SBS Learning Lab Lights Up Lives Through New Remote Training
“I want to learn to start a business,” “I want to have more money,” “I want to learn to save more.” These words we commonly hear from the thousands of Ugandan women we serve through Street Business School’s learning lab. The difference? These women are being trained via telephone.
After months of lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Uganda Co-Country Director Evelyn Mwondha, together with the Uganda team, understood the need to shift the way Street Business School (SBS) delivered its training.
With projections suggesting that 3 million people in Uganda would be pushed back into poverty, Evelyn and her team were inspired to work quickly to find solutions to support at-risk communities. They designed a “Remote Training” curriculum to be delivered through the SBS Learning Lab, our direct-to-beneficiary model in and around Kampala.
“Learning Lab Remote” training is a 10-week program comprised of key elements from the SBS curriculum delivered through telephone conferencing. From recruitment and training through coaching and graduation, the entire curriculum is delivered via teleconference. Conference calls, consisting of sub-cohorts made up of 4-5 members each, are organized and paid for by SBS. Individual coaching calls are also conducted.
How We Began
In early August, the SBS Uganda (SBSU) team launched the first test group. Working in the communities SBSU has served, Coaches called women referred by community leaders and SBS alumni. These efforts were a success, and 41 members joined, split into 10 cohorts. During orientation, women expressed the same hopes and goals we hear in live training.
Success for All Coaches
Women are truly ignited by this new training model. When a woman falls off the call due to connectivity issues, she phones back at mach speed, asking to reconnet so she does not miss any piece of the training.
Our SBSU coaches are also sparked with this new method, gaining confidence in this method of delivering the SBS curriculum. One coach shared “This is so doable, and I am motivated by the women’s comments when they share what they have learned.”
The test group is now in week six, with plans to enroll a new group of cohorts this month. In fact, a few applications have already been received from referrals made by current participants! As standard for SBS, the team is constantly striving to improve the curriculum and delivery via this new channel….an example of the innovation and flexibility of our SBSU team.
Photo in order: Agnes Oyella, Namubiru Kwagala and Kevin Babirye