CEFE is a comprehensive set of training instruments designed to stimulate positive change in various development processes via experiential learning methods.


It provides highly participative, action-oriented training in all areas related to entrepreneurship and private sector development.

Through the promotion of entrepreneurial competence and better performance of businesses and organizations, CEFE contributes to employment creation, income generation and thus to a sustainable economic development.

CEFE Method


The Competency based Economies through Formation of Entrepreneurs (CEFE) is one of the most successful methods of teaching business development.

It is a comprehensive set of training instruments using an action-oriented approach and experiential learning methods to develop and enhance the business management and personal competencies of a wide range of target groups, mostly in the context of income and employment generation and economic development. It represents an accumulation of instruments for entrepreneurship training combined with an active and dynamic approach and methods of empirical learning in order to develop and improve managerial and individual skills.

Rather than solely transmitting information, CEFE trainings aim at creating competences including knowledge, attitudes, skills and habits. The trainings enhance the participants’ ability for self-organised decisions and action taking in complex and continuously changing systems.

The different training modules are based on the “Experiential Learning Cycle” and comprise structured discussions, deductive trainings, case studies, role-plays, simulations, field studies and fieldwork.

Have a look at our 3 min video about the Training of Trainers and the CEFE method.
*Click on the icon at the bottom of the video to activate english subtitles.

The training method was developed in 1983 by the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) and introduced in numerous development projects around the world. More than 20 000 trainers were qualified in the CEFE methodology and since then conduct CEFE courses with a wide range of target groups. CEFE training tools were adopted to offer tailor made training modules to specific exigencies and beneficiaries. CEFE courses therefore range from business creation courses to customized courses like financial management, rural development, entrepreneurial skills, project management, team building, corporate social responsibility, green economy, youth employment and many more.

CEFE Facts & Figures

CEFE Network

CEFE International has the following main objectives:

Since the introduction of CEFE Training of Trainers (ToT), around 20 000 people have been qualified as CEFE trainers. More than 3500 of these trainers form the CEFE International Network. The network offers a space for cooperation, learning and sharing among the experts.

CEFE International supports the work of the network and benefits from the vast experience and knowledge of this ample network of trainers and experts. To further develop existing CEFE tools and to create innovative solutions for current exigencies, we work together with CEFE trainers and experts all over the world. During the last years, a strong and fruitful cooperation has taken place, which recently has been consolidated in formal partnerships and agreements.

Find out about our network activities as well as successful projects realized by the CEFE International Network in our Annual Review 2016

Authorized Partners are institutions or corporations with which
CEFE International entered into formalized partnerships in order
to cooperate in various projects globally.

CEFE International’s active contacts are CEFE experts with
whom CEFE International is in exchange about all topics relating
to the realization and development of CEFE.

CEFE International


The German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) played a decisive role in promoting and disseminating the CEFE training methodology.

Since 2008, however, CEFE has been privatized and is now implemented by CEFE International, a consulting agency registered in Cologne, Germany.
Its owners have maintained CEFE’s basic mission, namely the enhancement of entrepreneurial competence in people and of the global network of CEFE trainers. CEFE International takes on challenges related to economic, rural and preventive peace development; professional education; private sector promotion; public sector reform; financial management and economic policy.