Resilience and Training for SMES– Erasmus+ Cooperation partnership project (2021-2023)
European countries have been suffering from severe socio-economic backlash as a result of the pandemic, and it is essential to find the most effective coping mechanisms for the “new normal”. European micro-, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and European workers will need to adjust to a new “post-pandemic business environment” in which companies and workers will need to change business models, behaviour and even basic operational concepts like profitability, human resource management, supply chain, risk, etc. The Erasmus+ related challenge is to understand whether the European Vocational Education and Training (VET) ecosystem is adequately equipped to accompany microenterprises and workers into this journey.
Surveys show that MSMEs are willing and capable to uptake new capacities and approaches to business to remain competitive.
The RESTART project aims to respond to these challenges and support the MSME sector and the European VET ecosystem. The project partners emphasize achieving the following RESTART´s objectives:
- update and upgrade the entrepreneurship support system to a “post-COVID new normal”;
- support EU MSMEs and workforce in the “resilience journey” of restarting in a post pandemic socio-economic context;
- improve relevant skills and competencies in up-to-date topics reflecting the market needs;
- foster knowledge transfer and business model adaptation of Small & Medium Enterprises, with a focus on microenterprises.
The RESTART international consortium plans to achieve its objectives through producing four project results, and organize six multiplier events for the public.
The first project result is an Open Educational Resource Platform built to host and deliver the training courses and share the operational tools with VET providers, micro, small & medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), and their staff. It will ensure free and open access to all multilingual versions. RESTART OER Platform will include:
- Training content and materials on Innovation & Servitisation, Digital Transformation, Localisation and Sustainability;
- Competences Validation: gamification solutions based on multiple-choice test to check on skills’ acquisition;
- Skills certificate: users will get a RESTART approved certificate;
- Training webinars: at least 2 expert sessions explaining tools and training developed;
- Coaching programme: Entrepreneurs can seek mentoring and advice on COVID resilience business reignition.
The second project result is the innovative business & entrepreneurship model to accompany MSMEs to the “new normal” of the post-pandemic economy. The result will provide a set of business dimensions, training topics and suggestions for training courses that emerge as the most relevant for MSMEs growth and competitiveness in the post-pandemic world.
The third project result is the combination of training and operational tools that partners will develop for the benefit of MSMEs and their “staff” (both entrepreneurs, managers, and workers) to empower them with skills and competences and equip them with tools to embrace innovative business models and practices emerging from the 4 areas of: 1. Innovation & Servitisation; 2. Digital Transformation; 3. Localisation; 4. Sustainability.
The final project result is the RESTART Position Paper & Mainstreaming Guidelines. HETFA is responsible for this task. The Position Paper will provide a unique and innovative perspective with data, qualitative and quantitative information, and inputs to the policymaking process, feeding the so-called “evidence-based” process for the definition of programmes in support of MSMEs and implementation of VET initiatives. The Mainstreaming Guidelines will provide the “teachers’ notes”, hints and tips on how to best use the combination of training handouts and tools; duration of the delivery; how to use the validation mechanisms to test the acquisition of competences; ideal structuring of a RESTART training path using the modular approach.
The six multiplier events will take place in the fall of 2023. Each consortium member will organize one multiplier event locally, and as a result, the project achievements will be available to a broad European audience.
RESTART gathers various higher education and research institutions, private companies and VET providers with different expertise and scientific backgrounds.
- HÉTFA Research Institute, Hungary
- Comenius University in Bratislava, Slovakia
- Step Ri Science and Technology Park of the University of Rijeka, Croatia
- IDP SAS DI GIANCARLO COSTANTINO (Italian Development Partners), Italy
- Institut de Haute Formation aux Politiques Communautaires (IHF), Belgium
- Internet Web Solutions SL, Spain