CEFE Methodology (Competency-based Economies through Formation of Entrepreneurs) is a comprehensive set of training instruments based on action-oriented approach and experiential learning methods to develop and enhance the business management and personal competencies of a wide range of target groups, mainly in income, employment generation, and economic development.
Experiential learning is always the result of an experience: An experience is subsequently critically reflected upon. This reflection again leads to an activity (action), which in turn becomes a set starting point for the following reflection phase.
In this phase, the participants “live” a simulated situation typical for business people from small and medium-sized companies. The trainer gives instructions and the basic framework within which the participants can act. In addition, the situation is first separated and delimited by the trainer.
Depending on the intention, the instructions can be either extensive and complete, sparse and even imprecise and incomplete. With these instructions, trainers create a “world” within which the participants can act during this phase. At the same time, the phase simulates the scenario of incomplete information in the real world of the business person: Business people have to act based on preliminary data and are responsible for actively searching for further details.
It is a short but essential phase which directly follows the action phase. In this phase, all the results, strategies, purchasing decisions, etc., are made public to all the participants and prepared for comparison. This is best performed using charts prepared by the trainer in advance, into which the results are entered, thus being visible to everyone. They are an essential discussion basis for the following phase. They have the additional function of clearly emphasising the end of the action phase and marking the return to the seminar situation.
Processing is the most critical step to achieving the learning objectives; the step in which you have the most significant influence on achieving the learning objectives.
In this process, the participants should take a critical, reflective distance from the simulation exercise after an initial phase where there is room for expressing emotion.
In this phase, the participants distance themselves from their own cases and draw general results from the experiences. They should look for parallels between the simulated and the ‘real’ world and transfer the insights that they have gained to the real world. In this way, they can transform them into general understanding.
Application within the framework of a CEFE training is the beginning of a further exercise, which creates possibilities for applying and consolidating what has just been learned.
In this phase, the learning achievements are applied to a new situation. One of the critical results of the exercise is that the participants engage in minimal independent searching for information and have formulated strategies on how they wish to proceed in the future. It is essential to focus again on one of the subsequent exercises on this learning objective