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Skills Gap Analysis

A market assessment was conducted in Multan and Muzaffargarh for identifying the skill gaps in the local markets and how to effectively bridge that, while at the same time improve the economic conditions of young girls and women. This study was conducted with the support of HDF for the project titled ‘Women Leaders of Tomorrow’ which is being funded by Oxfam. It encompassed 8 FGDs with young females aged between 11-25 years and meetings held with different market stakeholders: industries, SMEs, TVET Institutes, Labor Department and Chamber of Commerce. Demand and supply side assessment was conducted, along with income profiling and keeping in view the socio-economic factors, 13 technical skills were selected for Muzaffargarh and 10 for Multan.

3-Day Training on Value Chain Approach


For AKRSP, Empowerment thru Creative Integration (ECI) Private Limited imparted training to 12 staff members – 9 females and 3 males – through a 3-Day training course on “Value Chain Approach: From Economic Issues to Solutions”. The training focused on different components of value chain, its linkage with economic development and different sub-sectors. Value chain mapping for Sea Buckthorn and Yak products was done and their potential barriers and solutions were discussed.

Solar Lighting as a Business


ECI developed customized modules for International Finance Corporation (IFC) on the theme of “Solar Lighting as a Business” for Retailers and Salespersons, MFI staff and Door to Door sellers. Subsequently various trainings are being conducted on the said themes for different partners of IFC.

Training for SRSO Focusing on Dairy Value Chain


For SRSO, ECI conducted a 1-Day Training on Dairy Value Chain in Jacobabad, building capacities of 25 males around the value chain framework focusing dairy products. This initiative would facilitate the trainees in getting a hold on value chain actors, support service providers and enabling environment. The other market stakeholders that could be tapped to explore business potential were also highlighted.

Training on Naukri Ya Karobar Center

ECI with IRM conducted 5-Day training workshop on Naukri ya Karoobar (NyK) in Hyderabad, where 27 participants enhanced their Entrepreneurial and Professional skills. During the training, the youth would be equipped with skills facilitating them in building a conceptual base around the benefits of linking up with the NYK centre. Through the NYK, youth will get connected to prospective employers in the market for job placement and seek guidance in setting up their small businesses. This institutional arrangement, once developed and established at the grassroots level will generate and supplement the livelihoods of locals.

Demand Based Survey on Milk Value Chain – RWF

For Root Work Foundation, ECI implemented a Demand based Market Survey on Milk Value Chain in various cities of Sindh; including Umerkot, Mirpurkhas and Hyderabad. The demand based survey equipped participants with an understanding of prevalent market framework and market dynamics. Furthering this initiative, a 6-Day ToT was designed and conducted focusing on ‘Forming and Strengthening Common Interest Groups’.

Training of Trainers on Financial Literacy for PMN

For Pakistan Micro-finance Network (PMN) ECI conducted a 2-day Training of Trainers on Financial Literacy. In the training, 11 participants enhanced their training skills with a special focus on financial management skills. The training conducted in Lahore proved elemental in building capacities of PMN selected beneficiaries.

Capacity Building for RDF around Enterprise Development

For RDF, ECI’s support continues to equip participants with a business mind-set. The 5-Day Training on Enterprise Development for RDF, in Dadu imparted basic business skills to 31 female participants. These trainees would be furthering their businesses using their newly acquired skills.

Orientation Sessions on Enterprise Development Trainings – PASDEC

ECIs trainer Mr. Tehseen Javed conducted a 2-Day orientation session on Enterprise Development Training at PASDEC community center, where the training participants were facilitated to build the knowledge curve and business sense of women working on Marble Mosiac. The trainees were imparted the basic concepts of business which would further strengthen their entrepreneurial skills leading them to market their products better, employing business skills and adopting business practices.

Effective Agriculture Extension Skills for Agricultural Extension Workers

JICA, an international organization, assessed the need for training extension workers in Gilgit Baltistan, who are/will be engaged in mentoring and handholding of farmers in Gilgit Baltistan. It was realized that the extension workers need improvement in their facilitation skills and other relevant soft skills in order to perform their extension service effectively. In this context, Empowerment thru Creative Integration Private Limited was contracted to impart trainings for selected extension workers that would fill the identified gaps. To this end, ECI designed and delivered the 6-Day training on Effective Agriculture Extension Skills to train 11 extension workers.

Training of Trainers on Micro-Enterprise Development (Open Course)

As an open course to the development sector, ECI designed and rolled-out four, 9-Day Training of Trainers on Micro-enterprise Development in Sindh for 107 beneficiaries (100 males & 07 females). The trainees build their capacity round basic micro-enterprise concepts to explore livelihood potential for them in their local areas. Taking a participant through the business cycle, with a focus on opportunity identification, resource mobilization, business planning and implementation the course focused on mindset change and knowledge transfer. They also enhanced their capacity on identifying an appropriate business opportunity and establish backward and forward linkages with relevant stakeholders. Being a Training of Trainers (ToT), the participants used effective trainer tips to improve their training delivery.

Enterprise Development Training for Baluchistan Environmental & Educational Journey selected Beneficiaries

To further Baluchistan Environmental & Educational Journey (BEEJ) organization’s capacity building initiative, ECI designed and developed eight, 5-Day Enterprise Development Trainings for 225 beneficiaries. The trainees build their capacity round basic business concepts to explore livelihood potential for them in their local area. They also enhanced their capacity on identifying an appropriate business opportunity and establish backward and forward linkages with relevant stakeholders.

‘Cha Say Rah Tak’2-Day Training based on Gender Action Learning System Methodology

For Thardeep Rural Development Program, ECI designed, developed and delivered trainings focused on ‘GALS’ methodology whereby community lead empowerment was ensured aimed at bringing about constructive social and economic development in the backdrop of gender relations. The training helped impart learning systems and techniques to 452 home-based workers, with an objective of economically empowering the indigenous rural and marginalized communities of Tharparkar.

Advanced Enterprise Development Training for Green Rural Development Organization selected Beneficiaries

In continuation of Green Rural Development Organizations (GRDO) capacity building initiative, ECI designed and developed a 5-Day Advanced Enterprise Development training course for 56 trainees of GRDO. These trainees had previously received trainings on Enterprise Development and management of Common Interest Group. This new initiative was to strengthen their knowledge base focused round business concepts and simultaneously equip them with the essentials of aspects pertaining to business development and expansion, thereby ensuring sustainability to small businesses.

Additional Baseline Survey for TroCaires’ Partner Organizations &Developing Monitoring & Evaluation Plan for TroCaire

ECI, as technical partner, conducted an additional baseline survey for TroCaire on two important aspects; a Knowledge, attitudes and practices (KAP) survey of women economic empowerment and an organizational capacitates assessment (OCA) of TroCaire’s partner organizations. Two separate tools; KAP tool and OCA tool were developed by ECI for conducting the additional baseline surveys. Also field team and POs were oriented on using the tools to collect data. Consolidating the findings and report was prepared and submitted to TroCaire. In addition, a Monitoring &Evaluation Plan was developed for TroCaire along with designing M&E tools. The plan offered as a roadmap to undertake monitoring activities by TroCaire.

Community Management Skills Training for representatives of Farmer Organization Groups

ECI designed and delivered 2-Days community management skills training for 27 representatives of the Farmers Organization (FO) on organizing and managing themselves into effective groups capable of effectively addressing community problems. Important communications and inter-personal skills were also imparted to trainees. In the second round of training, 25 participants associated with husbandry practices were imparted Community Management Skills to gain maximum benefit from effective dairy development.

Effective Community Mobilization Skills for Fred Hollows Partner Organizations Staff

ECI designed and delivered a 3-Day effective community mobilization skills training for 21participnats (17 males and 4 females) to enhance mobilization skills and build capacity of partner staff working on joint projects with Fred Hollows. The training also aimed at imparting conflict resolution skills, planning and evaluation for mobilization and effective communication and advocacy for building staff capacity.

Training of Trainers (ToT) for National Rural Support Programme Staff

An 8-Day ToT was designed and delivered for National Rural Support Programme (NRSP) staff and community resource persons in Multan by ECI. 22 participants build their capacity on micro enterprise development concepts and business expansion. Also, they acquired essentail training tips to assess beneficiaries on monitoring, reporting and documentation.

Sustainable Livelihood &Enterprise Development Training Sarhad Rural Support Programme

4-Day training was designed and delivered for 20 participants of Sarhad Rural Support Programme (SRSP) staff working on livelihood development initiatives. The training catered to providing essential training facilitation skills to SRSP staff to enhance their learning curve on sustainable livelihood framework. It would also assist in exploring livelihood opportunities for trainees and render them capable of understanding basics of market dynamics and connecting with relevant market stakeholders.

Village Development Planning training for Beneficiaries of Taraqee Foundation

For Taraqee Foundation, ECI designed and delivered 5-Day training to enable 25 selected beneficiaries to envision development plans and align it to their villages and union councils. Also, the participants build capacities to address social and economic problems prevalent in their respective villages using their development plan.

07-day Training on “Micro Enterprise Development, Value Chain Development and Linkages Building for project staff”

ECI developed a 7-Day training module catering to the needs of Aga Khan Rural Support Programme (AKRSP) Staff and delivered training to build Staffs capacity on Micro Enterprise Development training, gaining conceptual clarity on value chain framework and the need to build linkages for accessing resources and markets. The training helped equip 12 beneficiaries (2 females and 10 males) with enhancing their understanding of MED concepts and business concepts.

2-Day Training on Effective Facilitation Skills for Institute of Business Management (IoBM)

ECI designed and implemented a 2-Day Training on Effective Facilitation Skills for 13 member of Faculty and Trainers team of the Institute of Business Management (IoBM), conducted at Karachi. The training helped build participants’ capacity round teaching and training concepts, with a special focus on imparting essential facilitation skills required to train learners from the development sector.

Training focusing on Farming as a Business and Tunnel Farming Techniques for ASF

ECI designed and delivered a practical, hands-on training for ASF grantees (small farmers) for building their capacities round formally understanding ‘farming as a business’, and practicing off-season farming by using innovative techniques of tunnel farming, imparting training on installing low and high tunnels etc. The training conducted in four rounds, helped build capacities of 80 beneficiaries in 5-Days.

Conceptualizing a 2-Day Module for IFC on ‘Strengthening Your Financial Skills’

ECI conceptualized and developed a 2-day module for IFC, titled ‘Strengthening Your Financial Skills’, aimed at building and enhancing the learning curve of micro-entrepreneurs and farmers round financial management skills. The module focused on imparting financial skills through simple techniques which could build upon new learner’s financial literacy and management understanding.

Training of Trainers on Formation of Common Interest Groups for beneficiaries of BRAC

ECI developed a training curriculum on conducting a 6-Day Training of Trainers on Common Interest Groups (CIG) formation for 20 beneficiaries (5 females and 15 males) of BRAC. The training helped establish the need for forming CIGs and the long-term benefits of undertaking collective actions, including collective buying and selling interventions.

Training of Trainers on Formation of Common Interest Groups for beneficiaries of BRSP

For beneficiaries of Baluchistan Rural Support Program (BRSP), ECI designed a 6-Day Training of Trainers to build capacity of 17participnats (05 females and 12 males) around the benefits of collective buying and selling and highlighting the overall need for undertaking collective action.

Market Research Training (Open Course)

ECI designed and delivered Market Research Training spread over 8-Days for 17 trainees of Farmer Development Organization FDO) to equip them with a conceptual and an implementation framework around innovative and modern market approaches and techniques.

Capacity Building Trainings for ADO beneficiaries on Sustainable Economic Development

For beneficiaries of Awami Development Organization (ADO) Layyah, ECI conducted trainings roll-outs focusing on a myriad of aspects from formally understanding ‘Farming as a Business’, to building trainees Financial Management skills, and Value Chain Framework. Also enterprise development trainings were conducted for ensuring sustainable livelihoods. Through nine trainings roll-outs 960 beneficiaries were trained.

Capacity Building focused on Enterprise Development Trainings for Mojaz Foundation

ECI trained 175 participants in 3 rounds; 7 trainings to impart enterprise development concepts to participants of Mojaz Foundation. The trainees gained an understanding of basic business concepts and different aspects involved in business initiation, assessment and expansion.

Risk Management & Business Plan Trainings for Indus Earth Trust Beneficiaries

For Indus Earth Trust trainees, ECI designed and conducted 4-Day trainings in six rounds focused round concepts of sustainable economic development in District Thatta and Karachi. During training, 1236 participants (840 females and 396 males) enhanced their understanding of sustainable livelihood and business concepts thereby increasing their livelihood options.

Enterprise Development Trainings for South Asian Partnership – Pakistan

ECI designed and delivered enterprise development trainings roll-outs for 2841 beneficiaries (1406 males and 1435 females) of SAP-PK, by conducting several rounds of trainings simultaneously in Districts; Layyah, Rajanpur, Gwadar and Dera Ismail Khan. The trainees build and enhance their understanding on basic business concepts and livelihood options as relevant to their area.

Business Trainings for Persons With Disabilities for Taraqee Foundation

ECI designed and developed a curricula for imparting business skills to 303 (67 females and 236 males) persons with disabilities through 9-trainings. Innovative ideas for generating livelihoods catering to the special needs of the disabled were incorporated in the training curriculum and imparted to these persons with disabilities during the 5-day training.

Managing a Naukri ya Karobar (NyK) Center

NyK centers are Union Council based institutional setups that will facilitate youth of the area to either find jobs or set-up their own businesses. It has been noticed that in most communities youngsters are not employed because of lack of information (e.g. information about job openings, what skills are selling in the market, which product is in demand in the market, etc.). Also on the other hand the employers do not have enough information about the youth of the community. The NyK will help in bridging the gap between the stakeholders. Eventually the NyK will facilitate in increasing a households income by either facilitating the youth in job placement or setting up their own business.

Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund has setup 60 NyK centers all over the country which are in their initial stage of formation. To strengthen these NyK’s, ECI and Institute of Resource Mobilization (IRM) designed and developed an open course on “Managing a Naukri ya Karobar Center” for representatives/ owners of the NyK’s. The course focused on linking the concept of NyK with holistic economic development, elaborated key concepts and skills required for a NyK, and managerial aspects required to run a NyK effectively.

Center Assessment, Value Chain Research & Capacity Building of Partner Organizations


ECI designed and developed toolkits for carrying out area assessment and value chain research for the TroCaire followed by enterprise development trainings for 8 Partner Organizations of TroCaire;

1.     Feasibility study on economic and social profile of area for BHS

2.     Feasibility study of tailoring and embroidery products and feasibility of a vocational for BHS

3.     Enterprise Development Trainings of BDSPs for BHS

4.     Developed Business Skills Curriculum for BHS

5.     Developing marketing plan for entrepreneurs by BDSPs through market surveys for BHS

6.     Business Skill Trainings for GRDO

7.     2 day training on Risk Management and 1-day workshop and 2-day mentoring support for GRDO

8.     Central  Assessment component for the project “Developing milk value chain for sustainable livelihood for RWF

9.     Refresher Training Plan for TOT   Enterprise Development and Livestock Management for RWF

10.  Market Analysis, Mapping and value chain Analysis for PFF

11.  Market Analysis for RDF

12.  Enterprise Development & Business Planning Training for RDF

13.  Advance ED Training for Partners

14.  Enterprise Development Training for PDI

15.  Conduct FGDs, Center Assessment and Enterprise Development Trainings for IRC

16.  Developing marketing plan for entrepreneurs by BDSPs through market surveys for IRC

17.  Development of tools, Orientation and supervision of baseline survey for 8 POs of TroCaire

Market Research Training (Open Course)

On popular demand from the market, ECI designed and developed an open course on Market Research. For the purpose of the training a handbook and toolkit comprising of questionnaires for one-on-one interviews and FGD’s for various stakeholders were developed. The first training was conducted in Multan where staff of NRSP and FDO participated. There were a total of 17 participants (11 males and 6 females).

Advocacy & Resource Mobilization for Oxfam GB

For Oxfam, a course was designed on Advocacy and Resource Mobilization in order to enhance the influence of poor, marginalized farmers on public-policies and resource allocation decisions within political, economic, social systems and institutions. ECI team conducted a Training of Trainers of the module for Oxfam’s partner organizations; SAFWCO in Sindh and Doaba in Punjab. In the ToT 61 (35 males and 26 females) District Core Group Leaders were trained.

Training on Small Scale Business Development Techniques and Approaches

For Doaba Foundation staff, a training on on Small Scale Business Development Techniques and Approaches was designed and implemented in Multan. The training oriented the staff on techniques and ways which would help small businesses develop and grow better. The training was conducted in Multan for 14staff members (9 males and 5 females).

Financial Literacy for Individual Farmers

After the success of “Farmer and Micro Entrepreneur Financial Literacy Curriculum” which was reviewed and adapted by ECI for IFC, ECI was once again contacted to develop a financial literacy curriculum for farmers using innovative technology. For this purpose ECI is currently in the process of developing 13 modules for IFC which progress from financial awareness to financial literacy to financial capability. The curriculums will be first of its kinds comprising of board games and videos to make the training experience of farmers more experiential. These will be international modules which will be adapted to be rolled out in several countries of the world where IFC is working.

Strengthening Home-based Worker Groups

The International Labour Organization (ILO), under its CIDA funded project Promoting Gender Equality for Decent Employment (GE4DE) has recently completed several skills development projects in urban and rural areas of Pakistan. In October 2012, GE4DE conducted a rapid assessment of the project trainees in 7 districts of Pakistan. The purpose was to assess the current level of organization of the HBWs/trainees of GE4DE project and the capacity needs required for bringing all the groups to a standard and common level of organization by which they become member based, registered, recognized groups of HBWs and can access the benefits of such organization. Based on the findings of the assessment GE4DE identified four (out of seven) projects who have been found to be at a position of inception or initial formative phase of organization, to whom further support would be beneficial to strengthen the groups. In this regard services of ECI have been hired by ILO-GE4DE to design and deliver the multi-faceted strategies proposed in the recommendations of the assessment to organize homebased workers through specific training, orientations and registrations.

Training on Risk Management & Business Planning for Indus Earth Trust

For the beneficiaries of Indus Earth Trust, ECI designed and developed a 4-day training on risk management and business planning. The material was designed in Sindhi language and 15 trainings were conducted in total during which 434 participants were trained (312 males and 122 females).

Capacity Building in Entrepreneurial/business related Concept for Community activists of Livelihood Enhancement and Protection (LEP)

ECI designed and developed a series of courses for Sungi Development Foundation’s LSO’s and beneficiaries. These courses were as follows:

  1. 8-day Training on Value Chain Development
  2. 8-day Training on Business Development Support Role for Sustainable Livelihood and Enterprise Development for LSO Representatives
  3. 6-day Training on Enterprise Development for Person’s with Disabilities
  4. 4-day Training of Women Producers/ Entrepreneurs on Product Screening and Effective Marketing
  5. 8-day Workshop for Capacity Building of Industrial Training Centers for Skilled Women
  6. 5-day Training on Tunnel Farming
  7. 4-day Training on Social Enterprise Development for LSO Representatives

Agri-Business Development for Tunnel Farmers

The USAID Agribusiness Project (UAP) in collaboration with the Agribusiness Support Fund (ASF) aims at enhanced competiveness of agricultural value chains in Pakistan with a focus on horticulture and livestock. In the first year of this five year project, UAP is focusing on providing technical assistance in order to ensure agribusiness capacity building and towards developing a partnership window through cost-sharing grants for innovative farmers. As part of their capacity building initiatives for the grantees, ASF partnered with ECI for conduct of Enterprise Development Training workshops for these farmers focused on high-tunnel farming. For this purpose ECI designed and developed a specialized curriculum for the farmers after conducting an in-depth Training Needs Assessment which comprised of group activities, case-studies, exposure visits to major markets in the locality. A total of 90 farmers were trained from KPK, Punjab and ICT regions.

Feasibility Study for Women Economic Empowerment Project Badakhshan Province

For Afghanaid’s “Women Economic Empowerment Project”, ECI conducted a study on diversification of livelihoods through agro and non-agrobased business development. For the purpose of the study a toolkit was designed which comprised of questionnaires for one-on-one interviews and FGD’s for actors across the value-chains. The study intended to identify the following:

Three agro and three non-agro based champion crops/products – and all related aspects i.e. potential business areas, commercial status, support market / value addition possibilities and gaps etc.

Constraints faced by the entrepreneurs and associated value chain members and possible solutions, and categorization of practical market opportunities for the sub-sectors.

Competitive advantages and disadvantages of the value chain players in market access, technology, production and product development, organization, input supply (raw materials), finance, policy, operating environment/infrastructure, trade regime, etc.

Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) of the commodities/products in both agro and non-agro value chain.

Karachi Youth Initiative’s Social Changemakers Project

In an effort to promote peace in Karachi, under the banner of Karachi Youth Initiative (project of USAID), ECI designed and implemented a 6-month Changemakers program for youth of Karachi. In this 6-month program, ECI selected and offered scholarships to 45 young men from three target communities of Karachi(15 each) and provided them the skills to identify youth in their communities who are at risk of violent extremism, to analyze their behavior and the factors that put them at risk, and design interventions to mitigate that risk. ECI mentored these 45 participants through the process of designing and implementing a total of 15 CVE interventions (on average one intervention per 3 participants) in their communities. Each of these interventions specifically targeted 200 to 300 at-risk youth in their respective communities. Each intervention revolved around one or more of KYI’s CVE themes: tolerance, unity, rejection of violence, activism, pride and ownership, hope, and moderate views.

Sustainable Livelihood and Enterprise Development

ECI’s work in Livelihood and Enterprise Development began in 1989, when the organization designed and conducted the first Training of Trainers in Enterprise Development in Pakistan. In a time when computer technology was not readily available, ECI developed enterprise development modules in Urdu, with locally appropriate experiential methodologies (case studies, role plays, games and activities). Between 1989-2001, ECI trained hundreds of thousands of organizational staff from government and non-governmental organizations and entrepreneurs across Pakistan. In 2001, ECI conducted intensive 32-day Training of Trainers in Enterprise Development for nearly 40 national NGOs.

By 2002, two important points had become clear and paved the way for ECI’s present organizational philosophy:

  • While the staff of an organization can play an important role in sparking the economic development of an area, they cannot do it alone. The active development and engagement of community based enterprise activists or Business Development Service Providers (BDSPs) is absolutely critical for success.
  • Sustained inputs are needed over long periods of time, which can only be provided by long term enterprise development projects focused on creating and strengthening local enterprise activists or organizations that provide business development services.

Since 2002, ECI has invested in creating economic ‘Change Makers’ or ‘Enterprise Activists’, or as they are known today, Business Development Services Providers. The ECI Alumni of 200 well-trained individuals represent the organization’s most valuable resource, physically based in over 40 districts of Pakistan.


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