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CEFE Asia Conference 2017

CEFE Asia conference will be held from 1 - 4 November 2017, Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Announcement and Registration


Training Concept

CEFE philosophy evolves from the realization that entrepreneurs are neither born nor made. With CEFE, the belief is that potential entrepreneurs can be developed and stimulated to start their own businesses through appropriate interventions and existing entrepreneurs can be stimulated to improve and/ or diversify their businesses.

The core of CEFE is that it helps trainees to develop competencies required for the conduct of business activities, helps to develop their own professional business plan or feasibility study, by adopting action learning/ experiential learning methodology in training. There are a number of business games, role-plays, simulations, and field studies etc, which are used as part of the action learning methodology.

At the end of the training program, the comprehensive, professional business plan prepared by the trainees themselves on the proposed business venture is forwarded to bankers. One of the salient features of CEFE is that it invites practicing bankers at the end of the programme to evaluate business plans so that it would help the trainees to know what bankers look for prior to approving loans.

CEFE Target Groups

During its early development stages, CEFE addressed only limited target groups such as potential entrepreneurs; existing entrepreneurs; micro, small and medium enterprise development agencies and financing agencies. However, with further developments over the years in terms of CEFE's conceptual design, a wide variety of groups are targeted including women, youth, vocational trainees, agricultural producers, fishing community, war affected women, resource poor community, professionals, exporters, and university graduates, to name a few.


CEFE Training Methodology

The CEFE Program is anchored on action learning methodology where the participants play and active role in simulation exercises, role-play, field studies and experience sharing. The lectures are only a few and majorities are experiential and action learning exercises. The uniqueness of the CEFE training metrology is that the facilitators do not spoon-feed the participants; rather, the participants themselves derive the learning points of the various training activities and internalize their application.

CEFE Training Ladder

CEFE training interventions are diagrammatically depicted in the CEFE training ladder - see Figure 1. These interventions are broadly categorized into pre-training, training, and post-training. The training component in the ladder shown in Figure 1 remains the same for the New Business Creation (NBC) and Small and Medium Business Management and Expansion Courses (SMBME). Across all other adapted CEFE training products such as CEFE Small Business Counselors Courses, CEFE for Agricultural Producers, CEFE Marketing Management Module and CEFE Financial Management Module etc, the training component varies significantly from product to product due to customization. However, pre-training and post-training interventions remain the same.


The CEFE interventions start much earlier than the training itself - at least four months earlier. Pre-training activities include environmental assessment of the area where the CEFE training will be conducted, identification of collaboration organizations, selection of target group, training needs assessment of the target group, selection of the training venue, promotion and recruitment etc.


The traditional Full course or New Business Creation course (NBC) has 4 modules. These are unlocking competencies, matching person with project, business plan preparation and business plan presentation.

Module 1 - Unlocking competencies

A series of behavioral exercises are conducted to break the ice, to let the participants do a self-assessment of their strengths and weaknesses, life goals, wants and needs. These exercises enable participants to unlock themselves and to derive new and deeper insights into their own self. In the process of unlocking their person, they experience the need to master various strategy options to be successful in an ever-changing environment. The Unlocking Competencies module ends with a definitive summation of participants' qualities, resources and vision as well as weaknesses and deficiencies through an exercise called Personal Balance Sheet (PBS).

Module 2 - Matching person with project

Assuming that most participants have not yet identified their specific product or service ideas, there is ample opportunity during the training to broaden their horizon and to draw attention to other feasible product ideas. I many instances, participants drop their original product/ service ideas in favour of new ones identified during this stage. Matching Persona with Project is done by means of comparing the Personal Balance Sheet (PBS) and Project SWOT Analysis where the composite personal competencies of the participants are matched with the chosen project's requirements.