Meet the SME Trade Academy’s 10,000th Participant !

7 July 2016
ITC News

The International Trade Centre’s SME Trade Academy celebrated a major milestone on 9 June, when Rose Weche, a young professional in the Kenyan tech sector, became the 10,000th enrolee in one of its online courses since it started operations in April 2014.

Ms. Weche is a young business professional working in Nairobi for Attain Enterprise Solutions, Ltd., an information and communications technology (ICT) solutions provider for a variety of NGOs, government ministries, and private enterprises in Africa.

We contacted Ms. Weche to ask about her experiences with the SME Trade Academy and how e-learning has benefited her professional activities. She kindly took the time to talk to us.

“I have been working in software development for the past 7 years,” Ms. Weche stated, “and my main responsibilities involve helping our company build a strong brand, increasing our sales revenue, as well as building partnerships and relationships with clients. I signed up to the SME Trade Academy course ‘Standards and Certifications for IT and ITES Outsourcing’ through ITC’s project for the information technology (IT) and IT-enabled services (ITES) sector, supported by the Netherlands Trust Fund (NTF) III Project, along with other participants from Kenya and Uganda.”

Ms. Weche continued, “Overall, I found the course really helpful for my professional activities. I loved the course outline, which was succinct and easy to understand, and the lectures helped me grasp the importance of standards and certifications, both on an organizational and on an individual level. It was also very helpful for me to learn about the different standards that are relevant for an IT firm. The course’s learning materials were easy to follow, and I didn’t have any technical difficulties, so my experience was very comfortable. In the future, I think it would be great for the SME Trade Academy to create some courses on e-commerce, which would be very useful for people in positions such as mine.”

Since its launch in April 2014, the SME Trade Academy has grown to offer over 30 courses in three languages across five categories: SME competitiveness, entrepreneurship, sector development, improving trade and investment support Institutions, and trade intelligence. 94% of course participants told a 2016 survey that they applied the knowledge and skills gained in their professional activities. Enrolment has been growing rapidly, reaching 1000 by the end of 2014 and 5000 in late 2015 before the latest milestone. On the current upward trend, enrolments should exceed 15000 by the end of this year.

*The interview above has been edited for brevity and clarity.