Training the trainers virtually in Central America

11 December 2020
ITC News
E-commerce mentors in Central America keep up the pace through online workshops.

International shipping and logistics challenges, complications with suppliers and partners, and financial difficulties are just some of the problems that e-commerce businesses are grappling with during COVID-19.

Many of these businesses have resorted to temporarily halting operations to respond to an increasingly unpredictable global situation.

Now is therefore the time to support the development and continued advancement of these e-commerce businesses in Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama.

With access to the virtual world, there is no reason for the support not to reach those         who need it most.

For the first time, the International Trade Centre's Train the Trainer e-commerce  workshop series was conducted as a live virtual event, enabling trainers to continue their professional development and share their knowledge with over 200 project participants across Central America.

In this virtual workshop series, mentors attended training sessions on digital marketing, strategy development, logistics for e-commerce, and mastering various customer relationship management techniques.

These sessions complemented the previous training provided to beneficiary companies in the fields of market research, e-commerce platforms and online payment solutions.

Christian Rucavado, Project Manager at Costa Rica's Chamber of Industries and mentor for the project in Central America, said:

"Online training allows us to optimise our time compared to face-to-face workshops, which often require a full week of work."

Mónica Díaz, Executive Coordinator of AGEXPORT in Guatemala and mentor for the project highlighting the advantages of e-learning said, "Virtual training allows us to record the session and watch back the videos as many times as we need to. They also generate lower logistics costs that can be reinvested in other actions. The complication here is that virtual learning does not allow for total immersion, making it difficult to share knowledge between mentors."

Building bridges for women entrepreneurs in Central America

The workshop series ran throughout July 2020, offering trainers e-commerce mentorship and development opportunities. It also helped them in relaying t insights to project mentees from the "Linking Central American Women Business Enterprises (WBEs) with the Global Gifts and Home Decoration Market" initiative. The project is funded by the European Union (EU) and implemented by the International Trade Centre (ITC) in collaboration with the Secretariat for Central American Economic Integration (SIECA) and national implementing partners.

This virtual workshop series also involved the participation of DHL, to help train mentors on logistics for e-commerce, while supporting project beneficiaries with preferential rates and assistance.