SEED during COVID-19: Our programmes reimagined for the virtual format
How SEED has moved online during the pandemic
When COVID-19 hit, SEED and its supported enterprises were affected like the rest of the world. Our programmes - designed for peer-learning and networking - had to quickly adjust to this new global reality and move to a virtual environment. In an effort to both support affected enterprises and be able to keep our programmes running, we undertook a series of support measures: launching an online platform and covid response workshops for peer support, promoting enterprise fundraising campaigns, publishing on enterprise coping strategies and how governments and intermediaries can support resilience, and more.
Most SEED programmes are designed to maximise opportunities for peer-learning, network development and solution building. The toolified approach is based on user-centred peer-learning, where participants themselves create and develop content and outputs. This approach not only allows for knowledge exchange and skills building, but also entrepreneurial mindsets. SEED has available a comprehensive set of tested and proven, easy to use tools for both its enterprise and ecosystem programmes. These tools encourage creativity, innovation and ownership.
Over 2020 we worked on recreating that experience online. Since the start of the pandemic, SEED has implemented over 50 online workshops and trainings for enterprises, business development service providers, and policymakers. We brought our toolified approach re-imagined for an online context to users across the world from behind our computer screens. In addition, we hosted digital workshops on cutting costs, cash-flow management, moving to the digital realm, technology-enabled organisational development, and effective funding strategies in an effort to better support enterprises to stay afloat through the pandemic.
While participant engagement can be a challenge in an online format, SEED follows a “mixed-solution” approach for our online workshops, combining (video) communication tools with virtual collaboration solutions and interactive polling and exchange formats to recreate some of the same engagement we would experience in-person. Thus, these online workshops allow maximum engagement of enterprise teams, following SEED’s tried and tested toolified enterprise support concept.
In our ecosystem programmes, we’ve conducted our Policy Lab in Ghana and Finance Lab in Indonesia and India virtually, welcoming over 200+ people in our final pitching event. To date, we have trained 40+ local business development support providers to deliver our Starter and Accelerator programmes online. From all our experiences hosting online events and workshops in the past months, we’ve compiled our best practices and tips for success to help others engage as well.
Read more on what learnings we gleaned from our virtual TOT workshops at our SEED shares learnings for online workshops during the COVID-19 era and the art of the virtual pitch.