First Phase results
The project has been running successfully since 2013 and its second phase focused on rural areas started in June 2017 and will end September 2018.
The project offers a unique opportunity to improve the performance of the SME sector in Uzbekistan by providing the means to collaborate with European companies, to expand their business and consequently contribute to the country’s economy in terms of GDP growth and higher employment rate.
In the first phase of the Project 112 SME managers and 14 BSO experts participated in the MTP internships program and spend two to four weeks in EU companies. During their internship in successfully operating European business entities, they learned about European modern management techniques, received valuable hands on experience, explored the potential of mutual business partnerships, established network with EU companies and returned full of business ideas and with new business agreements.
The Project has also organized in-house couching sessions, individual consultations and networking events for MTP internship participants. Promotional and informative events were also held in EU counties such as Latvia, Italy, Spain, France and Germany, the events were attended by over 700 EU business representatives.
The Project conducted post internship surveys to identify the level of achievements of SME managers and the impact of the MTP internships on their professional and personal lives, as well as on their business entity in terms of growth, expansion and overall improvement.
Second component of the Project elaborated 12 unique manuals for the CCIU on different subjects, organized a series of seminars in regional training centers which were supported to design and implement their own training programs; four of the regional training centers received licenses from the government to operate. Six seminars were already organized by these training centers which serve as a proof of their sustainability. Additionally, preparatory trainings were provided to the internships program participants to help them to complete their internships successfully.
The Capacity Building component of the MTP project aims at raising capacity of business support organizations (BSO) and business trainers via ‘Training of Trainers’ (ToT) program.
In the new phase, the Capacity Building component plans to closely collaborate with more than 30 regional stakeholders of BSOs. Particularly, it is intended to equip Training Centers (TCs) working groups with necessary knowledge and skills to enable sustainability and development of newly founded TCs. This would be accomplished through series of on-the-job support to 6 TCs under the main project beneficiary, Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Uzbekistan (CCIU). The TCs aim to provide focused short-term training to local SMEs.
Moreover, the Capacity Building component experts plan to take part in organizing and implementing Preparatory Trainings to SME managers and private entrepreneurs who will have been selected for internship in the EU countries. The trainings will be conducted to make the Uzbek entrepreneurs go through internships smoother, being prepared for the cultural difference and business etiquette in European companies, and have effective business communication while in Europe.
The final outcome of working with TC stakeholders is to build and develop agents of change which will pioneer in providing training opportunities for SMEs in regions of Uzbekistan.