Component 1: SME Capacity Building Program Chapter 1. Component objectice and tasks

Purpose and Objectives of Component 1

  1. The objective of this Component is to strengthen and expand existing non-financial support programs offered by the government to small and medium sized enterprises, SME owners and managers by enhancing their quality in substance and methodology, by introducing international best practice, and by increasing awareness of these programs widely in the country.
  2. At the institutional level the Project will support development of institutional capacity, planning and management systems for provision of government-funded non-financial services. The objective will be achieved through performing the following tasks:
    • Consulting services on strategy improvement and planning;
    • establishment of a system;
    • for the training of consultants, including;
      • Master trainers (candidates for Master Trainers);
      • Quality assessors;
      • Instructional designers;
    • SME Information and Communication Campaign and Demand-Based Training.

    Strategy Improvement and Planning Advice

  3. The Project will contribute to the improvement of planning and implementation of SME support programs by:
    • Supporting the development of SME strategy;
    • helping coordinate the implementation of this strategy and respective programs;
    • creating a monitoring and evaluation, and reporting mechanism to assess the effectiveness of various programs and relevance of policy instruments;
    • building staff capacity;
    • equipping staff with relevant tools and resources to facilitate the effective management of the non-financial support programs
  4. MNE in cooperation with NCE "Atameken" (hereinafter - NCE), as the institutions in charge of formulation and implementation of SME development programs, will be the key implementing agencies and beneficiaries of this Task.
  5. The Project will select consulting firms and individual consultants to undertake MNE and NCE capacity building in strategic planning, appraise existing mechanisms of monitoring and evaluation of SME programs, and perform activities to enhance their effectiveness, conduct SME sector studies to correspondingly customize the entrepreneurship support programs, and create the consultants’ database.
  6. PIU will develop the Terms of Reference considering the requirements and comments of the NCE, MNE Entrepreneurship Development Department (EDD) (hereinafter - EDD) and subject to the World Bank's approval (hereinafter - WB). MNE EDD supported by PIU (and with the NCE sitting on the Tender committee) will undertake the selection and procurement of consulting services of a firm/consultants to be implemented in accordance with the WB Procurement Guidelines.
  7. A consultant(-s) may possibly be employed to assist in developing the Terms of Reference. The breakdown of consulting services to be procured into packages will be reflected in the Project Procurement Plan.
  8. The MNE, PIU and Responsible NCE Department will actively participate in planning and monitoring from the start of implementation and until the results are obtained.

  9. Establishment of a system for the training of consultants

    Master Trainers Network (candidates for Master Trainers)

  10. The quality of SME advisors will define the success of the government-funded NFS programs.
  11. The option of using foreign experts to build capacity of these advisors in line with a pre-defined competency framework is an expensive one and requires advance planning. In order to ensure long-term sustainability of the NFS programs, under this Task the following groups will be trained:
    • a group of master trainers (candidates for master trainers) who will be deployed to train business consultants as and when needed;
    • instructional designers, who will be used to develop sector and SME segment specific training content;
    • quality assessors to provide continuous monitoring of business advisors’ performance.
  12. To develop the design of a training system for business advisors, a preliminary appraisal of the existing network of SME business advisors will be performed. This assessment will enable identifying the existing capacity, needs for developing and strengthening the same, and determining the training programs required to train business advisors.
  13. A consulting firm/consultants will be selected through competitive tendering to perform this study.
  14. By results of the study, further actions to implement the Component activities will be determined, including the selection of internationally proven training programs for master trainers.
  15. At least 17 Kazakhstani master trainers (candidates for master trainers) will be trained and used for continuous capacity building of business consultants focused on adult training and consultancy technique, including the training needs assessment methodologies, training and mentoring skills, customer relations management, training efficiency assessment, and ability to determine the content of training required.
  16. The training of master trainers (candidates for master trainers) will enable further training of business advisors as part of the Project (150+ consultants), as well as further support and higher-quality development of the consulting system for the SME sector.
  17. Master trainers (candidates for master trainers) will be trained by a consulting firm/consultants selected through competitive tendering that will customize internationally tested training materials (e.g. Business Edge program (IFC)).
  18. The Terms of Reference for consulting firm/consultants will be developed by PIU considering the requirements and comments of NCE, the MNE Entrepreneurship Development Department (EDD), and are subject to coordination with the WB.
  19. The Project also envisions the activity on the development of training programs to be used by master trainers (candidates for master trainers) in training business consultants. This activity will either be performed as a separate package of services to be procured, or together with the training of master trainers (candidates for master trainers).
  20. The subjects and content of training programs will be discussed and defined involving the Responsible NCE Department in consultation with, and with the approval of MNE Entrepreneurship State Support Department (hereinafter - ESSD).
  21. If necessary PIU may engage consultants to develop the Terms of Reference.
  22. The master trainers (candidates for master trainers) who completed the training will train business advisors over the Project duration.
  23. Consultants with the technical support of the Responsible NCE Department and PIU will develop a plan, procedures, schedule, and format for training of business advisorsя.
  24. The Project budget will provide for the rental of premises, purchase of equipment, financing of operating costs (purchase of office supplies, business trips of master trainers in case of regional training, etc.) for the implementation of the program of training of business advisors.
  25. Master trainers (candidates for master trainers) will be selected and contracted as individual consultants under the Project budget. The PIU, with the help of the responsible of the Department of NCE, will develop the corresponding terms of reference, which must be approved by the world Bank.

  26. Quality assessors

  27. The Project will create a panel of local experts – quality assessors, selected and contracted to assess the work of business advisors and trainers vis-a-vis on a regular basis based on an approved list of competences and qualifications. These experts will provide result-based quality control, or vis-à-vis assessment, or a technologically equipped assessment system, through which business advisors will be required to record their training and consulting sessions and upload them to the database for further assessment.
  28. If a vis-a-vis assessment system is implemented, the Project will train approximately 18 experts to cover all regions. In case of video-based assessment, the Project will train 2-3 experts.
  29. Quality assessors to further provide continuous monitoring of business advisor performance will also be trained to international standards by a consulting firm / consultants appointed through competitive tendering.
  30. The selection of candidates for quality assessors training courses will be arranged and implemented by the Consultant with Responsible NCE Department participation and PIU technical support based on the ToR approved by WB.
  31. The Terms of Reference for a consulting firm / consultants will be developed by PIU considering the remarks and comments of the Responsible NCE Department and MNE EDD. The developed ToR is subject to WB approval.
  32. Representatives of the NCE will sit on the Tender committee for the selection of a consulting firm / consultant.
  33. The quality assessment system required will be determined by the NCE based on the recommendations of the consultants and results of SME sector’s training needs assessment and SME advisory network appraisal.
  34. The quality assessors who completed the training will assess business advisors on a contractual basis (as individual consultants) over the Project Component duration financed out of Project funds.
  35. Consultant with the technical support of the Responsible NCE Department will develop a plan, procedures, format, and schedule for assessment of business advisors with the preparation of a standardized report of results in the form to be determined by the Responsible NCE Department and PIU.
  36. The Project budget will provide for the rental of premises, purchase of equipment, financing of operating costs (purchase of office supplies, business trips of quality assessors if necessary, etc.) to perform the assessment.

  37. Instructional designers

  38. The Project will build local capacity for instructional design, a process that comprises the determination of the current state and needs of a trainee, defines the ultimate training objective, and creates a completed intervention (training / consultancy) to implement such transition.
  39. This capacity will be deployed for developing specific technical content of training by industry, training plans, training delivery methods and formats in accordance with the needs of the target audience, e.g. using visual methods for less educated audience, use of e-training to increase availability, or splitting long-term full-day courses into several half-day sessions to remove time limits faced by SMEs.
  40. This task will determine industries and segments of the SME sector that require consultancy to SMEs and development of training programs. Such industries and segments of the SME sector will be determined by results of the preliminary assessment of SME training needs.
  41. The assessment will also define the necessary quantity and subjects of training programs. The assessment may be implemented as part of a single package with the appraisal of the existing SME advisory network, or separately.
  42. A consulting firm / consultants that will ensure training to international standards will be selected through competitive tendering to train instructional designers.
  43. The selection of candidates for SME instructional designers training courses will be arranged and implemented by the Consultant with the Responsible NCE Department participation and with the technical support of the PIU and based on the ToR approved by WB.
  44. The Terms of Reference for a consulting firm / consultants will be prepared by PIU considering the remarks and comments of the Responsible NCE Department and MNE EDD. The developed ToR is subject to WB approval.
  45. Representatives of the NCE will sit on the Tender committee for the selection of a consulting firm / consultant.
  46. After completing the training, instructional designers will develop specific technical content of training for selected industries and segments, training plans, training delivery methods and formats in accordance with the needs of the target audience.
  47. The developed curricula will be used for SME training and piloted as part of Task 1.4. Instructional designers will work on a contractual basis over the Project duration (as individual consultants) within the Project budget.
  48. The NCE will specify the department in charge of the Component support by the NCE as a Project partner participant. The Director of such department will be responsible for the proper implementation of the Component. The Responsible NCE Department will closely cooperate with PIU and selected consulting firms /consultants in implementing the Component activities, including the participation in developing the Terms of Reference, planning and reporting on the implementation of the Component activities.
  49. The selection of potential candidates for training will include:
    • establishment of criteria for listing potential candidates for training, including, without limitation, the requirements to education, professional skills, professional experience and other requirements, the list of documents required to file an application to take part in the selection;
    • implementation of the selection process, including its technical stage – checking the compliance of documents submitted with the requirements, professional testing, testing for pedagogic skills of adult training, psychological testing and other, if necessary.
  50. The entire training process will be performed involving (under the supervision of) the Responsible NCE Department supported by the consulting firms and consultants selected for implementing the activities, as well as by PIU.
  51. If needed, MNE will hire a consultant to provide general technical support and coordination of all Component activities, ensure interaction with engaged consultants, and assist in planning and reporting.

  52. Preparation of business consultants for SMEs

  53. The Project will use the train-of-trainers approach to form a group of 150+ business consultants through completing an internationally proven curriculum for adult education and training provided by master trainers (candidates for master trainers), including:

  54. Entrepreneur-oriented methodologies of diagnosis and identification of needs of an individual entrepreneur / company, including segment-specific needs (related to individual entrepreneurs, farming enterprises, service sector, production, technologies, etc.);

    Methods of effective provision of advisory support (pedagogic skills and customer service approaches);

    Technical skills in specific areas of advisor’s expertise covering a wide range, including, without limitation, business planning, financial management, marketing, backward and direct linkages, etc.

  55. This task provides for training of more than150 SME consultants through training master trainers (candidates for master trainers). After business advisors training programs have been developed, agreed and approved by the Responsible NCE Department considering the remarks and comments of MNE ESSD and PIU, Consultant jointly with the Responsible NCE Department arranges the selection of business advisors for training based on qualification criteria aligned with program needs.
  56. Eligible business consultants operating in the system of Entrepreneurship Service Centers (ESCs) are expected to constitute the bulk of trainees.
  57. Master trainers (candidates for master trainers) will train SME consultants based on an internationally proven curriculum.
  58. Additionally, the Project will develop SME training courses, methodologies and other resources that are needed to provide quality consultancy to SMEs.
  59. To the extent needed, the Project will adapt the training program materials to the local Kazakhstan context. Business advisors will use these materials in providing consultancy to SMEs.

  60. SME Outreach and Demand-Based Training

  61. This Task will comprise two activities as follows:
    • piloting training tools targeted at SMEs;
    • conducting an information campaign about non-financial SME support programs.
  62. While the Project does not intend to deliver non-financial support to SMEs directly, there is a need to develop and pilot training content and tools targeted at SMEs.
  63. This task also envisions testing the implemented activities in the form of a pilot training for SME representatives under the developed training programs and using the developed materials and methodologies considering the needs of specific sectors or segments (women's entrepreneurship, youth, micro enterprises, fast-growing SMEs).
  64. The pilot training for SMEs aimed at testing the training system, tools and methodologies developed by the Project will be conducted on NCE platform with the technical support of PIU and consultants.
  65. The Project will also support a comprehensive and first-rate campaign to raise awareness of the availability of non-financial SME support services among Kazakhstan citizens. The awareness program will include the consecration of non-financial services to SMEs through marketing activities using TV and radio, educational and other methods.
  66. Data on the service level, time, response, qualification criteria and any other general information will be advised to the citizens that use such services. The complete national-level information campaign will ensure awareness of citizens about the programs and methods of increasing accessibility of NFS for SMEs.
  67. Awareness campaign will include the activities such as round tables involving the private business, consultants, Entrepreneurship Service Centers, and academic institutions. Such round tables will discuss critical issues related to the entrepreneurial development, gaps in SME qualifications and university programs, and industry-specific needs.
  68. This extensive campaign is expected to not only increase the intensity of use of such programs, but also to make them more transparent in terms of quality and timeliness of services provided.
  69. A firm / consultants will be selected through competitive tendering to implement the awareness campaign activities.

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