This past week I was involved in a training put on for young business owners (aged 35 and under). We had a total of 13 "students" in the classes. It ended up being a 5 day training (this is only the first part of a multi-step training) complete with morning classes, lunch breaks, afternoon classes, dinner, and post-dinner discussions. Because it was held at a local school rather than at our Mercy Corps office, I only attended a few of the scheduled events, mixed into my normal work schedule.
My involvement was leading two separate trainings - the first was titled "Comparing Mongolian and American Businesses" and the second was titled "Assessing and Managing Risk". Obvious from the pictures below I was using a translator, as my language skills do not come close to being able to explain risk assessment in Mongolian. Jackie (short for Jargalan), my translator, did a wonderful job of explaining the concepts, as well as keeping up with my verbal "additions" to the prepared notes.
All of the topics covered were useful, targeted, and portrayed in a way that made all of the young business owners feel like they could implement what they were learning. It covered everything from what types of businesses exist, to managing risk, to ways to diversify their products. I'm sure after 5 straight days of "business talk" they were ready for a break. But they'll be back at it again in the first week of December. Only this time they'll be learning how to put together proper business plans, and working on preparing themselves and their businesses to take on additional loan funding.