Many skill development projects in the Third World provide short courses at local training institutes or technical institutes to help small enterprises upgrade their technical and management skills development. Supported by grants from overseas, these short courses usually charge a low fee that is heavily subsidized. Long-term sustainability is always the aim, but the clients needing the help are far from being able to pay an economic fee.
This quiet-spoken man of commanding presence and natural authority began by praising the organizers for mounting the short course, which they were sure would do much to strengthen the industry. They were learning things that they knew they needed to know, as well as things that they didn’t realize they needed to know. They hoped that there would be more such short courses in the future but what concerned them was sustainability. They were anxious that the short courses should continue long after the foreign support ended, and they warned the organizers not to set expectations too high.
Short Courses for Small Businesses & Sustainability
It is much better than most of the participants are used to eating. The food alone must have cost more than the entire attendance fee. The same could be said of the accommodation. When word gets out about the catering and accommodation on these short courses, people will rush to enjoy a cheap holiday. You will attract people who have no interest in improving their technical knowledge.
These responsible people had recognized his essential dilemma but he asked them to suggest some solutions. Catering costs could be reduced to providing only a light lunch. Mid-morning and mid-afternoon snacks were certainly unnecessary. They also felt that the fee could be increased to contribute to offsetting the cost of instruction.
However, that if fees were increased, a way must be found to help the younger people who could not afford to pay. Also, on the matter of campus accommodation, believed that it conferred a number of advantages, like the opportunity and further studies in the evenings. It also gave people who never had the opportunity to study at university a feeling that they had experienced academic life, including part of the social dimension. In conclusion it was agreed to effect economies by reducing the level of accommodation and catering, and to gradually increase the level of fees, but they were still forced to realize that they were a long way from sustainability.