TechnoServe Signs MOU with Benin Government to Scale up Entrepreneurship Education

The international nonprofit will work with the Ministry of Technical Secondary Education and Vocational Training to integrate entrepreneurship into national curriculum

Cotonou, Benin (May 23, 2024) — In a significant development aimed at empowering the next generation of Beninese entrepreneurs, the BeniBiz program, implemented by international nonprofit TechnoServe, and the Ministry of Technical, Secondary Education and Vocational Training (MESTFP)  announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding earlier this year. The agreement will see BeniBiz’s entrepreneurship training modules integrated into the national technical training curriculum, enhancing the entrepreneurial educational landscape in Benin.

“Today marks the beginning of an exciting adventure as we integrate the BeniBiz entrepreneurial support methodology into our Youth Empowerment and Employment component within the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) programs,” said Minister Kouaro Yves Chabi of MESTFP. “Our objective is to empower TVET technicians to create their own businesses, reducing their reliance on salaried employment. This session was filled with positive energy and a shared vision for the future of education and entrepreneurship. With BeniBiz, it’s about innovation, entrepreneurship, and success.”

Minister Kouaro Yves Chabi signing the MoU

The MOU covers a comprehensive entrepreneurship training program borrowing from the BeniBiz experience, which will be integrated into public vocational training centers across Benin. The program is designed to provide students with essential managerial and commercial skills, focusing particularly on sustainable and resilient agro-food production and processing techniques—key for those in the food security sector, including agro-processors and producers.

We are excited about the opportunity to create a lasting impact at scale through the BeniBiz program,” said Maimouna Mbacke, country director for TechnoServe Benin. “Empowering young entrepreneurs is key to sustainable economic growth in Benin, and we are thrilled to work with a partner like the MESTFP that shares this vision.”  

The initiative also highlights a mixed approach of in-person and digital delivery methods to ensure wide-reaching impact and efficiency. The training components include:

  • Access to Finance
  • Market Access
  • Access to Information
  • Innovation and Digital Tools

The primary objective of this new MoU is to cultivate entrepreneurial skills in students, thereby enabling them to set up businesses and create their own jobs, hence supporting economic development. The focus is particularly on empowering women and young individuals, with the MoU aiming to bolster financial and social autonomy.

An initial pilot program to integrate this training into the vocational curriculum has already shown promising results: 62% of participants—68% of whom are women from the northern area of Benin—successfully launched or enhanced their businesses. This initial effort also engaged 96 teachers from agricultural high schools and agricultural professional training centers, who benefited from a skills transfer based on TechnoServe’s proven entrepreneurship training methodology. Following the formalization of the MoU, the project is set to expand, including a second pilot that will specifically target economy and management teachers.

“Before the BeniBiz training, my monthly income was between 200,000 and 300,000 XOF. After the training, I now earn between 3 and 5 million XOF,” said Emmanuella Lucresse, a project participant. “Thanks to BeniBiz, I became financially independent, which also positively influenced my family’s quality of life. Through my own investments, I was able to improve the farm’s equipment, such as purchasing an incubator to better manage egg production. I also contribute to household expenses, such as electricity and water bills.”

The long-term goal of the partnership is the full integration of the BeniBiz curriculum into the national curriculum, with continuous adjustments and improvements in teaching methodologies. 

In the same spirit, the BeniBiz project has also conducted an exploratory workshop with the Ministry of Microfinance and Social Affairs MASM (Benin) aimed at improving coordination among various stakeholders on the potential of entrepreneurship offerings in their respective training curricula.

BeniBiz is a business accelerator funded by the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Trade and Development, the Swiss Development Cooperation (SDC), and the EU and implemented by TechnoServe. The program aims to provide food and agribusiness entrepreneurs with the skills needed to cultivate prosperous businesses and economies, as well as food-secure communities. By providing business training and technical assistance, BeniBiz has already supported nearly 5,700 entrepreneurs—56% of whom were women—helping these businesses to increase sales and job opportunities within the local community. These entrepreneurs have achieved an impressive average growth in annual turnover of 130%, with more than 60% of these companies now formalized and over 12,000 jobs created. A new phase of the project started in 2022, aims to extend its benefits to at least 117,500 entrepreneurs, with 10,725 receiving direct support and 106,775 benefiting from the ecosystem approach.



Media contacts:

  • Benin – Phalyele Kakpo 22969591158
  • United States – Julieta Ocampo 13236755640


About TechnoServe

Founded in 1968, TechnoServe is a leader in harnessing the power of the private sector to help people lift themselves out of poverty for good. A non-profit organization working in around 35 countries, we work with people to build a better future through regenerative farms, businesses, and markets that increase incomes. Our vision is a sustainable world where all people in low-income communities have the opportunity to prosper.

More information at: Twitter @TechnoServe | Facebook @TechnoServe | LinkedIn @TechnoServe