Commercialization of inventions, research and innovations is key to a knowledge economy and start-ups can be a strong means to strengthen it.
COMSATS, in collaboration with Start and Improve Your Business (SIYB) of International Labour Organization (ILO) and IIU Business Incubation Center (IIU-BIC), Pakistan, organized an eleven-day long training workshop on “Becoming Internationally Recognized SIYB Trainer”. SIYB is a management-training programme of ILO with a focus on starting and improving small businesses as a strategy for creating more and better employment, particularly in emerging economies.
Held from 26th October to 5th November 2020, this SIYB Training of Trainers (ToT) workshop trained 12 candidates belonging to various institutions and sectors. The training was conducted by Lead Master Trainer from Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Uganda, Engr. Muhammad Ahsen Mirza, Mr. Gemunu Wijesena, and Mr. David Katenderi, respectively.
The workshop was inaugurated on 26th October 2020 with Honourable Senator Madam Sitara Ayaz, Chairperson Senate Standing Committee on Climate Change, and Executive Director COMSATS, Dr. S. M. Junaid Zaidi, as Chief Guests of the ceremony. Ms. Ingrid Christensen, ILO Country Director for Pakistan; Mr. Saad Gilani, Program Officer ILO Pakistan; and Mr. Gemunu Wijesena, SIYB Master Trainer Developer from Sri Lanka also joined the session virtually.
The technical sessions of the event started with a brainstorming session steered by Mr. Wijesena that also provided an introduction to the modules and contents of the workshop. The workshop, it was highlighted, had been designed to help develop the right skills for adult learning and execution of businesses.
The first week of the training imparted training on essential tools to become a successful trainer of entrepreneurs, as well as opportunities and impacts of SIYB. During the second week, the participants developed a session plan based on their learning and conducted the practice session that was followed by post-session feedback from the Master Trainers and other members of the training. The participants were also familiarized with the M&E aspects of SIYB, the relevant procedures to adopt and effective tools to deploy. On the final day, action plans were developed to conduct the Training of Entrepreneurs/ Training of Potential Entrepreneurs (ToE/ToPE) cycle in order to fulfill the criteria and become certified SIYB Trainers.
Closing the event, Ms. Ingrid Christensen congratulated the co-organizers for their efforts, support and initiative to hold the ToT in Pakistan and encouraged the trainers for making efforts to implement the skills learned during the training.