What is Capacity and Capacity Building?
Capacity refers to the ability of a system to perform and sustain itself.
Capacity building is the process of developing and strengthening the skills, abilities, processes and resources that organisations and communities need to survive, adapt, and thrive in the fast-changing world.
What is Capacity Building for?
There are many different definitions but the ultimate goal of capacity building is to improve overall organizational effectiveness and sustainability
What is a network?
Noun: A network is a group or system of interconnected people or things
Verb: Networking is the skill of interacting with others to exchange information and develop professional or social contacts.
What is a network?
Enterpreneurs that share common goals, and intentionally exchange information and/or engage collaboratively in activities to address those goals are networks.
May have other names: collaborative groups, social circles, mentor groups, discussion groups, learning partnerships, etc.
You may be participating in a network without realising it - may be informal
Types of Networks
Networks can range from loose informal exchanges to formal contractual or membership groups:
Characteristics of Networks
- Created for a purpose
- May be Informal and/or formal
- May have multiple functions
- May exist locally, regionally, nationally or internationally
- May be actual (face-2-face), virtual (online), or a combination
- May be short term or long term
Benefits of Networks for Members
- Increased Access
- Increased Efficiency
- Multiplier Effect
- Solidarity and Support
- Increased Visibility
- Reduced Isolation
- Increased Credibility
Importance of networking
The Importance of networking video discusses the issues raised in this set of slides in real discussion.
A 19 minute Ted talk by Michael Goldberg “Rediscovering Personal Networking” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Po-QOVodPhU presents a criticial view on online networking
7 minute You tube video
Here are some formal networks that you can explore
Social Enterprise Networks
Online Network tools
- Linked in
- Crowd Booster
Networks: A word of Caution
Consciously use your networks to:
- Prioritise your needs
- Access/Utilize opportunities
- Learn from peers
- optimise technology use
- Be sustainable
Inventory of your Networks?
- Review networks you are currently in according to your capacity needs and benefits
- Include any social networks
- Get advice on how to use networks
- Use online networks – efficient, minimum cost
- Always be open to new networks
What are the costs?
- Time: participation in meetings etc
- & Money: membership fees, training fees etc
What are the Benefits?
- Access to Funding/Projects
- Professional standing
Evaluate networks in terms of
- Workload: Is network creating more work than it is reducing?
- Representation: Does the network represent what my enterprise stand for?
- Participation: Is required participation of my enterprise at the right level?
1.Do I attend regular meetings?
2.Do I keep up with news/newsletter?
3.Am I actively involved in any activities?
-Forums, Workshops, Mentoring
4.Have I considered becoming more involved?
-Become an officer
-Propose activities/subjects for activities
1. Do I attend regular meetings?
2. Do I keep up with news/newsletter?
3. Am I actively involved in any activities?
(Forums, Workshops, Mentoring)
4. Have I considered becoming more involved?
Become an officer
Propose activities/subjects for activities
The website http://smallbusinessbc.ca/article/five-benefits-networking/ provides a valuable argument for the benefits of networking
The National Council of Non-profits - an advocate for America’s charitable non-profits provides valuable insights.
Source Website: https://www.councilofnonprofits.org/tools-resources/network-approach-capacity-building and the blog at https://ssir.org/articles/entry/the_return_of_capacity_building
Entrepreneur ICT & Marketing
Networking for rural entrepreneurs is closely linked to a greater knowledge and use of ICT (Discussed in another unit) and using social media for marketing (Also discussed in another unit)