Thursday, February 21, 2019

The Change We Seek

The Change We Seek

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Indicators of financial change include:

  • Launch of new products/services
  • Changes (increase/decrease) in turnover
  • Changes in profits (gross and net)
  • Changes in liquidity (cash flow)
  • Changes in tangible and intangible assets
  • Changes in taxes, duties and levies paid
  • Number of jobs created by ABC clients
  • Number of new jobs created by suppliers to ABC clients
  • Existence of the new jobs after 6, 12, 18 & 24 months
  • Number of training/apprenticeship opportunities created
  • Changes in wages paid
  • Changes in usage/contracting with suppliers/sub-contractors
  • Launch of entirely new and diaspora businesses
  • Opening of bank, savings or other investment accounts
  • Changes in diaspora-related foreign direct investments
  • Changes in savings and investment (in financial institutions)


Indicators of social change include:


  • Business start-ups by graduates and qualified professionals (instead of seeking employment)
  • Number of people leaving civil service and corporate jobs to start new businesses
  • SMEs winning national awards and recognition
  • SMEs being best-practice leaders in particular sectors
  • SME representations in the business, professional and mass media
  • Third party investments in SMEs
  • Transformation of SMEs into leading corporations
  • Change in public opinion about status of SMEs




ABC project lessons shall be shared through, amongst other things:

  • Publication and dissemination of edited versions of monthly and quarterly reports
  • Publication and dissemination of other occasional project reports
  • Quarterly website updates and mail-shots
  • Half-yearly workshops and focus groups (for feedback and lesson sharing)
  • Informal briefings of partners and stakeholders
  • Publication of quarterly ABCD (i.e. ABC Digest)
  • Publication of quarterly ABC column in a national newspaper (linked to ABCD)


The short term change desired, relates to the improvement of project operational activities. To achieve this, the lessons learnt shall be applied through:

  • Discussion of objective evidence of what works well and what does not
  • Briefing, guidance and advice of operational and management staff
  • Setting of standard and stretched output targets
  • Staff orientation, training and development



The medium term change desired, relates to the development of future projects and programmes. To achieve this, the lessons learnt shall be applied through:

  • Development of new ‘improved’ ABC project as standard model
  • Development of partnership package with funders, banks and investors
  • Replication of ‘improved’ ABC project in other parts of SL
  • Creation of diaspora ABC in the UK (and host countries)
  • Replication of ‘improved’ ABC project in other parts of Africa e.g. Southern Sudan, Tanzania, Malawi, DR Congo etc


The long term change desired, relates to the improvement of policies, regulations and practice that facilitates and enables SME development. To achieve this, the lessons learnt shall be applied through:

  • Presentation of policy observations and recommendations to policymakers
  • Direct lobbying of decision makers
  • Presentations at national, regional and international conferences
  • Dissemination of case studies and edited evaluation reports
  • Conduct site visits to the centre for various policymakers and influencers
  • General advocacy and lobbying (linked to other AFFORD advocacy work)




The ABC project builds on the business development work undertaken in Sierra Leone by AFFORD since 2006. The project development is summarised below:

  • £650,000 already raised through grant by Comic Relief
  • Business and Implementation Plan drafted
  • Senior staff to be recruited – starting work in January 2012
  • Initial training and investment events to start in March 2012
  • Building to be acquired and refurbished in 2012



AFFORD is seeking to raise an additional £350,000 to purchase the building that houses the AFFORD Business Centre in Freetown. Potential partners, funders and investors can contact us on: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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