Honduras and CCIT
Formalise your Business
What is South-South and Triangular Cooperation?
What is “Formalise Your Business”?
In 2021, the Tegucigalpa Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Honduras launched the https://formalizatunegocio.hn/platform, a digital tool for providing comprehensive support on the journey to enterprise formalisation. The idea stemmed from a regional initiative of the ILO Bureau for Employers’ Activities, an entity that provides technical and financial support to this project. Since then, CCIT has managed to engage 678 business units, 168 of which had advanced in their processes to embrace formalisation by August 2022.
“Formalise your Business” is a comprehensive digital project with a virtual learning component based on the renowned business support methodology “Start and Improve Your Business” (SIYB). With this tool, participants gain insight into their operational situation and gaps in terms of the requirements and information needed to attain formalisation, by using self-assessment tools, group training, and individual advice sessions, all in digital format. The platform also has a simulator of the main costs of the formalisation process, including articles of incorporation and bylaws, registration fees, operating license, and municipal taxes.
Once their participation is over, the aim is to create a business plan and/or improvement plan, as well as to further the formalisation processes, but also to monitor sales increase and job creation as result indicators. To bring this digital project to life, CCIT had the support of the ILO and other local and international allies. Yet, the real key to success lies in the commitment taken on by senior management and staff to promoting the project, getting trained in the methodology, and adapting to the country’s context to schedule evening training sessions and organise introductory sessions and consultancies to tackle digital illiteracy.
What is CCIT?
How Does This Digital Formalisation Programme Work?
of their operations
4. CCIT support goes even further. Business units are assigned a formalisation expert, who personally carries out individual follow-up meetings with them and adds them to WhatsApp communities where they can share general and technical issues with the programme. It is worth mentioning that, after the first pilot, CCIT realised the importance of fostering digital literacy among participants.
To do so, the programme also focuses on teaching how to use the different platforms available. There is an introductory session on the digital tools, and certain members are allowed to use printed material at the beginning until they familiarise themselves with the tools.
Figures of the programme as of August 2022...
The Methodology behind a Well-Implemented Digital Programme
When deciding to launch this project, CCIT realised that they needed to add rigour to the programme and create a comprehensive process leading to success. To this end, they leaned on the famous “Start and Improve Your Business” (SIYB) methodology, which has been developed and improved since 1970 by the ILO and other allies. This methodology is applied at three levels: master trainers, facilitators, and entrepreneurs (end beneficiaries).
CCIT, in partnership with the International Training Centre of the ILO and ACT/EMP, has certified a group of SIYB consultants (51 as of August 2022), who provide direct support to those participating in the “Formalise Your Business” programme using the SIYB methodology as an integral part of the programme’s training curriculum. Furthermore, the figure of the Technical Officer on Enterprise Formalisation is created, whereby, for the first time, CCIT provides business units assistance with the paperwork needed for formalisation.
CCIT follows clear metrics supported by a baseline at the beginning of the process. The programme’s expected outputs are the elaboration of a business plan and/or an improvement plan, and a significant advance in the formalisation process, measuring the programme’s impact through sales indicators, and the creation and maintenance of jobs.
Implementation of the Digital Project – Step by Step
Five Keys to the Success of “Formalise Your Business”
Co-creation and socialisation
How was the Programme Funded?
CTT staff’s hours and dedication are arguably the most critical resource in successfully launching this project. Also, CCIT covered the fees of the subcontracted consultants and the technical officer on business formalisation.
ACT/EMP contributed towards the costs of SIYB training for CCIT and the consultants, and the development of the first online platform. CCIT has managed to secure cooperation with other collaborators through ACT/EMP, such as USAID and the Pan American Development Foundation (PADF), to develop the simulator, make changes to the platform, expand the range of self-guided courses as part of the follow-up process, as well as cover the costs of the initial paperwork needed in the formalisation process of the participants.
But not everything was easy
Adapting solutions to the local context
Lack of standardisation
Finally, the lessons learned from the process
1. Be pedagogical
2. Meet a customer where they are
3. Adapt solutions to the local context
4. Be accountable
5. Aim at mainstreaming
6. Stand out