21 August 2012

Training the Trainers with Nesta's CE Toolkit

The Nesta ‘Train the Trainer’ pilot programme trialled in Nigeria in May, led by consultant and trainer, Percy Emmett. Feedback from participants has been overwhelmingly positive.

@ Percy Emmett

Business planning can be alienating and very daunting. Nesta’s Creative Enterprise Toolkit has been designed to help creative entrepreneurs develop their business ideas step-by-step and discover, within a tried and tested framework, what values and relationships are important to their enterprises.

In May 2012, Nesta (in partnership with the British Council) trialled the ‘train the trainer’ pilot programme in Lagos, Nigeria, to share the toolkit with those best placed to spread it: staff and trainers from universities and other organisations with influence on the development of the creative sector.

Over a 3-day programme, participants were invited to try the toolkit for themselves and see how it would help them to develop a business from initial idea to fully-fledged enterprise. Alongside this, they explored how they might use the toolkit in their professional lives to impact positively on the long-term sustainability of new and emerging businesses in Nigeria.

@ Percy Emmett

Participants began with evidence modeling and case studies on the first day, thinking about and evaluating a business idea of their own. They then proceeded into the second and third days with exercises in relationship modeling, finance and mentoring, and blueprint modeling.

Percy Emmett, the lead consultant and trainer for the pilot, stressed the advantages that this inside perspective had for the trainees –

‘It highlighted the importance of people working together on a business idea and that relationships are vital for the success of business… [It] helped them to see how the tools developed the business and individual at the same time whilst working in groups.’

Participants discussed how they would take the training forward into their day-to-day work and use what they had learned to reach a wider audience. Some also indicated that they would be keen to use the toolkit on their own businesses to help strengthen themselves as creative entrepreneurs and then train those they work with.

@ Percy Emmett

Overall, the toolkit and training were received very positively, thoughfeedback suggested that the training itself was perhaps a little short – a 4-5 day programme might work better to allow for more dialogue and time to use the tools.

Trainers and organisers together had several suggestions to develop the programme further and boost opportunities for new creative businesses in Nigeria.

The group thought that a bite size online training course could be developed to help reach a wider and much larger audience. In terms of funding for new businesses, it was suggested that a strong and well thought out mentoring programme could be instrumental in attracting business angels and venture capital firms, not only to mentor up and coming businesses in Nigeria but to also help them become investment ready.

Organisers are already actively looking to take these suggestions forward, alongside developing closer connections between trainers in Nigeria and their counterparts in the UK, so they can share best practices and benefit from each other's experiences in enterprise development.

Find out more about Nesta's work in the creative industries.