our programs

Training Programs

EXCEED offers a wide range of training programs

Women Entrepreneurship in rural Asia


In Asia, over 95% of businesses are Small and Medium Enterprises (Tambunan, 2009) thus the biggest source of employment, providing livelihood for over 90% of the country’s workforce, especially women and the young. Though the participation of women in SMEs is still small, they are most prevalent in the Micro-enterprise (MIEs) sector. In the rural areas in Asia, rural women are now increasingly running their own businesses yet their entrepreneurial potential, managerial skill and socio-economic contribution remain largely neglected (Mishra and Kiran, 2012).

Entrepreneurship requires one to take risks, to challenge oneself, and thus preparation and ongoing education and mentoring is important if women entrepreneurs are to succeed. This is even more true when women are involved with natural resource based products such as those based on non-ti mber forest resources, coastal and marine resources and farming produce which are also dependent on factors such as price fluctuation, skills and technology upgrading needs, policy barriers, discriminatory practices and climate dependent production among other concerns. Factors affecting women entrepreneurship include educational and work background, lack of exposure and awareness of innovation and creative ventures, lack of confidence in male dominated industries, work-life balance, lack of assets to be able to source loans and capital, stable and consistent production and human resources and up-scaling uncertainties.

Experiences of NTFP-EP with women artisans and woman NTFP producers is that they often have a multiple burden of taking care of their children and their husbands, leading in the domestic chores performing important cultural and social roles and earning an income from an enterprise. These multiple roles may often come in conflict which may lead to domestic clashes. It is important to surface such concerns and share lessons learned so that women can best balance the different roles they see important in their lives including her enterprise.

This training seeks to explore the potential of women entrepreneurship with those women individuals that are facing questions and challenges on their nature based enterprises across Asia. Against the backdrop of the vibrant and dynamic artisanal city of Yogyakarta, the training will cover both technical business aspects as well as other social and environmental factors often seen as peripheral yet very relevant to the success of business operations. The training will thus impart soft skills and hard skills to build the capacity of the trainees in these fields.

The training will also look into different models of women entrepreneurship such as individual entrepreneurship and group entrepreneurship and explores the strengths and weaknesses of different models for different commodity and product categories.


Overall objective:

After the training the trainees will be equipped with the basic knowledge and soft skills and hard skills to launch or improve women lead, natural resource based enterprises.

Specific objectives
  • Trainees understand the important elements in launching and running a successful woman led, natural resource-based enterprise including enterprise mind set, human resource requirements, business skills and favorable business situation
  • Trainees are able to apply basic enterprise management knowledge and skills
  • Trainees are able to think systematically and thoughtfully about social and environmental aspects affecting the business and present strategies and approaches in balancing enterprise goals and social goals


The EXCEED training team will use a balance of lecture-based methods as well as structured learning exercises, films, cases and exposure visits to facilitate learning. Each of the trainees will choose from a set of 4 case studies which will be utilized through out the training and which will be the base of learning and application of skills and knowledge. 2 workshops/ sites of women entrepreneurs will be visited. One will be an individual entrepreneur and another is a group based enterprise which has successfully scaled up. Gender concerns and nuances will also be discussed with these practitioners to receive concrete examples and lessons. Trainers will apply a holistic methodology touching on both soft and hard skills needed in enterprise management. Finally, a re-entry plan will be developed by each individual at the end of the training and will guide application of knowledge and lessons learned upon a trainees return to her own setting  


Along with seasoned NTFP-EP trainers, EXCEED will also invite ASPPUK or the Association Supporting women in small enterprise, and Lawe to be resource persons/ organizations during the training. ASPPUK is the network of 54 local women organizations working on economic upliftment of women in Indonesia and they have members in 20 provinces with women membership. Lawe is a a community social enterprise that transforms traditional handwoven fabric into functional products through women empowerment. The trainees will also be visiting ASPPUK members in and around Yogyakarta as well as the Lawe workshop and artisans in Yogyakarta.

Trainee criteria

  • Woman, with initial basic enterprise orientation/ training
  • Involved in setting-up (conducted preparation and research) or an already existing natural resource-based enterprise (food, forestry, farming, coastal, marine)

Schedule: September 5-9, 2017 Venue: Yogyakarta, Indonesia CONTACT US

Managing Community Forestry Enterprise Growth and Effective Marketing Strategies


Many organizations have established community enterprises and green marketing intermediaries as strategies for livelihoods development for forest-based communities as well as forest conservation. Sustainability and scaling up of both marketing intermediaries and community enterprises, especially beyond project support, are goals some of these support organizations and communities have yet to achieve.

While, they are operational, often, marketing intermediaries and community enterprises have difficulty in scaling up and upgrading to the next level towards consistency, sustainability and growth. Many are unable to systematize and streamline their operations, and expand markets, incurring high costs and limiting profits. Main problems encountered are internal and human resource issues arising and, business and financial management challenges. Issues on appropriate community enterprises and on planning for sustainability are often faced by local communities, business managers, project officers and organizations. While varying conditions in different areas may require customized community enterprise models, in this training, we explore how consolidating community enterprises could support sustainability and improve benefits for producers.


The training will cover topics on organizational and human resource strengthening, systems development including, financial and production management, and community enterprise federation and on marketing. Trends in green marketing and retail management will be the main focus.

Participatory Non-Timber Forest Products Resource Management Training

Sustainable resource management must be carefully planned when setting up community-based enterprise projects, particularly when these involve natural capital. The Participatory Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFP) Resource Management Training offers an approach through which participants can learn how to develop enterprise projects that are not only sustainable but also in harmony with local communities’ culture as well as the overall well-being of their forest ecosystem.

The six-day course provides participants with a practical step-by-step guide for community organizers to assist their communities in ensuring that forest resources, particularly NTFPs, are used and managed sustainably. This will be done through a mix of presentations, case studies and structured learning exercises. Participants will learn by relating to their own experiences as part of the learning approaches and tools applied in this course, along with field visits and interactions with the facilitators and community members.

The training will be held in the province of Palawan, Philippines, home to approximately 57 ethno linguistic groups with three different indigenous peoples: the Tagbanua, Palawan and Batak. The training will be hosted by the Palawan indigenous people of Brooke’s Point, who continue to manage their forest resources traditionally to this day. They also have decades of enterprise development experience with NTFPs such as resin, seeds and agroforest products. Gathering of NTFPs such as resin, honey, rattan, medicinal plants, buri, bamboo and vines is an important economic and cultural activity for them. Participants will have the opportunity to interact with indigenous communities with long experience in sustainably managing their forests and their NTFP enterprises.

At the end of the training, participants will have:
  • Learned the importance of resource management in relation to NTFP management and enterprise development;
  • Been exposed to a number of sustainable practices that can ensure the viability and sustainability of NTFP resource management and NTFP enterprise development; and
  • Practiced the approaches and tools that support the development, implementation and monitoring of NTFP resource management.

Beyond Business: Ensuring Viability, Sustainability and Resilience


In recent years, natural and environment-friendly has become the trend, fashionable, chic and popular. This is perhaps the reason why setting up NTFP-based enterprises seemed easier. However, making them viable and sustainable is easier said than done. Market demands continue to change – the requirements for quality products become more and more stringent. The changing climate pattern significantly affects almost the entire chain of enterprise operations from the supply of raw materials to the delivery of products to the market. The business environment continuously becomes more competitive especially with the upcoming integration of the production and market base in the ASEAN region in 2015. All these inevitably boil down to one point – the need to strengthen and enhance the operations of the NTFP enterprises in order to thrive in this immensely challenging environment.  

Beyond Business: Ensuring Viability, Sustainability and Resilience is aimed at enhancing the skills and knowledge of NTFP producers who have already embarked on their enterprises and who have basic understanding and know-how to manage an NTFP enterprise. The training will entail examining the enterprises’ internal value chain to map out their sources of strengths and weakness – harvesting and processing of raw materials, procurement, production, operations, storage and packaging, distribution, marketing, human resources. This stocktaking exercise would allow NTFP enterprises to come up with inputs in:
  • Establishing standards, that will meet up and align with needs and requirements of the market.
  • Increasing human resource capacity, systems management, connectivity, technology and market competence to address larger volumes and markets
  • Formulating resource management plans to ensure that expansion of the business will not place undue stress on the resource; and
  • Employing climate-proofing techniques to increase climate-resilience of NTFP enterprises;

Contents and focus of the training shall be on:
  • Sustainable consumption and production of NTFP based products – the standardization of production processes to produce "sustainable" and quality products which are socially accountable and environmentally responsible that have been agreed upon by the community of artisans/producers and meet up with the quality standards of the market
  • Resource Management Planning which covers regeneration, sustainable harvesting and participatory resource monitoring; and
  • Basic understanding on disaster risk assessment and climate change adaptation that will guide in identifying climate-proofing techniques for NTFP enterprises;

Training methodologies shall be a combination of structured learning experiences, lecture-discussions, workshops which will be conducted in three full days and an additional day for the learning visit to one NTFP enterprise.

First Steps to Community Enterprise Development

The training Community Livelihood Assessment and Product Scanning: First Steps to Community Enterprise Development aims to provide communities and organizations with an approach and tools in identifying and selecting products and services with high enterprise development potential as well as in assessing the readiness of the community in setting up a viable community forest enterprise. The training will show how to accomplish this in a step-by-step manner, starting from assessing the livelihood situation, scanning potential products, evaluation of the sustainability of resources, assessing community readiness, and prioritizing and mapping key non-timber forest products (NTFPs).

Content and Learning Objectives

At the end of the training, the participants are expected to have an understanding and basic knowledge in using the following tools:

  • Sustainable livelihood assessment tool
  • Enterprise readiness assessment
  • Resource scanning and mapping and market assessment
  • Product/Service identification and prioritization

The training consists of a combination of structured learning exercises, lecture-discussions, field workshop. The design of the training is suited for professionals and organizations working with forest-based communities on enterprise development.