Technical Assistance Capacity Building Program (TACP)

 

Overview
Background
Course Content
Unique Program Elements
Sustainable & Replicable Model
Course Beneficiaries

 

Overview

The Technical Assistance Capacity-Building Program (TACP) is a practical and instructionally rigorous training program for the staff members of small business development organizations. It consists of two curricula, one for executive leaders and one for program staff. These curricula help directors, managers, and business advisors to build the capacity of their organizations, provide consistent, high quality services to entrepreneurs and small business owners, and make a meaningful, lasting impact on these business clients.

Background

CARAT's curriculum framework is based on the research, industry collaboration, and testing behind CARAT's Technical Assistance Certification Program. Cited as a model technical assistance program by both a Ford Foundation/Milken Institute publication and the U. S. Minority Business Development Agency, this certification program offers performance criteria and an assessment tool for business development organizations. A beta test of the assessment tool in California revealed that the industry still required training, and indicated the specific training needs. These training needs became the basis for our TACP curricula.

With this list of training topics in hand, CARAT recruited a 21-member business development advisory committee to oversee the development of the curriculum. The advisory committee has a statewide membership comprised of community-based business development organizations, bankers, government lenders, and bank regulators.

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Course Content

Executive Leadership Institute - The Executive Leadership Institute for non-profit technical assistance /business development executive directors and program managers will train on how to effectively, efficiently and strategically run a business development organization. Topics include:

  1. Financial Management
  2. Fundraising
  3. Strategic Planning and Management
  4. Human Resources
  5. Marketing and Communications
  6. Internal Management Systems & Procedures

Professional Development Institute - The Professional Staff Development Training for staff/consultants will train on how to provide quality service in the specific areas of business consulting described below.

1 & 2 Business Assessment I & II
3. Client Retention
4. Marketing
5. Financial Management
6. Credit Analysis and Underwriting

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Unique Program Elements

  • Project-Based Learning and Application of Materials. Throughout each course, participants will create usable work products, such as fund development plans or marketing plans that they can take back to their organizations. Participants will be provided with assistance in incorporating their work products into their organizations, and will have the opportunity to discuss their implementation experiences in subsequent classes and/or consulting sessions.
  • Individualized Consulting. Executive training participants will have the opportunity to share their efforts with their colleagues, obtain feedback from their peers and trainer, and customized support.
  • Small class sizes will ensure sufficient time for individualized attention (approximately 20 per class).
  • Practitioners Network & Online Community. An important goal of TACP is to create a community of learners that will build a base of knowledge for the rest of the industry. Toward that end, the program will include roundtable discussions, plenary sessions, surveys, and on-line discussion tools to facilitate on-going communication.
  • Tools & Templates. Each of the courses in the Professional Development program will provide tools and templates that participants can use on the job, and suggestions for how to use them. These tools will range from paper templates to online forms, and will include businesses assessment tools and intake forms, financial analysis forms, marketing plan frameworks, and more.

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A Sustainable Program, A Replicable Model

As described above, CARAT's goal is to deliver this program on an on-going basis through several delivery channels, including established non-profit training organizations such as Compass Point, and community colleges such as LA Trade Tech Community College. Rather than delivering ad hoc workshops at industry conferences or occasional training courses, this program will be offered on an ongoing basis to provide business development organizations the opportunity to attend a complete training curriculum or the specific courses they need when they need them. Whether training for a new job, or providing new skills to more seasoned staff, organizations will have access to this program. In the end, this sustainable training model will ensure that small business clients are receiving higher quality and more consistent services well into the future.

Once developed, training materials from this California-based program can be used to deliver courses to business development organizations across the U.S. via web-based and/or classroom instruction.

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Program Beneficiaries

The ultimate beneficiaries of this program are the low- and moderate-income entrepreneurs who receive the services of the BDOs we train, as well as their families, their neighborhoods, and hopefully, the employees they hire. A composite profile of 70 California TA organizations showed that 44% identify their clients as belonging to a particular ethnic minority (African American, Asian/Pacific Islander, Caucasian, and Hispanic. Fifty-six (56%) percent claim to serve these "combined minorities" in equal portion. The immediate beneficiaries of this project are the staff members of the BDOs who will attend this training program.

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