Frequently Asked Questions!
In this section you will find the answers to the Frequently Asked Questions of TheSwitchers.org user's. If you can't find what you are looking for, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Calls for applications: FAQs by GE
1. How can I apply for a call for applications?
1. Go to theswitchers.org/call-for-applications page (you can also launch this page by clicking on the "Calls for Applications" button on the home page).
2. Find the call for applications you are interested in.
The call for applications indicates the country, the BSO that launched the call, a brief description and the deadline for applying.
3. If you are already registered on TheSwitchers.org platform, click on the "Apply" button, enter your login information and complete the application form. Click the "Submit" button and your application will be validated. You will receive an email notification when the process is complete.
4. If not yet, we invite you to create your account first by clicking on the "Sign up" button. Fill out the registration form and submit your request.
5. You can also access the calls for applications from your dashboard, by clicking on the "Calls for Applications" command located in the sidebar menu. The process is the same. Choose the call for applications, click on register and submit your application.
SwitchMed training programme: FAQs by the trainers
1. Will the 4 working groups per session be working on a theoretical project or real project example?
Each entrepreneur will be working on his/her own business ideas, that is to say, on their project. However, the aim of splitting the class into approx. 4 working groups is to let them discuss and share questions and their insights in small teams. In this way, they may help themselves and be able to contrast ideas and receive feedback from the team.
2. Do entrepreneurs have to complete all the exercises?
All entrepreneurs should go through all exercises. However, some entrepreneurs may carry them out more thoroughly whereas others may do it rather superficially. Therefore, you may find different levels of accomplishment or detail, which will be related to different levels of engagement with the project.
3. What if the entrepreneurs do not do the homework at home? How to motivate them?
Trainers should encourage entrepreneurs during the training sessions to work hard and really highlight that the methodology will be useful for them and will give results. It is extremely important that they understand that they have to work on their business idea in order to design a sound green business model. It is impossible to develop it without effort.
4. What if the entrepreneur engagement levels differ within a group?
Although all entrepreneurs are expected to have a minimum engagement that allows them to participate and follow the instructions provided by trainers, it is completely normal that their engagement levels will differ within the group. Thus, some entrepreneurs will be willing to work hard, whereas others will be doing just the minimum. The most important thing is that those who are less engaged do not disturb the work of those who are really into the methodology and process. It is expected that within the group there will be a ‘natural selection’ process, so the less-engaged entrepreneurs may not finish the programme whereas the most engaged will finish until the end. Similarly, it may happen that the working speed of the different entrepreneurs varies. However, the training programme should follow the expected Work Plan so some entrepreneurs might find it too slow and others too rapid (the 6-7 week period has been considered an adequate time for an average entrepreneur). Apart from that, you should also consider the inherent complexity of some projects, compared to some others, that may render the whole learning process longer.
5. What about confidentiality and competency issues?
Confidentiality shall be preserved as much as possible. Entrepreneurs should feel that they are in a comfortable environment during the training programme, in which they can share their ideas without feeling threatened. You may try to preserve it by strategically splitting the “competing entrepreneurs” between the 4 different groups. However, even “competing projects” may have some interest to work together by sharing ideas at this stage (they may even decide to create a joint business project). The decision on the composition of the different groups may be done based on the entrepreneur profiles before the start of the training programme.
6. What if some entrepreneurs want to group together to develop a common project? How does it affect the completion of the home exercises?
Collaboration and sharing is a healthy attitude that should be promoted. There is no problem if two entrepreneurs want to work together in the development of a business idea. This will imply that they coordinate themselves to carry out the exercises in the most convenient way for them. However, this joint project should not interfere in the creation of the 4 groups within the class.
7. What is the role of trainers during the practice time?
The training sessions will be leaded by one trainer. This trainer will be responsible for explaining the exercises and giving indications. Then, entrepreneurs will have some time to carry out the exercises (practice time). During this time, both trainers will be going around the class and answering individual or groups questions. Ideally, both trainers should be paying attention to all entrepreneurs equally.
8. What if entrepreneurs ask many questions during the theoretical parts of the training programme?
It is up to the trainers to organise the session in a way that they feel is most suitable. As a recommendation, trainers should encourage questions and participation whilst at the same time preventing that some specific entrepreneurs get all the attention by posing numerous questions. In this case, it is suggested to report the answers to specific questions during the practice time (while doing the exercises).
9. Shall we accompany entrepreneurs to carry out the fieldwork (tests, interviews…)?
As a general rule, there is no time assigned for that. However, trainers may help entrepreneurs to formulate relevant questions and design the tests using the Discovery Cards for example, during the training sessions or through the web Platform’s chat and comments’ functionalities.
10. One entrepreneur is very impatient to develop his business plan. He claims to have done the major steps of the training on his own. How should you deal with this situation?
Although probably rare, it is important that the entrepreneur follows the methodology as it is proposed during the training. Most probably, she/he may not have tackled all the points, and some new issues may emerge. In case she/he has already validated his project, the time spent for testing may be diminished, or better used to deepen the test and refine the segmentation and the value proposition.
11. Entrepreneurs have a given time to pose questions after the training sessions, in order to receive online support. What if they send the questions later than the established deadline?
The trainers will check all questions received within the deadline and will respond to all the questions by means of a summary document that addresses the answers. If a question is submitted after the deadline, it will be answered only if the trainer has not used up the 15 hours assigned to provide online support. Therefore, it is important to tell entrepreneurs that if they submit their questions after the deadline, there is the risk that they do not receive an answer. Similarly, if trainers have not used up the 15 hours’ time, they will use the remaining time to answer any specific questions received so far. In case that there are more questions and the trainers run out of time, it will be their task to prioritise the most relevant questions.