What works for sustainability in entrepreneurship training delivery?

A guide for practitioners based on lessons from ILO’s SIYB programme

More than 30 years of start-up and MSME business management training in over 100 countries. What the ILO’s Start and Improve your Business (SIYB) entrepreneurship training programme learned about financial and other forms of sustainability of these interventions?

Sustainability is an explicit goal of most development projects. The aim of entrepreneurship promo­tion projects is usually to build up the capacity of local organizations to provide well-adapted business development services to entrepreneurs and enterprises. The underlying idea is to design projects that intervene to build the capacity of local organizations for a certain period after which the project withdraws and hands over to local organizations. Nonetheless, taking a closer look at the long-term impact of entrepreneurship promotion projects reveals that all too often projects still fail to achieve long-lasting results, and train­ings and related services for entrepreneurs often cease to be delivered by local organizations after project funding and support ceases.

This new report therefore tries to answer one of the trickiest questions for technical cooperation projects promoting entrepreneurship and business management training: what makes a programme sustainable?