Launch of Entrepreneurship Development Network (EDNA) Myanmar
In 2013, we launched a workshop series for Indigenous business leaders, arranged in collaboration with New South Wales Aboriginal Land Council (NSWALC) and funded by Social Enterprise Finance Australia (SEFA) and the University of Sydney Business School. The workshop series, which began in Sydney in late 2013 and will continue in Dubbo.
in 2014, focus on the challenges faced by the leaders of targeted Indigenous social enterprises and aim to accelerate Local Aboriginal Land Council (LALC) backed enterprises through the debt readiness process.
Eight participants from three remote Australian communities, attended the first workshop, held in Sydney, which focused on entrepreneurship, strategy, leadership and the key factors to successful business start-up. The group then engaged in a participative, learning focused, business planning activity where the E&I team guided and mentored each enterprise group through the core business concepts whilst brainstorming and workshopping their specific business plans into a practical, visual, take-home business start-up toolkit.
This 'community of learning' approach enabled the sharing of ideas, challenges and opportunities within enterprise teams as well as between enterprise leaders, and gave participants the opportunity to inspire each other in a creative and protected environment.
Follow-up workshops will be held in Dubbo in early 2014 with a second cohort of Indigenous business leaders from rural NSW.
In 2013, we further developed our international activities through our EDNA workshops focused on entrepreneurial capacity building. Two 10-day workshops were developed for staff and faculty from the University of Islamic Studies (UIN) - Sunan Ampel, Indonesia. The workshops were funded by the Indonesian Government through the Asian Islamic Development Bank.
The first workshop was held in Hanoi, Vietnam in November in collaboration with our colleagues at the University of Economics and Business at the Vietnam National University (UEB-VNU). Sixteen administrative staff from across all faculties at UIN - Sunan Ampel attended the 'Entrepreneurship, Creativity and Innovative Thinking for Administrative Staff' workshop. The aim of this workshop was to develop administration personnel in entrepreneurship, creativity and innovative thinking. The workshop focused on building the capacity of the participants to support entrepreneurship initiatives at UIN - Sunan Ampel to assist UIN in realising its mission to become the premier Islamic entrepreneurial university in Indonesia.
The second workshop was held at the University of Sydney in December. Sixteen academics from across all faculties at UIN - Sunan attended the workshop, titled Entrepreneurship and Innovation: Teaching, Research and Ventures. The workshop aimed to build the participants' academic capacity and individual skills to deliver entrepreneurship teaching, research and venture activities. Following the workshop, the academics returned to Surabaya with the goal of transferring the knowledge learned in this workshop to their students and colleagues in Surabaya, Indonesia.
UIN - Sunan Ampel has shown strong support for the resulting recommendations collaboratively developed in both of these workshops. We trust these initiatives will have continued support as they have been well received by students and faculty in Indonesia.
The Grass-root Entrepreneurship Education and Pro-poor Enterprise Development Myanmar project plans to educate close to 10,000 entrepreneurs in Myanmar after securing just over USD 2 million funding over three years commencing in 2014.
Our mission is to alleviate poverty by encouraging growth of pro-poor entrepreneurial businesses through education and business development initiatives. Our objectives are to:
E&I staff have supported this project with the creation of educational materials through EDNA Myanmar. These materials - based on Myanmar stories, local case studies and basic business knowledge - will shape the core of the lessons of the program, focus on supporting small and medium entrepreneurs.
Over three months, EDNA Myanmar will train local mentors (young graduates working in the communities) on these materials. These mentors will then train four cohorts of 15 entrepreneurs. The training will focus on functional knowledge (business content such as finance, marketing, etc.), communicative knowledge (facilitation, presentation and communication skills, etc.) and emancipatory knowledge to grow their confidence and make them stronger entrepreneurial leaders and people.
Mentors will then work with entrepreneurs over a yearlong period. For the first five months, the entrepreneurs will meet weekly to study the teaching materials. This will support the entrepreneurs as they articulate their business models. In the second half of the training there will be mentoring sessions focusing on improving the business.