Closing ceremony of the mission with the Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprises and Employment Promotion (MPMEPE) and the EU Delegation in Benin. (SOCIEUX+ 2019-32). Picture courtesy of MPMEPE.

Strengthening managerial capacities for entrepreneurship and employment promotion in Benin

SOCIEUX+ and the Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprises and Employment Promotion (MPMEPE) of Benin just completed a technical cooperation action. The action strengthened the managerial capacities of ministry and directorate staff to provide effective and efficient services for entrepreneurship and employment promotion, which are key services of the ministry.

The initial activity of this cooperation was an assessment of the employment, entrepreneurship, and small and medium enterprise (SME) ecosystem in Benin, as well as the role and place of MPMEPE. This led to the joint development of a training plan based on four themes: human resources; integration of the ministry; thematic training related to national employment, SME and entrepreneurship policies; and skills development training.

Following this first activity, two rounds of training activities were carried out for the senior staff of different departments of MPMEPE and the agencies under its supervision. The first set of modules, implemented in November 2021, focused on change management, business relations, and data collection and processing. The second set of training modules, implemented in March 2022, focused on performance management and supervision, the integration of gender and professional equality principles in the implementation of public policies, the importance of developing collective skills in team and network employment, and techniques for the conception and development of trainings.

Based above all on a peer-to-peer exchange of practices, each activity was built around three approaches: defining the overall concepts; practical illustrations and exercises related to the Beninese context; and, group work to translate the knowledge acquired into the trainees’ environments. The trainees were able to question themselves on their professional practices, their assets, and their limits. Good practices were also shared on women’s entrepreneurship initiatives implemented in Morocco by the Belgian Development Agency Enabel. As a result of this capacity-building action, participants from the ministry have improved their overall managerial skills, specifically their capacity to lead networks, identify the levers of action for teamwork, and critically examine policies in favour of women’s rights and equality in employment promotion and SMEs in Benin.

For this action, experts from the French Ministry of Employment and Solidarity, the Regional Directorate for the Economy, Employment, Labour and Solidarity (DREETS), and the Prime Minister’s General Secretariat for European Affairs (SGAE) were mobilised. The action ended with a seminar hosted by the Delegation of the European Union in Cotonou (DUE) on 31 March 2022. During this seminar, the Department for the Promotion of Employment (DPE) of MPMEPE and DUE exchanged information on their target areas of intervention, including the training-employment relationship, which is a strategic development axis of the Beninese government.

Giuliana De Rosa
SOCIEUX+ Action Manager

(SOCIEUX+ 2019-32).

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