USAID DRIVES

Delivering Regional Instruction Vital to Entrepreneurial Success

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The Delivering Regional Instruction Vital to Entrepreneurial Success (DRIVES) program has been funded by the United States Agency for International Development since September 2014. The program’s goal is to improve access to high-quality business education for entrepreneurs in Belarus. PYXERA Global has implemented DRIVES in cooperation with international and local partners including the Global Business Schools Network and IPM Business School in Minsk.

Core Program Objectives

1

Build the capacity of institutions within Belarus to provide relevant and current courses on entrepreneurship

2

Increase educational opportunities that are geographically and financially accessible to young entrepreneurs in Minsk and outlying areas to encourage entrepreneurial activity and boost the number of new businesses in Belarus

3

Provide opportunities for young entrepreneurs to network, share their business plans, and be mentored by fellow entrepreneurs

"My team was able to look at our work from a different perspective. It helped us critically assess our business plan and describe the path for development and the methods needed for efficient operation, both technically and financially. The distance-learning program was very practical. It allowed us to structure our workflow and see the gaps where new ideas could be put on the table."

–EVGENIA ORLOVA, Founder, EcoStore

The USAID DRIVES Impact

1,110 FORMAL FIRMS

Number of formal firms that have received technical assistance to improve business performance

1,257 ENTREPRENEURS

Number of young entrepreneurs enrolled in the Start-ups Accelerator Program to receive in-depth business training and advice from experienced business owners

373 ENTREPRENEURS

Number of regional entrepreneurs who leveraged online technologies to access blended- or distance-learning courses

14 COURSES

Number of courses adapted into a blended-learning format to make high-quality business education accessible for small- and medium-sized entrepreneurs throughout Belarus

The DRIVES program has successfully completed its training-of-trainers component. Implementing partner GBSN has engaged leading U.S. business school faculty and entrepreneurship centers at Babson College and the University of Maryland’s RH Smith School of Business to provide custom faculty development seminars on four entrepreneurship courses.

IPM Business School has made unprecedented progress in innovating and leveraging digital technologies to make high-quality business education accessible for small- and medium-sized entrepreneurs across Belarus. In particular, IPM Business School has converted 14 existing courses into blended-learning and distance-learning formats.

Another achievement of the DRIVES program is establishment of six regional Centers of Excellence in Entrepreneurship (CEEs), equipped with state-of-the-art technology, trained personnel, and access to courses taught by experienced business school faculty. The CEEs are a key feature of the DRIVES program. They serve as access points to IPM trainings and networking opportunities. With each CEE equipped with telepresence equipment, IPM is able to offer courses as well as events to connect entrepreneurs throughout the country. Since the project began, 2,467 unique entrepreneurs have benefited from services available at regional CEEs.

USAID DRIVES Success Stories

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