ❖ Discussion ❖ Experiential sharing ❖ Interactive ❖ Small group works to debate
  4. Mentorship
    We set up a mentorship programme that connected industry practitioners to the target beneficiaries through “on-the-job” support. As a process, we presented the profile of mentors, organised an event that brought the potential mentors to speak and interact with potential mentees, and allowed the mentees to select who they wanted as a mentor. With this concept of motivation, self-interested individuals picking their mentee significantly improved the influence of the mentor on the mentee.At the end of the intervention, participating youth groups, cooperatives and individuals had grown and expanded their businesses, employed more people and improved the economic opportunities of their rural communities.