EMPRETECO - one step ahead

Tarun Thokchom *

It was the last day of February 2018, I was in my office chamber when an unknown number called me. She greeted me and introduced herself as Ms. Chandraboli Ganguli from Empretec India Foundation, Kolkata informing me that I have been selected for Entrepreurship Training Workshop 13 to be held from 5- 10 March 2018 at Eros Hotel, New Delhi.

Earlier in the middle week of December 2018, there was a 2 days Primer Workshop at the conference Hall of ICM, Lamphelpat where around 30 entrepreneurs from all across Manipur attended the training by UNCTAD- Empretec Programme for India. Mr. Arnab Chakraborty, Director-EIF and Dr. Deboshri De, Sr. Facilitator explained the definition and values of EIF and UNCTAD (United Nations Conference on Trade and Development) Programmes being held across the globe. I was selected from the Primer Workshop according to my entrepreneurial skills for the ETW 13.

To explain further about Empretec Programmes, we have to shift our focus to Argentina- where it all started and was first introduced in 1988. Since its inception, the EMPRETEC programme has been initiated in 36 countries. Early counties were Brazil, Venezuela, Chile and Uruguay in South America and Ghana, Nigeria and Zimbabwe in Africa.

Empretec is the flagship capacity-building programme of the United Nations, and is promoted in India by Empretec India Foundation (EIF). It was set up by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) to promote innovative and internationally competitive, sustainable small and medium enterprises.

The programme has four components:
1. Empretec Training Workshop (ETW)
2. Business Development Services (BDS)
3. Empretec networks/ Community
4. Centre of Excellence.

It is based on a methodology developed originally at Harvard University and tested in 70 countries before its adoption.

Professor David McClelland, a renowned psychologist from Harvard University had done extensive work on entrepreneurship since the late 1950s. His Need theory proposes that everyone is driven by three needs. The participants in the programme are selected through focused interviews on the basis of both their personal proven entrepreneurial competencies and innovative approach to business.

The EMPRETEC programme has a capacity to address other target groups of entrepreneurs (ranging from business leaders and public sectors to entrepreneurs with limited literacy as well as women entrepreneurs). This can be done through a range of customized products that are available upon request.

UNCTAD installs the programme at the requests of its member States and in cooperation with the national public and private sector organizations that are responsible for and contributing to SME development in the country. Although the implementation of the EMPRETEC programme depends on the needs of the beneficiary country, there are several necessary steps to take toward the implementation of the EMPRETEC programme.

After the implementation of an EMPRETEC Centre's sustainability through the provision of revenue generating activities such as Business Development Services (BDS) and UNCTAD's Business Linkages programme.

The Day 1-5 March 2018 started very informally unlike other training programmes. There were 3 International master trainers who introduced themselves as Ms. Karen Venter from Cape Town, South Africa, Mr. Fadi Sharaiha from Toronto, Canada and Mr. Dezider Stefunko from Slovakia. We, 20 entrepreneurs from all across India introduced ourselves over a cup of coffee and formed 4 teams to last till the ETW 13 is over.

Day 2- 6 March 2018 of ETW started with a high note from Ms. Karen Venter taking a small test and later distributed a score sheet to compare the test done with the virtual interview held through Skype by her prior to the start of ETW sitting back in our respective home town. The scores scales were completely different and we are totally muted by the difference in the graphs of the 2 scores. She then explained why there are so many differences and the next 4 days will be spent in rectifying ourselves through the intense training module. The training days normally starts by 9:00 am and winds up by 7:00 Pm daily.

Mr. Fadi Sharaiha is a seasoned Entrepreneur and an acclaimed International Master Trainer of Empretec-UNCTAD who has trained thousands like us across the globe. He took very good sessions on Personality Development and we all speak high of him. The methodology adopted by Empretec Programme is acclaimed World Wide and we are so fortunate to have trained through the best International Master Trainers.

The Day 3-7 March 2018 was a Fun day for all of us, as many internationally adopted social games were played and we keep adding points to our kitty. Introduction and scaling a new business module were taught instantly and we are told to accumulate points and cash amongst us.

STAMPING is one new word we all learned in ETW 13, where our daily trained modules is to be related to the STAMP we need to note down on the course book, we are supposed to have 30 stamps to get qualified and certified as Empreteco (Males) and Empreteca (Females). No Stamps leads to disqualification and never in our life time, will we be able to attend the same ETW again. That means its “Once in the Life time Offer”. So all the heads were focused on acquiring stamps, jotting down instantly, later to be verified by the trainers at the end of each day.

Weather is always fair and nice in March in Delhi but we are all perspiring inside out in the Hall, through the grills and drills of the training module. We eventually have started to broaden our horizons as the training is underway.

Day 4- 8 March 2018 went off smoothly as we have gathered and acquired competencies attending and listening to the Master Trainers on How to increase our approaches by minimizing the hurdles and competent enough to achieve greater scales.

Perfectness in any job is the daily practice of our stamps and eventually all the other future stamps we need to create as we go along the path of entrepreneurship journey. Focusing on a task leads to creation of stamps, and more number of stamps leads to creativity in ideas, methods in the entrepreneur’s venture.

Day 5 -9 March 2018 was even better to see smiles in each other’s face as we are nearing the completion of the 300 page Training module Course book, but some doubts still lingers to a few trainees to have their stamps ready. We shared our individual ideas amongst us to help them complete the stamps. Solving an Entrepreneur’s problem might be easy but Listening to a fellow entrepreneur who has faced similar problems and the ways out to clear the hurdle on the path was more delighting.

Here comes the D-Day of ETW 13, the 10th March 2018, where we all have 30 stamps with us and waiting for final approval from our Training Head Mr. Dezider Stefunko to announce all as certified. After having listened, learned and practiced during the Entrepreneurship Training Workshop 13, I have become a proud EMPRETECO and the second from the state of Manipur.

Tarun Thokchom
ETW 13

* Tarun Thokchom wrote this article for
The writer is the Director of Info Trade Services, Lamphelpat.
and can be contacted at tarun(DOT)th(AT)gmail(DOT)com
This article was webcasted on August 25 2022 .

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