Just 3 more days! So the Peace Corps updated the Madagascar site http://madagascar.peacecorps.
Here is what they say about my program-Small Enterprise Development
Projects: Small Enterprise Development
- Volunteers will develop the institutional capacities of their counterpart agencies and assist in their efforts to start, manage, and expand microfinance institutions that support income-generating activities at the community level.
- Volunteers will work with potential entrepreneurs to develop their capacities in accounting, organization, and basic management, as well as providing higher-level technical assistance to existing entrepreneurs in areas such as inventory management, cost control, and distribution systems.
- The program will offer a sustainable form of development, building on existing local and national initiatives to strengthen the business environment.
Work of the SED Volunteer:
A SED Volunteer is an advisor assigned to a Malagasy government agency, a microfinance institution, a village association, or a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) where an agency representative will be his/her counterpart. In short, the role of the Volunteer is to concentrate in SED assistance to Small and Micro Enterprises (SMEs). Youth and women are two important target groups for SED Volunteers, although SED activities are not limited to these groups. As we look toward the future, SED projects will involve more and more assistance to counterparts in agribusiness, communication and information technology as well as the development of more dynamic artisan sectors.
The major tasks of the job include the following:
- Conduct community resource and needs assessments;
- Facilitate accounting and basic business skills trainings;
- Assist in the development and implementation of feasibility studies for new business activities;
- Work with entrepreneurs to increase the efficiency and profitability of existing small businesses;
- Help small businesses expand by adding new products, entering new markets, and improving production processes.
- Collaborate with host country agencies to increase their impact in providing support to small businesses.
- Provide technical assistance to beneficiaries of small loans.
- Participate in the monitoring and evaluation of the SED program.
In each of these areas of technical intervention, the emphasis is on technology and skills transfer so that Malagasy can determine and respond to their own development needs. Examples of the techniques a PCV might be called on to provide include advice on management techniques, feasibility studies or market analyses. A significant portion of their training will be devoted to gaining the skills necessary to effectively transmit business skills to the Malagasy counterpart as well as the broader public in general. To do this Peace Corps-Madagascar trains its Volunteers to use and promote a systematic approach to project planning, implementation and evaluation. This community-based project management is an important skill that can be used by local communities to accomplish the long-range goal of improving the quality of life in Madagascar.
I hope this gives you a little more insight into what I will be doing.