Part 3 - Human Capital

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Basic Skills

These interventions intend to promote the acquisition of basic skills that are required for a productive workforce. Lack of access to quality basic education at primary & secondary school and/ or basic training in work experiences, makes it difficult for businesses to find and hire productive employees, even for low-skilled jobs.

Policy Objectives Addressed Expected Impacts KPIs
  • facilitate the acquisition of theoretical and practical skills
  • Increase in the number of qualified employees
  • better management and growth for companies
  • Adult literacy rate
  • Learning adjusted rate of years in school
  • Ease of finding skilled employees
  • ICT Skills

Develop entrepreneurial curricula: Prepare basic entrepreneurial skills education material through tailored local material, case studies and role models.

In 2016, the Ministry of Education of Rwanda introduced a new competence based curriculum with a course on entrepreneurship and business development which was made necessary for completion of secondary school. The course includes learnings on entrepreneurial attitudes, firm management, book-keeping, etc.

Train Teachers: Encourage training for teachers and promote entrepreneurship educators’ networks.

Educate! has partnered with the Ugandan and Rwandan Ministries of Education supporting their transformation to entrepreneurial training in schools. It advises governments on teacher training as well as trains at least two teachers and one administrator to use their teaching method.

Training Programs: Promote technical and vocational trainings.

In Tanzania’s policy, the objective is to introduce entrepreneurial programs in vocational and technical training institutions and selected target groups/sectors e.g school leavers.

Partner with private sector: Encourage private sector sponsorship for entrepreneurial training.

The INJAZ Company Program, is a program for secondary students focusing on financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurship in 14 African member states that is implemented in partnership with national education authorities. It is executed under the umbrella of Junior Achievement Worldwide.

Training for Practicing Entrepreneurs: Promote training for entrepreneurs in informal, SMEs and high-growth potential firms to enhance their capabilities.

Nigeria’s National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) offers capacity building training to women, people with disabilities and CEOs to improve utilisation of ICT, increase access to e-business tools and encourage entrepreneurial spirit.

Internships & Apprenticeships:

Promote apprenticeship programmes.

Mauritius’ University-SME Internship Program encourages students  to participate in three to nine month internships with SMEs with high growth potentials. This would provide practical experience while assisting SME owners and entrepreneurs with basic management, financial management, marketing and the application of new technologies.

Skills match and training curricula in Mauritius

  • Following a skills assessment, Mauritius policies propose an analysis of existing national vocational and technical training curricula to assess their relevance to priority sectors.
  • The objective is to refocus Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) and Young Entrepreneurs Programs to ensure that beneficiaries are mainstreamed in the supply side of the skill matching exercise.
  • Its Professional Assistance Voucher Scheme (PAVS) may be used in specific areas to match skill requirements.

Advanced Skills

These interventions intend to promote the acquisition of advanced skills. Quality advanced education and training, including specialized STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) courses ensure future entrepreneurs possess the skills necessary to fulfill their ambitions as well as to hire well-skilled, competitive employees.

Policy Objectives Addressed Expected Impacts KPIs
  • Facilitate the acquisition of theoretical and practical skills
  • Increase in the number of qualified employees
  • Better management and growth for companies
  • Tertiary enrollment rate
  • Technicians and professionals in workforce
  • Labor productivity per employee
  • Ease of finding skilled workers

STEM education in secondary education: Enhance quality of skills provided in STEM subjects to increase the competitiveness of future entrepreneurs.

South Africa’s Department of Basic Education is creating a coding & robotics program for school children. The purpose is to equip learners with  digital literacy, virtual reality, augmented reality, machine learning, artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things and equip teachers with computer skills.

STEM education at tertiary level: Enhance the quality of tertiary education in STEM subjects to  create mechanisms to stimulate students to become entrepreneurs

Nigeria has several agencies promoting the commercialisation of inventions from scientific and engineering research. All these agencies are funded by the government and their roles are to ensure that scientific ideas become inventions through the development and commercialisation of prototypes and research output.

Improve marketability of tertiary academic programs: Address the technical needs of firms in targeted sectors and integrate industry linkages in the curricula

Rwanda's Ministry of Education has partnered with technology-enabled companies such as Microsoft, O'Genius Panada, Zora Robotics and Class VR, and the Keza company, among others, towards incorporating STEM and ICT-enabled educational system.

Shift from STEM to STEAM education: Promote inclusion of Arts in STEM to promote creativity, habit of risk taking, problem solving, experiential learning among future leaders, innovators, entrepreneurs, educators and learners.

SAYAP Africa, a non-profit organisation headquartered in California is promoting the inclusion of Arts in STEM subjects through its pioneer STEAM program.  The integration of arts into STEM education and fields could  also help encourage more participation by women in what have been male-dominated areas.1

Strengthen innovation capabilities of enterprises: Strengthen links between research and development from higher education institutions, science councils, public entities, and private sector, and commercialisation.

South Africa’s Technology Innovation Agency has a Technology Stations Programme that contributes towards facilitating the interaction between industry and academia, in order to enable innovation and improve industry’s competitiveness. It provides services such as Process or Product Improvement, R&D, etc

Improve scientific and technical competences:  Build capacity in the creation, management and use of intellectual property works.

Namibia’s Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) Policy provides for training of Namibian researchers, technicians, legal practitioners, and entrepreneurs in the management and use of intellectual property rights.

Namibia Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) Policy 2020-2030[1]

Namibia’s STI Policy aims to enhance national competitiveness in science, technology and innovation. Some of the most relevant objectives and strategies have been highlighted below.

Improve scientific and technical competences in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)

  • Invest in postgraduate and postdoctoral programmes
  • Establish postdoctoral fellowships in key research fields
  • Fund of postgraduate training programmes in STEM
  • Train Namibian researchers, technicians, legal practitioners, and entrepreneurs in the management and use of intellectual property rights

Promote a culture of science, technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship

  • Establish a techno-preneurship promotion programme to promote technology audits by enterprises
  • Provide innovation vouchers to companies, particularly SMEs, to procure R&D services from HEI and R&D institutions.

Ireland - Limerick website dedicated to lifelong learners[2]

  • The city of Limerick has launched a new website dedicated to lifelong learners. It provides information on the availability of courses and learning opportunities in the area of Limerick.
  • The website will have an important role for the promotion of the city as a Learning City-Region which goes beyond national borders.
  • The portal will enable citizens to adapt to the societal changes and help Learning Limerick to reach its communication goals. Among them - to show that learning is already taking place in communities and colleges, but also at the workplace and is in accordance with other regional and national policies in place. The website facilitates collaboration between all parties concerned with improving the access to lifelong learning.

Business Skills

These interventions are focused on the development of business skills. Those skills required for starting, growing and maintaining a healthy business. These skills are learned through quality business and operational education and training at school or work (including employee development). Fostering the development of business skills will help entrepreneurs to fulfill their ambitions as well as to hire well-skilled, competitive employees, which results in a positive impact on business development, innovation, and growth potential.

Policy Objectives Addressed Expected Impacts KPIs
  • Facilitate the acquisition of theoretical and practical skills
  • Increase in the number of qualified employees
  • Better management and growth for companies
  • Training in starting a business
  • Entrepreneurship competencies in national curriculum
  • ICT skills
  • Quality of management schools
  • Start-up skills
  • Human Capital
Management Training: Supporting the training of SMEs managers.

Benin’s law seeks to facilitate training for SME/SMI managers and staff in managerial techniques, quality approaches, export techniques, creativity, and innovation. Training will also seek to improve corporate culture through the strengthening of management structures.

Youth Training: Facilitating the creation of enterprises by the youth.

Rwanda seeks to introduce a youth entrepreneurship course for young people who find themselves outside of the formal education system with the support of the capacity building component of the SME fund. The course will target existing associations of out-of-school or vulnerable youth who are interested in starting their own business. Topics to be covered include financial management, marketing, risk and innovation.

Learning in social spaces: creating spaces where entrepreneurship can be addressed on a national level and bridging gaps between academia with industry

The City of Chengdu in China has invested in creating social spaces such as digital labs.

Kenya Institute of Business Training (KIBT)

Kenya Institute of Business Training (KIBT) is an institution under the State Department of Trade, Ministry of Industry, Trade and Cooperatives. The objective of the institute is to provide Business and Management Development Services to MSMEs and other Interest Groups through: Training, Research, Consultancy.[3]

The training programs are offered and organised through tailor-made courses for different target groups. The different courses offered are listed below;

  • Aspiring Entrepreneurs - Introduction to Entrepreneurship (level 1), Generate your Business Ideas (GYBI), Business start-up for youth
  • Owners, managers and employees of SMEs - Effective Business Management (level 2), Business Growth and Expansion (level 3), etc.
  • Women entrepreneurs - Small Business Management for Women
  • SME operators, managers and employees - Business Plan Development, Marketing and Sales Management

Labour Market

These interventions are focused on talent acquisition, employment contracts, startup leaves, remuneration and sensitization of SMEs on existing legislation.

Policy Objectives Addressed Expected Impacts KPIs
  • Regulating labour market to foster SMEs growth and job creation
  • Increase of job creations
  • Prevalence of gig economy
  • Labour freedom index

Recruiting / Talent Acquisition:  Promoting recruitments and targeting of talents.

In Benin, SMEs who create jobs for the youth, or hire unemployed youth are rewarded with tax benefits.

Flexible Employment Contracts: Easing of employment rules.

India Startup India program allows companies to raise the hiring limit of apprentices to 15% of total strength of an establishment (not just startups). The laws also raised apprentice stipends to up to Rs 9,000 per month. It also lowered the size-limit of establishments who have mandatory obligations to engage apprentices to 30 and reduced the size-limit of an establishment wanting to engage apprentices from four.

Leave: Making it easier for employees to start their own business.

Tunisia’s Startup Act developed the Startup Sabbatical innovation, which provides long-term leave-of-absence to anyone (civil servant or a private sector employee), who would like to launch a startup.

Skills Assessments: Identifying skill gaps and ways of mitigation.

Nigeria intends to conduct annual Skills Needs Assessment (SNA) surveys specifically designed for the SME sector to identify skill shortages and future skill requirements. Nigeria strategy includes encouraging MSMEs to conduct regular skills audits for skill gaps and finding a way to mitigate them.

Flexible Remuneration: Easing of employment rules.

Italy offers a flexible remuneration system that supports startups. It allows innovative startups and incubators to base salaries on a variable component e.g. efficiency or profitability of the company, the productivity of the employee or the team, stock options, work-for-equity schemes or other outputs agreed on between the parties.

Review of Existing Laws & Sensitization of SMEs: Improvement of the labour law enforcement.

Nigeria’s policy calls for sensitization of MSMEs on labor legislation (e.g. the Workmen Compensation Act, Factories Act, etc.).

Italy Startup Act Cover
Italy Startup Act Cover

Italy Startup Act - Flexible employment policy for Startups

  • In Italy, startups have a tailor-made labor law on fixed-term contracts which gives them the ability to hire a staffer on a fixed-term contract for flexible lengths of duration. Within 36 months, the contract can be renewed as many times as needed, however after 36 months, it can be renewed only once for 12 months maximum (duration of 48 months overall). By the end of the 4-year period, the contract is automatically converted into an open-ended one.
  • Startups with more than 5 employees are also not required to maintain the ratio between fixed-term and active open-ended contracts.

Panel Discussion on Tunisia Startup Act
Panel Discussion on Tunisia Startup Act

Tunisia Startup Act - the Startup Sabbatical innovation

  • A civil servant or a private sector employee, who would like to launch a startup, may be entitled to a leave for a period of one (01) year and is renewable once. This right is limited to three founding shareholders per startup who are full-time employees elsewhere.
  • The employer cannot oppose the departure of the employee approved for the leave with the exception of a private employer with less than 100 employees. In this case, the employer’s prior authorization is required for approval.
  • Employees granted a leave to set up a Startup have the right to maintain their contractual and statutory relationship with the employer but will receive no salary, compensation or annual leave from the prior role.

Human Capital KPIs - IconHuman Capital KPIs

Sub Challenge Description Indicators Source
Basic skills Measures the basic quality of human capital. Access to quality basic education at primary & secondary school and/or to basic training in work experiences, is needed for productive employees. Learning adjusted years of school
Adult literacy rate
Advanced skills Measures the quality and access to advanced education and training at schools or at work. Skilled, competitive employees are needed for high-growth business, especially in knowledge-intensive sectors. Tertiary enrolment rate
Technicians and professionals in workforce
Labor productivity per employee
Ease of finding skilled employees
Business skills Captures the extent of business savvy workers and access to training in entrepreneurship skills in a country. These skills are needed to bring a good idea to market, adapt to consumer demands and grow businesses. Training in starting a business Expert opinion
Entrepreneurship competencies in national curriculum Expert opinion
ICT Skills
Quality of management schools
Start-up skills
Human capital
Labour market Indicates the conduciveness of labour regulation to business growth. It includes the ease of hirings and dismissals, minimum wages and openness to new forms of labour such as the gig economy. Prevalence of gig economy
Labour freedom index

Further Reading

Entrepreneurship Education  

Education Innovation and Research


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