What is SIYB

The ‘Start and Improve Your Business (SIYB)’ Program of the International Labour Organization is a system of inter-related practical management-skills training package for small-scale enterprise owners and managers. It encompasses a range of cost-effective and practical training, monitoring and evaluation methodologies and instruments which were designed to meet the management training needs of potential and existing small business persons.

The overall objective of the SIYB Association is to contribute to the economic development and to the creation of new and decent jobs in any country it practices. Within the framework set by the development objective, the first immediate objective of the SIYB program is to enable local Business Development Services (BDS) organizations to effectively and independently implement business start up and improvement training and related activities for potential and existing entrepreneurs.

The second immediate objective is to enable potential and existing small entrepreneurs through these SIYB partner organizations to start viable businesses and to increase the viability and profitability of existing enterprises, and to create quality employment for others in the process.

The Start & Improve Your Business (SIYB) programme is a management-training programme with a focus on starting and improving small businesses as a strategy for creating more and better employment in developing economies and economies in transition. With an estimated outreach of 4.5 million trainees, continuously growing network of more than 17000 trainers and 200 Master Trainers in 2500 partner institutions SIYB is one of the biggest global management training systems used for the support of micro and small enterprises (MSEs) currently on the market. Initially developed in the 1980ies, it has now been translated into more than 40 languages and introduced in more than 100 countries. With a consolidated step by step approach our immediate objectives are: To enable local Business Development Service (BDS) providers to effectively and independently implement business start up and improvement training and related activities To enable potential and existing small entrepreneurs, both girls and boys (youth); women and men, through these BDS organizations to start viable businesses, to increase the viability of existing enterprises, and to create quality employment for others in the process. The ILO has on demand now adapted training material originally developed for Zambia and Tanzania on waste management, to suit the Zimbabwean context, with a focus on waste recycling as a business idea for community based organisations. The adapted training package Start Your Waste Recycling Business comprises four key documents (i) Technical Handouts (ii) Business Manual (iii) Business Plan and (iv) Trainers Guide.

For whom?

Direct beneficiaries: Business Development Services organizations (private, public and NGOs)

Ultimate beneficiaries: Potential and existing micro- and small-scale businesses with up to ten employees

For what purpose?

Enable local Small Enterprise Development organizations to effectively and independently deliver SIYB training and related activities to entrepreneurs

Enable potential entrepreneurs to start their small businesses and existing entrepreneurs to develop and strengthen their basic management skills for better performance, profitability, while creating jobs in the process

How is it delivered?

Management training and other business development advice and coaching

  • „Training of Potential Entrepreneurs
  • „Training of existing entrepreneurs
  • „Refresher Training

What are its components?

Each SIYB training level has its own set of materials:

  • Generate Your Business Idea (GYBI) Manual
  • Start Your Business (SYB) Manuals kit, guiding in preparing a business plan and finding advice and assistance
  • Improve Your Business (IYB) Modules kit, covering:
  • Marketing, Buying, Stock Control, Costing, Recordkeeping, Business Planning, People and Productivity
  • SIYB Business Game on: the business cycle, supply and demand, reaching the market and managing a diversified business

Which technical areas are covered?

  • Business management skills training
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Disability
  • Gender in Enterprise (GET Ahead) training is largely based on SIYB materials
  • Occupational Safety and Health workplace practices
  • Modules of SIYB are adapted for “greening” enterprises

Can it cover more technical areas?

Yes, it could cover aspects related to the world of work to make a working place safer and more productive, such as working conditions and social protection

Where has it been used?

In 96 countries: Albania, Angola, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Benin, Bolivia, Bosnia, Botswana, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Chile, China, Costa Rica, Cote d’Ivoire, Cuba, D.R Congo, Croatia, Cyprus, Ecuador, Egypt, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Ghana, Guinea, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Jamaica, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kiribati, Kyrgyzstan, Laos PDR, Latvia, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Marshall Islands, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Russia, Rwanda, Samoa, Sierra Leone, Serbia, Senegal, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa , Sri Lanka, Syria, Sudan, Swaziland, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, UAE, Ukraine, Uganda, Uzbekistan, Tunisia, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Viet Nam, West Bank/Gaza, Yemen, Zambia, and Zimbabwe (see map)

Successfully mainstreamed into national policies of 60 countries (SIYB reached maintenance and sustainability phase): Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Benin, Bolivia, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Chile, China, Cote d’Ivoire, D.R Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Fiji, Guinea, Indonesia, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kiribati, Kyrgyzstan, Lesotho, Mali, Mongolia, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Russia, Rwanda, Samoa, Serbia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, South Africa , Sri Lanka, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Uganda, Uzbekistan, Tunisia, Vanuatu, Viet Nam, West Bank/ Gaza, Yemen, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

Which languages?

Available in 33 languages: Afrikaans, Albanian, Amharic, Arabic, Armenian, Azerbaijani, Bahasa Indonesia, Braille, Chinese, Croatian, Dari, French, Georgian, Kiswahili, Kyrgyz, Mongolian, Nepalese, North Sotho, Portuguese, Russian, Serbian, Sinhala, South Sotho, Spanish, Sri Lankan, Tajik, Tamil, Thai, Tswana, Uzbek, Vietnamese, Xhosa, and Zulu

Is it suitable for rural areas?

Yes, easily adaptable, for instance by focusing more on agriculture-related enterprises. Has been adapted for eco-tourism, fisheries and timber products in Papua New Guinea, construction in South Africa, and various rural farm and nonfarm economic activities in Senegal

What are its strengths?

  • Modular learning system
  • Simple and easy to understand
  • Practical content
  • Step-by-step approach to learning
  • Action-oriented and highly participatory
  • Has monitoring and evaluation system for all levels – from entrepreneurs to trainers and to Master Trainers
  • Low cost of training materials
  • Adaptability to local conditions
  • Linked to Business Skills for artists, Generate Your Green Business Idea, Start Your Construction Business, Green Business Options

Part of a package:

  • Improve Your Work Environment and Business (I-WEB),
  • Improve Your Waste Collection Business, Improve Your Exhibiting Skills
  • Could be linked to Work Improvement in Small Enterprises (WISE)
  • Used by UNDP, Organization for Security and Cooperation in
  • Europe (OSCE), UNICEF, and other multilateral and nonprofit international agencies as major enterprise training tool