Latin American SIYB Network Webinar

Challenges for business development services provision in the context of Covid-19

Briefing note | 23 June 2020
On June 18, the first Webinar of the Latin American SIYB network was held, by the initiative of Master Trainers of Latin America: "Challenges for business development in the Post-Covid-19 recovery." It was a meeting among nearly 300 SIYB Trainers, Master Trainers and Partner Organizations in the region to discuss the new challenges faced by MSMEs and entrepreneurs in the current COVID-19 context. During the event, participants exchanged experiences between countries that are developing new business development strategies, shared lessons learned and presented successful cases on innovating business development and support services to MSMEs in the context of Covid-19 and with a view to post-Covid-19 recovery.

The event was opened by Álvaro Ramírez, Senior Specialist in Enterprise Development and Professional Training for the ILO Central America and Mexico office, and by John Bliek, Senior Specialist in Enterprises, Cooperatives and Rural Development for the ILO Andean Countries office. Both highlighted the specificities of the Latin American context in the face of the pandemic and the importance of business development services and the SIYB network for the recovery of micro and small enterprises post-Covid-19.

Subsequently, Merten Sievers, Global Coordinator for Inclusive Markets and Entrepreneurship for the ILO Geneva office, described the two initiatives of the Global SIYB team to support the SIYB Network during this unusual time: the upgrading of the Gateway and the creation of the digital e-SIYB tools to complement SIYB Trainings. Following, José Manuel Medina, Activity Manager for the ITC-ILO, gave an overview of the newly developed e-SIYB Tools (self-guided modules and videos) and the electronic training platform (e-campus), which will shortly become available.

Afterwards, Partner Organizations from six Latin American countries (Guatemala, El Salvador, Colombia, Mexico, Peru and Bolivia) presented their experiences with the SIYB Programme and the challenges emerging for MSMEs and business support services as a result of Covid-19 in their respective contexts:
  • Guatelama: Maria Tuyuc, President of the Global Network of Indigenous Entrepreneurs of Guatemala and Director of the Maya School of Business, presented how her organization implements the SIYB Programme in the Maya School of Business and how they generate opportunities for indigenous, women, and youth, with a focus on community and indigenous identity.
  • El Salvador: Francisco Mancía, Project Management Manager of the Salvadoran Foundation for Integral Support, described the experience of his organization in linking SIYB with financial services, and in the incorporation of technology.
  • Colombia: Rosalba Díaz, Specialist in Accompaniment of Training and Entrepreneurship Processes for the Colombia Emprende Project, recounted how they adapted the SIYB Programme to include a component of psychosocial accompaniment, to focus on the development of businesses by populations victims of the armed conflict.
  • Mexico: Victoria Espinoza, Coordinator of the Degree in SME Management of the Autonomous University of Chiapas, described the implementation process of the SIYB Programme in the development of the distance-learning Educational Program and in the design of digital SYB-GYB instruments.
  • Peru: René Apaza, Manager of Social Management and Institutionality of Innovation, Management and Development - IGD Group S.A., presented how his organization implements the SIYB Programme in the private sector, more specifically in corporate social responsibility programs.
  • Bolivia: Rosalynn Motiño, Head of the Planning and Projects area of OFPROBOL - Network of Salesian Vocational and Technical Training Centers, shared the experience of her organization offering SIYB training to youth and incorporating SIYB in the curriculum of some of its Technical Training Centers.