‘Exchange’ - what’s in a word
Exchange opts for a model in which training, knowledge sharing, innovation and the deployment of expertise are central. Moreover, we do not opt for one-way interaction, but want to set up a environmentof co-creation. We aim for a sustainable exchange of experience and want to create a win-win situation for a Belgian partner company and an SME in one of our five focus countries.
Exchange wants to sustainably support enterprising SMEs in the focus countries by designing tailor-made growth programmes for the SMEs.
The growth programmes must meet certain criteria:
1. They fit in with the strategy and way of operating of Exchange
3. The people involved in the growth programme work in co-creation with the company in the South.
Each growth programme is preceded by a feasibility study. A local entrepreneur can bring a business growth idea to the local representatives of Exchange in the focus country. The programme manager of the relevant focus country in Belgium is also involved and based on our selection criteria we determine whether or not the business idea is suitable for drawing up a growth programme with a long-term cooperation.
A coaching mission will then focus precisely on the needs, capacity and expectations of the African entrepreneur. This way we can look for the best possible expertise match with a Belgian company.
The programme plan
As soon as the growth programme starts, a voluntary programme coach is appointed who acts as a point of contact for the specific growth programme.
He or she designs a programme plan with an associated timing and targeted delivery stages for interim goals.
As soon as the plan is approved by all parties, we will get to work.
We will look for the right expertise with a Belgian partner, but also with local partners. We believe that sustainable growth goes hand in hand with local anchoring.
Together with the program coach and the local entrepreneur, the program manager of Exchange in Belgium examines who are the most suitable voluntary experts to work with.
The infographic above is a generic example of a growth programme or "case" as it could theoretically occur in the Sub-Saharan agro-industry. It shows how local production is improved, expanded, stored or processed for distribution on an increasingly large scale. The infographic illustrates how different experts intervene in specific phases. When carrying out a feasibility study, when drawing up a business plan, when improving the crop, when conducting a market study, during production roll-out and when preparing for export certification. Not only experts are involved, Belgian and local companies can also be involved in the chain.
The programme coach follows the programme closely and makes adjustments based on interim evaluations.
A growth programme is a commitment, a cooperation, an exchange of expertise to achieve sustainable growth of the local SME. Various experts and representatives are on board, but the local entrepreneur always remains the final decision maker.
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