What makes the DBSP training unique?

When compared to other programs of a similar nature, the DBSP is unique in its approach, methodology and outcomes. Below is a list of some of these differences :

    Origination And Simplicity

    The DBSP Programs originated in South Africa. They were completely authored by South African small business professionals, who have over 40 years of experience in the field. It was written taking into account the years of apartheid and discrimination that was prevalent in South Africa, and the effects that the unfair education system (the old Bantu education system) has had on potential learners.

    Each program has been carefully worked out and constructed to suit various levels of learner. Hence all programs are pitched at the level of specific target markets, mentioned above. For example, the theory on the BBS program is of a level that it can be understood by previously marginalised and educationally disadvantaged people.

    Our Approach And Methodology

    First of all, we do not use case studies, or games of any sort in our training. We work with real live situations that the learners are experiencing practically. Hence our training revolves around reality. Secondly, our approach to teaching the theory is coupled with the direct application of that theory in the field. Each business concept learned in the classroom on a day is put into practice in the field via the research the learner has to do.

    The emphasis on having each learner take full responsibility for their own learning is key to the process. Each program is structured in such a way that the learners do 75% of the work, under the guidance of and with constant feedback by the Trainer / Facilitator. Discussions are encouraged and class interaction is extremely high, with the learners being taught to question, think through and wrestle with the theory. Learner to learner feedback also forms a great part of the learning experience. In order to maximise this, the class size is restricted to no more than 24 learners.

    The way the programme is structured around research, wherein the learners actually research businesses and business possibilities in the communities where they will run their new businesses. This is a key fundamental component of all DBSP training and is a step-by-step process during which each learner wrestles with the theory they have just learnt and, through our propriety sets of questions, the learner 'digs out' concrete information pertaining to the their own business ideas. By so doing each learner makes a thorough analysis of these business ideas and looks at the most important aspects of business. This leads the learners to discover which of their business ideas will work and which will not work in the community in which they plan to run their business. This research will deliver factors such as competition, community needs and wants, economic status of the community, demographics, what businesses are already present in the community, whether the busines is viable financially, etc.

    From this research, the learner will write up their own business plan which is complete, viable, workable and implimentable directly after the program is over. This is a huge point because most people wanting to venture into a business of their own feel that they need to seek out a so-called professional to write up a business plan for them, which is happening on an ongoing basis in nearly every country where the DBSP has a footprint.

    Economic activity for each learner is begun whilst undergoing training. Each learner must start the course with between R100 and R500 (Depending on which DBSP course the learner is enrolled on) and, whilst the programme is in operation, he/she must "make a buck". The learner thus gains self-confidence. Part of the course is to teach the management of the income generated and to grow the money so that it becomes "seed capital" for the graduates' new businesses. This process demonstrates that the learner does not have to be reliant on a loan to enter the business field. Many graduates carry on with this economic activity long after the programme has finished as a precursor to implementing their new business plan. A high percentage of the DBSP's graduates can start up their ventures with the funds accumulated during this exercise. This is particularly important in most countries, where access to start-up capital for one's business is severly limited, where most business start-ups cannot get access to a loan. What is also hugely important to understand is that a very high percentage of people are black-listed and hence have a bad credit record. This means that these people are further disadvantaged in obtaining a loan. Another factor to bear in mind is that most impoverished people do not have the necessary security and/or collateral to get a loan. This is where our methodology really comes to the fore.

    Our Selection Of Participants, Trainer / Facilitators & Mentors

    The careful selection of the learners, with each candidate being "hand picked" for his / her entrepreneurial inclination. This leads to a low programme drop out rate (currently at 6.5%) and a high attendance rate (between 85 and 90% on average per day) This selection also means that the learners want to be on the course, want to learn and therefore are highly committed to and participative in the learning process. For more on this process click here.

    The careful selection of the Trainer / Facilitators. All Trainer / Facilitators are picked for their own entrepreneurial inclination and are centrally trained to ensure that the correct standards of programme delivery are upheld. Trainer / Facilitators are quality assessed on a regular basis and there is a high emphasis on further training and development. In addition to this we believe that only entrepreneurs who have/or who are running a business of their own make the best trainers. This is because they can identify with the learners and can field questions, answering them in an insightful manner, often based on their own experiences. This is priceless!

    The use of Trainer / Facilitators from the same area or region as the learners themselves, where possible. This is the ideal, so that they can fully identify with the learners, as they know the local business scene, demographics, politics and dynamics of the area and that they speak the same language as the learners. The Trainer / Facilitator is also accessible to the graduates of the programme as they do the after care and follow up work with the graduates that have been in their class. Trust and confidence is thus upheld and a true mentoring relationship is entered into.

    Follow Up And Mentoring Program

    DBSP Graduates are followed up for a minimum period of 1 year after completing their training. There are set times when the Trainer / Facilitator or Business Mentor goes out to each graduate at their business premises and provides a service to the graduate. This service can take many different forms, from moral support, to analysis, to problem identification and solving, to 'signposting' the graduate to get additional help and/or support, etc. By so doing, support and counselling is offered to the graduate on a regular basis.

    The person doing the follow up work will then reports back on the progress made in the new venture. Data collected on these visits are fed into a computer, so that we can track the progress of the new business owner and his/her business. It is from this information that the DBSP derives its statistics and measures its effectiveness and success.

    The active encouragement of networking amongst graduates long after a programme has been completed is also offered to the new business person. Graduates are also encouraged to form themselves into business support units and to further network with past graduates, other counsellors and business specialists.

    The provision of linkages to finance, other related businesses and sources of information is also an on-going thing.

    The Results Of The Program

    The success rate of the program. 72% to 84% of all graduates start their own business active, as determined by the follow up process. A further 15% secure a job as a direct result of having gone on a DBSP Program, this being an unintended outcome. This means that on average 80 to 83% of all learners graduating from a program experience a change in their situations as a result of attending the training.

    Some graduates who are in the cities migrate back to their place of origin (their home or rural area) to start up businesses there, thereby reversing the trend where rural people move to urban areas seeking work.

Copyright Hi-Eye-Q Training & Consultancy. 2014