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MEDA Education and Training for Employment (MEDA-ETE)

Sharing best practices leads to new approaches in entrepreneurship development in the MENA region


YEARS

2006-2009

CLIENT DESCRIPTION

The European Training Foundation, established by the European Commission, is an institution that invests in education and training reform in partner countries.

CLIENT'S OBJECTIVE

Improve the quality and relevance of education and training for employment activities in the MENA region.

Results

BUSINESS RESULTS

141 employment trainers from eight of the participating countries improved their training skills and expanded their methodologies; 63 tested the entrepreneurship methodology in a pilot training sessions with hundreds of high school students, aspiring and existing entrepreneurs.

SOCIAL & ENVIRONMENTAL OUTCOMES:

The program’s goal was to reduce unemployment by increasing trainees’ business skills and rate of self-employment. Evaluations by participants indicated greater interest in self-employment and more confidence in their business skills, including among high school students in Lebanon and women in Jordan.

Follow-up inquiries confirmed that at least in four countries (Egypt, Israel, Jordan and Lebanon) the new training methodologies were integrated into the standard service package of the  local organisations that were trained during the project.

Several staff members of the service providers later set up their own consultancy firm, which is now applying the lessons learned from the project.

Activities

Identified and assessed over 100 entrepreneurship training and education programmes in the EU and MENA region.

Selected 12 best practice programmes from Bulgaria, Morocco, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the UK and organised a matchmaking event to link them with 10 pre-selected service providers in the MENA region.

Organised Training of Trainer events in eight of the the ten countries to teach the best practices to the primary service providers in each country. 141 trainers were trained, 63 of whom were able to test the methodology in a pilot training involving about 200 young (aspiring) entrepreneurs.

LEARNINGS

Best practices that are innovative and effective in the European context are not necessarily the most appropriate for the MENA region. Thus, in Syria a best practice from Morocco was selected because of language and cultural issues. In Palestine, a best practice from Bulgaria was selected because it was developed in an economy in transition. Secondly, the project re-affirmed that business development always starts with entrepreneurship awareness.