What We Love: Reflections from TechnoServe Business Advisors on Working with Small Business Owners

We asked TechnoServe staff around the world to share what they love about working with entrepreneurs and small business owners.

Training entrepreneurs in business skills and connecting them to better financing and markets helps them earn reliable incomes for the long term. In 2022, TechnoServe helped increase the revenue of more than 452,136 people and businesses around the world. Eighty percent were women. 

Entrepreneurs face different opportunities and challenges depending on their location, gender, age, stage in their growth cycle, and personal interest in growth. We carefully adapt our methodology to better serve each particular community of entrepreneurs. We also consider available resources as well as business and industry focus. This critical work is made possible by the dedicated business advisors and other TechnoServe staff who provide hands-on training and mentorship to small business owners.  

TechnoServe business advisors discuss working with small business owners

“In my five years working with micro-retailers, I’ve witnessed dreams come to life and worries fade into smiles. What truly warms my heart is watching businesses evolve from humble stalls to thriving enterprises. Having walked their path myself, it’s more than just a job – it’s about witnessing lives transform, side by side.” – Kelvin Muturi, Associate Business Advisor, Kenya 

“I love what I do when I advise entrepreneurs because each session represents a unique opportunity to guide and support passionate individuals who are bringing their dreams and projects to life. The chance to be part of someone’s entrepreneurial journey is incredibly rewarding and enriching.” – Luana Mejía Mondragón, Senior Business Specialist, Honduras 

“Through the financing mechanisms we develop, we help small businesses boost their activities. We can see how entrepreneurship can create positive change within communities, and it’s a privilege to play a part in this process, which encourages entrepreneurs to believe in their success. They fight daily and courageously, taking risks to build a better future for themselves.” – Caroline Saka, Financial Analyst, Benin 

“I enjoy having the privilege to interact with the business owners and entrepreneurs directly. Such an opportunity provides a better understanding of the issues affecting their business growth and the possible means to improve their businesses.” – Dziko Calvin Malonje, Senior Business Advisor, Malawi 

“What I love the most about working with small and medium enterprises and entrepreneurs is that it’s more than just a job for me – it’s the daily fulfillment of a life mission. Being able to watch them grow personally and professionally through every step, and witnessing someone gain self-confidence and empowerment is truly priceless because not only are we rooting for them, but they also make all the new good things happen.” – Ana Cáceres de León, Junior Business Associate, Guatemala 

“What I enjoy most about working with small business owners and entrepreneurs is the opportunity to contribute directly to their growth and success. The satisfaction comes from seeing participants apply the knowledge they’ve gained during training to improve their bottom line tangibly.

For example, we recently visited an entrepreneur in the restaurant sector. After completing all the modules in our training program, he significantly increased his sales in just a few months. This not only strengthened the sustainability of his business but also created additional jobs in the local community.

This kind of positive impact on the lives of entrepreneurs and those around them deeply motivates me in my role as monitoring and evaluation assistant on this project. It demonstrates that our work goes beyond the simple transmission of knowledge; it actively contributes to the economic development of small businesses and the revitalization of local communities.” – Abdel Aziz Boukari, Junior Monitoring and Evaluation Coordinator, Benin 

“I love sharing my time and knowledge with young entrepreneurs in the Central American region, as they are very talented, which translates into excellent products and services. I love mentoring young entrepreneurs because they are willing to learn and put into practice the tools and strategies shared in mentoring.  I am very happy and proud to see them grow in sales and profits and that through their businesses, they can provide jobs to other young people in the region. I think it is very important not to give them the fish, but to teach them how to fish, so that business growth does not stop.” – Jacqueline Landaverde Leal, Business Advisor, Guatemala 

“I work with entrepreneurs who already have an established business but are looking for strategies on how to continue to offer better products and services to their customers without necessarily lowering their sales. Entrepreneurs are often challenged to look for growth and investment strategies for their businesses. It’s gratifying to work with them because they are able to replicate the knowledge acquired during the project very easily…They are entrepreneurs who, if well-equipped with management tools and business skills, can contribute to the creation of more jobs.” – Eleuteria Alcides, Business Advisor, Mozambique