From risk to resilience: incubating adaptive climate-proof businesses

Article, 15 February 2022

In January 2022 a Forest and Farm Facility training event provided a refresher course on two toolkits that have been developed to support practitioners in improving business incubation and risk management processes – plus a new module on 30 practical options to climate-proof your business.

A wooden fence leads on to a field behind which are trees

A smallholder farm in Kenya (Photo: Duncan Macqueen, IIED)

The objective of Phase II of the Forest and Farm Facility (FFF) is to support forest and farm producer organisations (FFPOs) to achieve “climate-resilient landscapes and improved livelihoods". 

The training course below, shared online over five days as part of a FFF regional training-of-trainers for Africa, contributes to this objective by building enterprise support capabilities that incorporate 30 practical options for climate resilience in FFPO businesses in Africa.

Across all sectors, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) demonstrate high failure rates after two to five years of operations. This is also true of enterprises run by many different types of FFPOs. 

There are a host of problems that cause failure, including the ever-increasing threat of climate change, seen in variable rainfall patterns and extreme weather events such as droughts or floods. Failure often has dramatic negative consequences for peoples’ livelihoods and the landscapes they live in. 

While plenty of guidance exists on how to set up a new business, there is little guidance on how FFPOs can help support enterprises over time (ie ‘business incubation’) and plan proactively to overcome risks of failure (‘risk management’). This includes overcoming risks associated with climate change (‘climate resilience’).

Training sessions

These training sessions address these interlinked challenges and strengthen the entrepreneurial confidence and skills of participants so that they can train colleagues in business incubation, risk management and climate resilience. They cover two toolkits that have been developed to support practitioners in improving business incubation and risk management processes:

This training session also introduces and explains 30 practical options to climate-proof your business outlined in ’Diversification for climate resilience. Thirty options for forest and farm producer organisations’.

There are 15 modules, split across five days. The full recordings for each day are provided below, with timestamps provided to enable you to quickly find each module.

A full programme is also available that contains an overview of each module and additional tasks and resources.


Day 1: ForBInc – Forest business incubation by and for forest and farm producer organisations

1. Business incubation by FFPOs themselves – the ForBInc approach (12:22)
2. Define the scope, types of clients, their needs, skillsets and how to source them (47:08)
3. Understand what services to offer, how to deliver them and follow-up (1:36:54)


Day 2: Securing forest business – risk self-assessment for forest and farm businesses (part 1) 

4. Introduction to the ‘securing forest business’ toolkit (1:22)
5. Identifying risks (39:49)
6. Ranking risks (1:21:53)


Day 3: Securing forest business – risk self-assessment for forest and farm businesses (part 2)

7. Assess risk management options (2:22)
8. Developing an implementation plan (55:36)
9. Designing a reporting and monitoring system (1:33:02)


Day 4. Thirty options for climate resilience

10. Defining and understanding climate resilience (1:22)
11. Introducing 30 options for climate resilience – and social organisational option for resilience (37:39)
12. Ecological and technological options for resilience (1:16:35)


Day 5. Climate proofing your business  

13. Economic options for resilience (1:54)
14. Access to finance: how to finance climate resilience (37:28)
15. Documenting and spreading understanding of climate resilience in ways that open connections to climate finance (1:21:32)

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