Thursday, September 15, 2011

Training in Prijedor...

I spent this week in Prijedor (about an hour away from Banja Luka) doing a Business Training workshop in cooperation with Humanitarian Aid Organisation "Hljeb Zivota" (Bread of Life) and the Agency for Economic Development "Preda". Here is Danko from Hljeb Zivota introducing me on the first day: (He and his wife, Ljilja, are also the proud parents to 10 lovely children - the latest, Filip, born just over two weeks ago... here is an article - in Serbian - about them and the baby's birth. I did try to get a pic of him when I was over at their house, but none of them are worth publishing...)
The participants of this BEST training were all from one of the technical high schools - and are learning how to do fine carpentry. So more working with their hands than their heads... so this training was perfect for them. They were my youngest group yet and also ALL BOYS!! But we got on okay and they definitely learnt a LOT! I am thinking this may be the age group to target in the future as it definitely hit a chord with many of them. Some of them were missing school to participate, but as one said "we are learning so much more here than we would in school".

Here is one group toasting to their success:
And my favourite group, the "wolves": They kept such good records that I stopped having to check up on them... and were very good businessmen too: getting good prices and deals.
I didn't get a good pic of the last group, so here is one of them during (tough!) negotiations with one of the other groups: This is one thing that they all learnt a LOT about... how to think on their feet and how to not make stupid decisions: one team negotiated a buying price from the other teams of 350 and then sold them on to me at 220. Yes, they went bankrupt.... but that was a GOOD lesson for everyone in how to price your products.
Here is the whole group altogether: along with Goran from Preda on the left and Danko right.
Now each group will work together to write a business plan and the best plan will get a prize...

I also enjoyed spending time outside of the training in nearby Sanski Most and Prijedor itself with the lovely people who live and work there. I unfortunately didn't get any pictures of that :-( But we did enjoy the unseasonably warm weather: it got up to 35 most days, which is really really unheard of for what should be autumn!!

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