Investing in professional development

October 11, 2018

Solar Sister invests in local capacity. This year, we worked with BlueDrop Learning Networks to develop an interactive online curriculum for our frontline staff. Learn more from our Training Managers, Chioma Ome and Caroline Gilbert.

Thanks to the support of the Swedish Postcode Foundation, Solar Sister was able to deepen our training tools and invest in the professional development of our field staff. Solar Sister employs over 50 Business Development Associates, based in regions across Tanzania and Nigeria. They are always on the move – heading to remote, rural or peri-urban communities to deliver both clean energy products and trainings.  They lead our 12-month training curriculum, provide ongoing support and distribute products to women entrepreneurs in their own communities. These Associates are Solar Sister’s frontline ambassadors and we wanted to make sure they are fully equipped to support women in last mile communities.

The training was very good, it improved my knowledge about my job as it was very practical. — Fauziat Lawal 

We worked closely with the BlueDrop team to design a training that builds our staff’s capacity to recruit, coach, train and support women entrepreneurs. Because our Business Development Associates were involved in developing content, the training offers a realistic and practical approach with a problem-solving focus.

e-learning module screen

The BlueDrop curriculum is a mixture of face-to-face and e-learning modules covering essential skills, tools and information:

  • Solar Sister’s vision, our unique model and gender lens
  • Key topics: Clean energy, Entrepreneurship and Women’s Economic Empowerment
  • Role of Business Development Associate
  • Leadership, coaching, training and recruitment skills
  • Planning and organizational tools
  • Monitoring and evaluation tools

As Training Managers in Tanzania and Nigeria, we use the BlueDrop curriculum to train Solar Sister staff across these large countries. Our goal is to set our staff up for success – so they can provide the essential services and training that enable women entrepreneurs to build sustainable businesses in their own communities.

The BlueDrop training provides a platform to equip our Business Development Associates with practical knowledge and also skills development to be able to navigate the challenges of working to get clean energy to remote, rural and off-grid communities.

Because the BlueDrop training is a mix of in-person and e-learning, Associates can test their knowledge in their own time and return to key sections for reference. They can access modules on the go on their tablets, which is perfect given the mobility of their role.

I appreciate that our Business Development Associates got involved in developing the training content. It makes the curriculum more relevant to their needs. – Chioma Ome

Because the curriculum includes practical scenarios and activities, our Business Development Associates are able to connect classroom knowledge to field practice. This, in turn increases their adaptability when they begin to lead trainings at the community level.

Watch the introductory video here!