Creative Livelihood Challenge training takes innovative products to market 2017-07-11
A recent Creative Livelihood Challenge (CLC) training was conducted with 15 students from Arusha Technical College and 15 Creative Capacity Building innovators. This type of training was developed and facilitated by Elizabeth Reece – an Australian volunteer who is based at Twende in Tanzania.
CLC training is similar to Creative Capacity Building (CCB) but focuses on the business side of bringing products to market. To understand the methodology of CLC it is helpful to understand how Creative Capacity Building is designed:
“The goal of CCB is to train participants to create or adapt technologies that will improve their lives and strengthen their communities. By distilling key elements of the design process into a hands-on curriculum that is accessible at any educational level, CCB presents a framework through which anyone can become an active creator of technology, not just a recipient or user of technology.” (https://d-lab.mit.edu/creative-capacity-building)
The Creative Livelihood Challenge engages participants to practically develop products while keeping their intended customers in mind at all times. To do this a practical exercise is undertaken by participants.
It's a challenging course and participants who put a lot of effort in get a lot out of the challenge, a lot like life really.
At the corner of the class a shop is set up which sells various materials that participants might need for their product. Participants are given cash to buy the materials and keep records in booklets designed to guide innovators in simple record keeping.
On the last day of the training “customers” (local community members) are invited to come and buy the products that the participants have made. Participants track the sale price of the items, the time used by group members to create them, the hiring of tools, labor costs, salaries, and other costs. When this is complete, each group prepares a simple balance sheet which enables members to realize whether or not they are making a profit. Finally, they determine the changes they would like to make in their business in the future.
"The hands-on process of counting their labor time helps them realize the value of their time, an undervalued resource in Tanzania," says Ms. Reece. "By charging for shop stock, and rent for tools, participants see the value of bookkeeping and tracking expenses."
Elizabeth goes on to say, "When these costs were used in costing product calculations, they saw the light, when taught in theory in class the illumination is difficult to see. Many useful business tools are 'tripped over' along the way, such as the error of copy pricing or paying people who don't make much effort or even team members who don't show up.
After costs are calculated, prices are decided and then the fun begins. The participants love the response from the buyers and sellers are generally surprised by the demand and excitement at opening time.
It's a challenging course and participants who put a lot of effort in get a lot out of the challenge, a lot like life really."