“Project Development and Project Financing.” KAAD reintegration seminar in Bonn
The preparation of scholarship holders to meet the challenges of establishing themselves professionally in their home countries, is one of the central tasks of KAAD. This seminar, which was attended by outweigh advanced students, served this aim.
24 fellows from thirteen countries came together from August 25th-28th in Bonn to discuss the various aspects of their professional reintegration in the home countries. They brought with them doubts and questions, but also business and project ideas as well as career plans. Project development in general is a key aspect of the process of setting up one’s own professional future at home. It can refer to the preparation of university research-projects to projects for non-governmental organizations (NGOs), which often depend on external financial sources. But some KAAD fellows also play with the idea to start their own businesses.
Dr. Henry Schürmann of the Catholic relief organization MISEREOR, who could refer to a wide-range experience in project development and evaluation, represented the different steps that a thorough set up of projects require, if they shall awaken interest among partners and potential sponsors. He emphasized repeatedly that a promising project idea must be embedded in its social and economic context. Without the close cooperation of local people any project idea has little chance of gaining financial support and of being successful. Dr. Schürmann encouraged participants to develop their own projects and visions and to meet the challenges their implementation might bring with them.
For the workshop, “Start-up Clinic for KAAD Scholars” Prof. Dr. Utz Dornberger, Director of the SEPT-Program (Small Enterprise Promotion and Training) at the University of Leipzig had requested in advance that participants present brief descriptions of their own business models. The submitted ideas ranged from food-preservation projects in Uganda to waste prevention in Vietnam and to building a library in Myanmar. They were then developed further during the seminar. The training team from Leipzig succeeded in putting the innovative ideas in relation to the tough environment of implementing a business model, taking into account factors such as market analysis, identification of customer groups, etc. The participants were fascinated by this practical and interactive working unit. The SEPT-program and KAAD underlined their long-standing cooperation through this joined-seminar.