About Us

Experience 1987-2018

 31 years of experience has taught us:

  • that people who are encouraged to take charge of their own learning experience are significantly more likely to succeed in business than those who are taught by a teacher or trainer;
  • that the Trainer (facilitator) is the natural mentor for fledgling businesses;
  • that true mentoring is a meeting between equals and not a top-down approach;
  • that it is dangerous to ignore the mindset or world-view of learners; (Those that believe that others are responsible for their poverty will not easily choose to take responsibility for their own economic destinies);
  • that it is more effective to work with individuals than with groups such as production cooperatives;
  • that debt (whether in the form of credit or loans) is not a blessing for poor people.


More than 6 300 delegates have attended our Trainer-Mentor courses since 1991. These events have taken place in several different countries in sub-Saharan Africa, Cape Verde and Latin America.

  • Delegates typically represent training companies, NGOs and church-based organisations. Some have remained self-employed.
  • This intensive 4-day course requires potential Trainer-Mentors to complete the 14 workbooks that comprise the 3 versions of Micro-MBA, prior to the first day of the course.
  • Only facilitators that have been certificated by Trident Institute are permitted to offer the course.
  • Micro-MBA training materials may be ordered from Trident Institute.
  • The courses usually take place in Cape Town, but may be offered anywhere in the world (terms and conditions apply).
  • The skills required to be a good Trainer and Mentor are very similar to those that make a good business manager. Management Development programmes are available on request.

The Micro-MBA Course

This learner-driven, outcomes-based course has been successfully completed by more than 190 000 learners, by community-based trainers in Africa and Latin America.

  • The course covers the basic skills needed to start or improve a micro or small business.
  • Micro-MBA is currently available in English, Spanish, French, Portuguese and Afrikaans. Indigenous South African languages have proved not to be popular with learners, the greater majority of whom have preferred English.
  • Learners work at their own pace through 8 simple workbooks, for either Traders, Producers or Service Providers.
  • Learners with a Grade 6 literacy capability will take about 32 hours to complete the workbooks. Some may finish in less time and some will need more. 
  • The work is always completed in the presence of a trained facilitator.
  • Illiterate people are encouraged to bring a literate friend or relative with them to the course. In this way two can be trained for the price of one!