SWOT analysis

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SWOT analysis

    4.2.3 SWOT analysis SWOT analysis


A: The story

The ”SWOT Analysis” (= strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) is the last

    exercise of the ”project” module during the end of which the participants are sup-posed to have identified THEIR projects. Based on these concrete project ideas,

    they will have to undertake their market studies.

    It is quite a simple but very powerful tool which enables the participants to do a

    proper comparison of the last three projects remaining after the micro screening

    process; sometimes, there is only one good project idea left which then will be cross-

    checked with the help of the SWOT Analysis.

    There are almost no variations in this exercise across the different regions where

    CEFE is applied because the stringent rules of this analysis don’t leave much room for interpretation. The SWOT framework takes the shape of a traditional window with

    four parts (quadrants). The upper two of the four quadrants representing strengths

    and weaknesses refer partly to the PECs and partly to all other self-inspection tools

    carried out during the ”entrepreneurial competencies” module. The lower quadrants standing for opportunities and threats build on the ”environ-ment” sub-module as well as the participants’ perception and judgement of the fac-tors influencing their identified projects. Of course, a certain subjectivity is always

    prevailing so that the presentation of the group exercise’s and individual results is

    very crucial in safeguarding objectivity and intellectual depth for the individual

    SWOT analyses.

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    4.2.3 SWOT analysis SWOT analysis

B: Basic information

     Objectives of learning

    Basic objectives to be The participants

    achieved by participants - analyse those project ideas found viable after the micro

     screening process while utilising the SWOT parame-


    - decide definitely on their respective project to be

    planned during the following steps of the CEFE meth-


    Additional objectives of a The participants

    higher level depending - are able to apply this form of analysis for any project on the situation and the expansion or diversification at a later stage of their en-current conditions of the terprising life

    target group

    Project identification Uses

    the U.S.A.; tested by CEFE in Nepal 1984 Developed in

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    4.2.3 SWOT analysis SWOT analysis

C: Further Information

    3 ? hrs Time for training

    - participants organised in those four groups which have Preparation of rooms

    been doing the ”micro screening” exercise Requirements

    Trainers/assistants 1 trainer, 1 assistant

    Didactic aids to prepare - four swot-analysis tables on kraft paper (see ”swot

    analysis framework, annex 1) with the respective text

    prepared on metaplan cards (different colours) for a

    better visualisation

    Materials for the trainers - ”components of the swot analysis” (annex 3) (during the exercise)

    Materials for the partici-- ”individual swot analysis” (annex 2) pants (during the exer-


    Important conditions of - none

    the room

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    4.2.3 SWOT analysis SWOT analysis

D: Learning Process Overview

Step Time Most important contents

    Introduction 15’ Comprehension of the SWOT analysis’ framework Group work 45’ Application of the SWOT analysis framework for the

    group project identified during the preceding ”Micro Screening” exercise

    Group presenta-60’ Critiquing and refining of the group SWOT analyses tion

    Individual SWOT 45’ Individual work on max. three identified project ideas Analysis

    Individual pres-30’ Presentation of selected individual SWOT analyses entation

    Processing 15’ Wrap-up of previous steps and outlook on the follow-

    ing ones

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    4.2.3 SWOT analysis SWOT analysis

E: Integrated Learning Process Organisation (ILPO)

    Step Time Most Important Contents Activities of Range of Required Hints

    Trainer Possible Ac-Materials

    tivities of


    Introduction 15’ Comprehension of the frame-explaining; listening; ”frame-Organise the participants in the

    work of the SWOT analysis answering asking ques-work of same four groups as used during

    tions swot the preceding ”Micro Screening”

    analysis” exercise.

    (annex 1) Develop the framework on the

    with text soft board starting from the

    on meta-strengths and weaknesses (relate

    plan cards to the PECs and other preceding

    sub-modules). Group work 45’ Application of the SWOT analy-supervising; discussing, 4 sets of Specify that the groups will have

    sis framework for the group pro-providing as-writing meta-10 meta-to deal with their joint strengths

    ject identified during the preced-sistance to the plan cards plan cards and weaknesses.

    ing ”Micro Screening” exercise groups each with Spend sufficient time with each

    different group in order to guide them

    colours properly.

    The ”weaknesses” and ”threats”

    quadrants are usually less taken

    care of; aware the participants in

    this respect. CEFE-Manual for Trainers ? CEFE-International 1998 Page 5

    4.2.3 SWOT analysis SWOT analysis

    Step Time Most Important Contents Activities of Range of Required Hints

    Trainer Possible Ac-Materials

    tivities of


    Group pres-60’ Critiquing and refining of the leading dis-presenting; 4 group Pay attention that the cards are

    entation group SWOT analyses cussion; listening; swot placed in the correct quadrants.

    provoking; discussing analyses Most important phase to grasp

    asking perti-the idea of the SWOT analysis!

    nent questions

    Individual 45’ Individual work on max. three distributing writing; annexes 2 Guide the participants to deal

    SWOT identified project ideas annexes 2 and discussing and 3 with max. 3 project ideas, pref-analysis 3; erably 2.

    supervising; You might require more time than

    providing indi-30 minutes if all participants se-

    vidual assis-lect 3 project ideas for SWOT

    tance analysis. Individual 30’ Presentation of selected individ-leading dis-presenting; some in-Make sure that the volunteering

    presentation ual SWOT analyses cussion; listening; dividual participants represent different

    provoking; discussing swot sectors so that all others might

    asking perti-analyses get additional ideas for their indi-

    nent questions viduals SWOT analyses.

    Pay attention to obvious weak-

    nesses and threats usually under-

    estimated by the participants.

    Don’t be too kind; provoke and

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    4.2.3 SWOT analysis SWOT analysis

    Step Time Most Important Contents Activities of Range of Required Hints

    Trainer Possible Ac-Materials

    tivities of


    provide food for thought! Processing 15’ Wrap-up of previous steps and explaining listening flip chart Ask for their emotions after the

    outlook on the following ones project selection has been done.

    Make them aware that there could

    still be changes if the market sur-

    veys evidence negative results. Generali- Not required


    Synthesis See list of articles referring to

    this subject

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    4.2.3 SWOT analysis SWOT analysis

    F: Hints for preparation, typical situations and dangers

    Based on the results of the ”micro screening” exercise, the same groups continue with the SWOT Analysis. As for the preceding exercise, it is best to prepare already four blank SWOT Analysis tables (four quadrants) so that no time is lost in the be-ginning.

    The choice of four different metaplan card colours for the different quadrants is ad-visable because any card changed during the presentation and critiquing phase is clearly visible to everybody. The more cards change the quadrants after discussion, the less the framework has been properly understood.

    Don’t hesitate to critically question meaning as well as positioning of doubtful cards

    during the group- and individual presentation phase because this is the last oppor-tunity for the participants to eventually change their project ideas.

    It’s typical that the participants identify less negative factors (weaknesses, threats) than positive ones. This could create a great danger to objectively taking a final de-cision on the seemingly most viable project idea.

    During the individual work phase, it may happen that some participants don’t feel confident enough to do the SWOT Analysis. Visit them regularly during this phase and give individual guidance through appropriate questions. As the handout ”Com-

    ponents of SWOT Analysis” (Annex 3) has already been distributed during this phase, urge them to read the text and provide additional examples for their specific cases, if required.

    The lack of confidence based on missing market information might be overcome through an integrated market visit (not exceeding 3 hours) during which the partici-pants are urged to collect some information referring to the issues mentioned in An-nex 3 (see also G.2: maximising).

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    4.2.3 SWOT analysis SWOT analysis

G: Variations

1) Alternative uses and objectives

    Isolated components of a business or an intention for expansion or diversification can be dealt with in the same way, hence the importance of pointing out this possibil-ity during the wrap-up phase.

    2) Minimising/Maximising

    In a group of total newcomers without much prior exposure to business, it is helpful to let the participants do a brief market research on their pre-selected business ideas before doing the SWOT Analysis. Depending on your overall time planning, the respective first weekend during the seminar might be utilised for this purpose without disturbing the planned execution of the following exercises. 3) Substitutions


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    4.2.3 SWOT analysis SWOT analysis

H: Annexes

    Chart Annex 1 SWOT analysis

    SWOT Analysis Framework

     Positive factors Negative factors

to be capitalised to be elimi-




    Enumerate strengths and weaknesses related to your specific project idea

    which can be controlled by the entrepreneur such as:

technical, financial, promotional, networking, knowledge, competencies, etc. factors

    Enumerate opportunities and threats beyond the control of

    the entrepreneur related to your specific project idea such as:

    sociological, political, demographic, economic, trade-specific, etc. factors

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