Business Planning training - Refugee Council
October 16, 2009

Business Planning training

By Sharmarke Diriye, Shpetim Alimeta and Alain Munyangabe from the Basis Project

On 25 September 2009, the Organisational Development Officers (ODOs) who work with London based Refugee Community Organisations (RCOs) delivered Business Planning training to those RCOs they are currently supporting.

Shpetim Alimeta took the lead and Sharmarke Diriye worked closely with him on this training project.

Their colleagues Elaheh Rambarzini and David Clark assisted with the facilitation of group workshops.

“This successfully piloted Business Plan training for RCOs was a culmination of hard work and intense preparation. It was the first time such a joint training had been put together by us so were delighted that the training and feedback from the RCOs was very positive.” Sharmarke said.

“As a co-trainer and as an organisational development adviser it was very encouraging to see the level of interest among management committee members of the RCOs that we work with,” said Shpetim. “This kind of topic often gets the lowest degree of attention by RCOs but it’s a crucial area of organisational development.”

Shpetim added: “In my experience it has been easier to engage RCOs’ interest in Basis Project training sessions linked to fundraising, application form writing or similar, rather than proper motivation to get the ram by its horns and developing a serious understanding on this crucial area or organisational development.

“The fact that some RCOs, at the end of a very dense day-session, were asking for more similar training sessions in the future, the fact that they participated in a lively way throughout all the workshops, the fact that they commented sincerely on the evaluation forms at the end shows that our efforts were worthwhile.”

The ODOs’ knowledge of the RCOs meant that the trainers could refer specifically to their circumstances in relation to the development of a Business Plan.

And it wasn’t all one-way. The RCOs had lots of questions and comments throughout the training

The business training incorporated action learning methodologies and the participants gained a good grounding on the two most important business analysis tools; the SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) and PESTLE (Political Economic, Sociological, Technological, Legal and Environmental). Each participant was happy to try using these tools within their organisations and to incorporate all the topics learned on the day.

Overall the feedback from the training was very positive and some participants expressed interest in having another session – something the ODOs are currently looking into.