The HP LIFE curriculum: Learning Initiative for Entrepreneurs

HP LIFE – www.life-global.org

  • LIFE – stands for Learning Initiative for Entrepreneurs
  • Global program for students, potential entrepreneurs and small business owners to apply IT and business skill
  • Face-to-face training and e-Learning
  • Global in 49 countries with more than 340 partner organisations
  • Role players: Hewlett-Packard, Education Development Center and Unido
  • Aimed at people working in micro-enterprises
  • Show entrepreneurs how to maximise use of information and communication technologies in their enterprises

Two components:

  1. Face-to-face training by HP trainer using Topic Matrix
  2. E-learning an online training website open to all. e-learning.life-global.org

Face-to-face training is based on a Topic flow chart which uses a virtual entrepreneur and its business challenge to introduce different technology skills.

The Topic flow chart consist of 5 different steps:

  • Virtual Entrepreneur story
  • Business scenario where group work is also used
  • Demonstration of technology that would be used in next step
  • Hands-on activity on computers
  • Debrief to summarise what have been learnt.

E-learning is internet based and any individual can access these topics once they have registered. It is based on the same principle of the Topic flow chart, although probable a shorter version and students can word independently.

Graph 1


Basics of Communication, Communication Plan, Email and Blogging should be included seeing that the first two are one components of a Business Plan. Furthermore these days business communication is based on technology and micro-entrepreneurs should be well-informed about the possibilities. Using available technology can have a reduction in costs of communication.

Advantages of LIFE curriculum in the MDP program:

  1. It could help micro-entrepreneurs to complete a business plan or evaluate a completed one
  2. Introduction to new technologies linked with business challenges could improve flow of established businesses
  3. Business can become more cost-effective with a better financial understanding and possibilities of improvement hereof

HP Life Programme – SAAA was invited to submit a proposal for a fully equipped computerized training programme in 2011. SAAA won the award and the training room was equipped. The HP Life programme is a CSI initiative by Hewlett Packard in partnership with UNIDO. It is a training programme that provides information technology, an entrepreneurial curriculum and training for entrepreneurs. It is a partnership that creates innovative uses of ICT that support entrepreneurship, help encourage economic development. It focuses on woman and youth as well as computer literacy for pre-school kids. This electronic programme has been Incorporated into the MDP training.

HP LIFE 2014
For 2014 the LIFE program started off with two legs namely:

  1. LIFE integrated with the Market Access Development Program
  2. LIFE program, Fairhills, Rawsonville

LIFE integrated with the Market Access Development Program
Our market access development program (MDP1) has training topics on consumer behavior, market access, GlobalGAP and food safety. The LIFE topic Basics of Operations was incorporated into this program. With this specific topic the LIFE module is used, however the hands-on-activity was adjusted to suit the needs of our farmers. We developed an exercise where they draw a flow diagram of a basic process in PowerPoint. After a group discussion, a table is drawn in Microsoft Word of information or documentation needed from suppliers regarding GlobalGAP. Then the information regarding GlobalGAP is incorporated into the flow diagram. With this exercise the knowledge that they have learned on the GlobalGAP topic are used in a practical way, which will lead to better understanding of this topic. Another outcome is learning the skills to draw a flow diagram in PowerPoint as well as making a table in Microsoft Word.
Since 2011 to date we have trained 245 farmers and 459 learners.

LIFE program, Fairhills Cluster, Rawsonville
Lorraine Primary School
GrR-Gr5 all receive computer training weekly on CAMI and MYABC software. SAAA assisted with computer hardware and software for computer centre as well as classrooms. Training is given by one of our Cluster Development Agents (CDA). This has been running now for the last two years. The primary school is expanding and SAAA helps with equipping these new classrooms with computer hard and software to assist teachers and learners.

Brandwacht Primary School
A new primary school was added to the Fairhills program in 2013. SAAA assisted with computer hardware and software for all the classrooms. The school has students from GrR to Gr7.

HP LIFE program at our Fairhills Cluster in Rawsonville, Western Cape 
There are two groups this year namely the Gr11 and Gr12s. The Gr12s (2013 Gr11s)was part of the LIFE program last year and successfully completed a PowerPoint presentation on their business of choice. From this the potential of students was determined to decide which of these will be able to study after school at universities or technicons. These students will undergo tests to determine their skills, potential and interest to make the best choice for a career. South African Agri Academy awarded the prize winner with a bursary to study post school. This year the Gr12 group will attend Tuesday afternoons to work on school tasks and a external teacher will help them with extra Maths classes, preparing them for their end exam.

The Gr11 group are currently 6 students from the Fairhills group. They attend classes on Tuesday afternoons. Eight topics from the LIFE curriculum will be used for this group: basics of marketing, operations, communication and finances and the Marketing, Operation, Communication and Financial plan. Up to date we have started by opening gmail accounts and used the topic on basics of marketing. Furthermore e-learning topics will also be included for better understanding on these topics, as been done last year. This group will follow the same route as the previous year group. Ending in October by presenting a business plan in PowerPoint.

By grouping SHF into clusters per product the benefit of aggregation come forward, as well as reaching economies of scale. This makes the transaction cost lower and ultimately contribute to greater profitability and sustainability of these enterprises.

It is envisaged that such an intervention from a CDA will be for 3 years before sustainability is reached.

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The South African Agri Academy (SAAA) is a non-profit company, (reg. 2001/020837/08), providing training, capacity building... Read More.

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