Access2Markets Booster for Women-owned SMEs in Lebanon

The Mashreq Gender Facility (MGF) is a five-year initiative with the governments of Lebanon, Iraq and Jordan to increase female economic participation in these countries. As part of this, Globally Cool was contracted by the World Bank Group (WBG) together with the Rene Moawad Foundation (RMF) and Fair Trade Lebanon.

Under the umbrella of the “Access2Markets Booster Hub”, we implemented the export readiness component of the project. Through capacity building, Women-led Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (WSMEs) positioned their products and services for export to regional and global markets and improved their access to local markets via local expansion and scale-up.

Products

Year

2021 – 2022

Country

Lebanon

Type of activity

  • Branding and Promotion
  • Capacity Building
  • Coaching
  • Connecting
  • Digital Marketing
  • Globally Cool Academy
  • Strategy Development
  • Trade Fairs and Missions

Year

2021 – 2022

Country

Lebanon

Type of activity

  • Branding and Promotion
  • Capacity Building
  • Coaching
  • Connecting
  • Digital Marketing
  • Globally Cool Academy
  • Strategy Development
  • Trade Fairs and Missions

Together with our consortium partners, we delivered several activities to 25 Business Advisors (BAs) and 75 WSMEs from diverse sectors, including export readiness training, a procurement readiness training, peer-to-peer support networking events and a buyer matchmaking event.

Globally Cool designed a Training of Trainers (ToT) curriculum for export readiness and digital marketing to deliver interactive, participatory, engaging gender-sensitive training for both BAs and WSMEs in Lebanon.

Activities

For this project, we:

  • Designed and conducted a training needs assessment for both the BAs and WSMEs, allowing us to take into account the level of knowledge, skills and capabilities of the participants, which formed the basis for the development of the training material.
  • Designed an eight-module training curriculum for export readiness of ToTs to deliver interactive, participatory, engaging gender-sensitive training on export readiness for WSMEs in Lebanon. The training content and delivery methods were customized to a female audience, considering particularly gender-sensitive and social inclusion training delivery approaches.
  • Developed a web-based Export Readiness Audit (ERA) tool. The ERA consists of all the elements discussed during the export readiness training and is based on our longstanding experience and the methodology of CBI.
  • Developed and implemented the ToT through soft skill coaching sessions and hand-over of the curriculum to the BAs and WBG.
  • Documenting the curriculum; objectives, methods, assignments, training plan, standard procedures, tips for virtual delivery (Zoom) including online energizers and ice breakers, Kahoot quizzes.
  • Coached on the job and provided feedback to the trainers while conducting role-play.
  • Designed an e-learning platform allowing participants to access their own learning environment, live webinars, self-paced learning activities, quizzes, additional background information, good practices, personal reviews of the assignments, feedback, quick wins, and one-on-one coaching.

Project highlight: we also developed an Export Marketing Plan canvas, that was used by the BAs in their coaching sessions with the WSMEs.

Results

We delivered four-day group training workshops to the cohort of 75 WSMEs (three batches of 25 WSMEs) and 25 BAs. Subjects that were covered in the modules:

  • Export readiness and the export marketing plan: key success factors for market entry and export growth. 
  • Assessment: the export audit to gauge your market potential and assess your competitiveness.
  • Market intelligence: identify best markets and critical market access requirements.
  • Strategy: your value proposition, segmentation and preferred distribution channel, including e-commerce platforms.
  • Finding your buyer: databases and sources to identify potential buyers.
  • Being competitive: your costing and pricing strategy.
  • Promotion: Effective (virtual) trade fair participation and (virtual) matchmaking events.
  • Digital marketing: essentials of online marketing and social media campaigning, including digital marketing strategy, usability and homepage success factors, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), social media strategies, and social media marketing via LinkedIn and Facebook.

As part of the ToT, we co-assisted 25 Business Advisors (BAs) in delivering 5 one-on-one coaching sessions to each of the 75 trained women entrepreneurs under this program. During the two ToT sessions, the BAs were prepared and coached on how to coach the WSMEs and conduct their ERA.

Coaching sessions resulted in individual action plans developed for each women entrepreneur on how to scale up and start exporting.

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