Our company, Cimson International has been offering business training in Finland now for more than 25 years. Internationally we operate under the name NEBA – North European Business Academy. At the moment we work in Nepal, Vietnam and Colombia, and in Saudi Arabia we recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with a local partner, Tatweer, which is a leading company in the field of education development inside the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. In Europe Spain will be one of our first target countries, and we are currently in discussion about starting a pilot project in Valencia area.
As I mentioned in my first blog entry we always start the training with what the person already knows and with the skills he or she has. As most of us have some kind of skills, there is a need for our training all over the world.
Global online training
We are expanding our business country by country. As I mentioned, in Asia we have started operations in Nepal and Vietnam, and we have already seen that there is a need for our services also in countries like China, Laos, Cambodia, Philippines, Malaysia and Pakistan. In India we are building a co-operation with a local distributor.
The NEBA training material was originally written in English, and one of our target areas is the English speaking Africa. The first customers in Kenya have already attended our training, and one of the participants sent us positive feedback after she started her own chicken farming business after attending the NEBA business start up training course.
The training materials are available also in Spanish, and in addition to Spain we offer our services for the Spanish speaking countries in Latin America. In Colombia the first courses have been carried out and in Chile we have had negotiations with the Ministry of Labour and Ministry of Industry.
We have translated the training materials in Arabic, and in addition to Saudi Arabia we are interested in offering our services in other Arabic speaking countries in Near East and in North Africa. There is a huge need for new entrepreneurs in these countries, and a lot of groundwork is needed to create the mentality and attitude needed for starting a business.
In Saudi Arabia the need for new businesses and entrepreneurship is seen clearly. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has a 2030 vision, and a part of that vision is creating more micro and small businesses. One of the challenges in Saudi Arabia is the diminishing amount of workplaces in the oil industry. The are thousands of men and women with a specific training for that line of work, and though these people are often highly qualified, there is not anymore as many work opportunities in that field of work as there used to be. To prevent many of them becoming unemployed in the future, they need both career guidance and business training.
Help for many kinds of people
In several countries many of the university students will be unemployed after graduation, or they pick up odd jobs selling gasoline or flowers on the streets just to get some kind of income. At NEBA we have developed a set of tools that help people with academic degree to find a way to work in a way that makes use of their academic skills as an entrepreneur. By attending the NEBA business training they can use their knowledge and skills and start a new business – for example as accountants or as consultants. Often all they need is a little bit of encouragement to be able to see themselves as entrepreneurs.
The same NEBA tools can also be used to help people to overcome a difficult situation in their life, even if they don’t have a formal education. In this world there are more and more people who need to start everything anew – like people who have lost everything in natural disasters, people getting out of prison and refugees seeking a safer place to live. We believe that for many of them starting a small business can be the right solution to make their lives better in the future.
In April 2015 Nepal was stricken by a devastating earthquake that destroyed many villages completely. We and some other companies sponsored business training in a small mountain village, and after the three-month intensive study program the first four NEBA students in Nepal received their certificates. With the help of international NEBA sponsors, each of them also started their new businesses – one of the men started a sewing and clothing shop with his wife, and the others started chicken and fish farms. Our first training partner started its operation in Kathmandu, Nepal, in 2015.
What about you?
In the end, I would like to ask you to pause for a moment and think about the situation in your country. As you have learned, at NEBA we offer business start up training and career guidance for all kinds of people from university students to poor people with no formal education. Is there something that you and us could do together to help people make a better life for themselves in the future?
If you work or live in a place where people around or near you would benefit from business training, which helps them to start a new business, please don’t hesitate to contact me. Let’s see if we can help you to bring help and hope to the people near you.
The author, Jouni Suonpää is the founder and chairman of NEBA (North European Business Academy). Jouni has extensive personal experience in entrepreneurship and has been training and consulting people on entrepreneurship for more than 25 years. He is also a founder and co-partner in many new businesses.