Title Integrated Support to SMEs by transfer of experiences through e-Mentor e-Training
Project Number 2013-1-SE-LEO05-15422
Project Type Transfer of Innovation
Our project focused on e-Training of e-Mentors for giving e-Mentoring services to SME's. Thus, it firstly aimed at experienced people who are well experienced in their profession and having good background but not working because of several reasons, or they may be retired persons. This accumulated valuable experience should not be wasted, the project aims to support the SMEs by helping them via e-Mentoring to support their growth and sustainability. More specifically, the idea is to train e-Mentors of e-courses in further training activities for developing their e-Mentor skills and profession, for e-Mentoring (from distance) to SMEs.
The project succeeded in setting up a platform with training modules for mentors in sic languages. The platform and modules were shown to and tested by users during workshops. The broad cultural coverage in partners from north to south of Europe provided lessons in e.g. different Internet usage, acceptance to amount of pages in each modules.
Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) remain the back bone of the EU economy, given that 99.8% of all enterprises are SMEs or more specifically a micro-enterprise with less than ten employees. In 2010, 19.2 million micro-enterprises operated in the EU, comprising 92% of all European enterprises. It is evident that SMEs are being affected by the financial and economic crisis across economies. Since the crisis began, many States have reported negative impacts, which vary by country, region, level of development and severity, including most of all rapid increases in unemployment, poverty and hunger. The eurozone unemployment rate rose to 11.8% in November 2012 - the highest rate on record according to official figures out today (in Spain & Greece).
Our project SMe-MENTOR has started since 01.10.2013 and is supposed to last for 24 months including 7 partners from 6 EU countries. SMe-MENTOR is focused on e-Training of e-Mentors FOR giving e-Mentoring services to SME's. Thus, it firstly aims to experienced people who are well experienced in their profession and having good background but not working because of several reasons, or they may be retired persons. This accumulated valuable experience will not be wasted, as the project aims to give them the possibility to become e-Mentors and re-enter the “job market” and secondly, to save the SMEs by helping them via e-Mentoring to support their growth and sustainability.
The Consortium partners have contributed to the project so far, according to their exact profession in order to drive SMEs. The e-learning modules have been developed according to our users’ needs and have also been translated to all partners’ languages. The e-learning material has been uploaded to the SMe-MENTOR Multilanguage website (www.smenemtor.net). The project brochure has also been developed and has been also distributed to the dissemination events that the partners have participated to. The project has combined alternative dynamic content adapted to specific e-training programs based on highly sophisticated evaluation methods. This means that the evolution of the training programs can be highly parameterized depending on the learning goals and the progress of the user. The idea of the e-learning modules is to train e-Mentors in further training activities for developing their e-Mentor skills and profession, for e-Mentoring (from distance) to SMEs.
On the level of individual Member States, Germany is the leading economy in the EU consisting of 20% EU’s GDP, with GDP growth of 3.6% in 2010 and well above the Europe average in 2011. Slovakia, Sweden and Turkey showed growth rates in 2010 of 4.0%, 5.5% & 9.0% respectively, whereas countries such as Greece performed poorly due to budgetary problems and the subsequent implementation of tough austerity programmes. Based on this mixed macroeconomic picture within the EU the following picture appears to emerge:
While on the EU aggregate level EU SMEs are recovering, on a more disaggregate/country level, the SME sectors in Member States are following actually different trends determined largely by macroeconomic and structural factors (including innovative capacity). Germany and Sweden belong to the group of countries with a positive growth rate of both, GVA and Employment. Greece belongs to those with a negative growth rate of both, GVA and employment and Slovakia and Finland belong to those with a positive growth rate of GVA but a negative growth rate of employment, resulting in a jobless recovery.
The diverging SME trends along these three different country groupings is –at least to some degree - due to differences in macroeconomic, export and innovation performance as well as structural factors. The aim of the SMe-Mentor project is to create an on-line mentoring service center especially addressed to “inactive" people (who are main concern of EU due to wasting of well trained, well experienced and valuable human sources but not "producing"), who are qualified and can find a job easily, but not working because of various reasons (reasons: baby sitting - maternity leaves, taking care for old parents, having physical disabilities, retired and do not have convenient job, etc.) and SMEs which are in a bad position or seeking professional knowledge support (Mentoring) because of the crisis or for better performing needs.
Our project focuses on e-Training of e-Mentors FOR giving e-Mentoring services to SME's. The Consortium has already used “e-mentoring” approach to support European SMEs and develop efficient training tools for these e-mentors, who will then support SMEs for their better performance in business world. The SMe-Mentor’s idea has been transferred from “VOCA extended” (www.vo-ca.net) project, developing courses especially adapted to e-Mentors (trainers).
The main objective of the project is to transfer the knowledge and background as well as experience of relatively older, well educated, experienced “inactive” people based on their existent valuable soft skills, to either new starters or to ones already running business in their SMEs.
This objective has two nested consequences:
-> Bringing employability chance for those inactive people.
-> Bringing "on the job" (or "in situ") training possibility to SME’s to improve their competencies, skills and competition strengths for better performance, as they correspond to 92% of EU economy.
For attaining this main objective, the partners have combined alternative interactive content adapted to specific training programs. These training programs are based on evolving users’ profiles according to specific questionnaires and desk studies that took place in the partners’ countries (Sweden, Germany, Greece, Turkey, Finland and Slovakia) and have incorporated highly sophisticated evaluation methods in the programs themselves. The aim of SMe-Mentor is that training which is based on interactive content with active participation and active procedure representation can improve learning and also attract inactive people to begin the e-training process.
Open and distance learning
Activities of Extraterritorial Organisations and Bodies
Administrative and Support Service Activities
Professional, Scientific and Technical Activities
Information and Communication
open and distance learning
The products resulting from this project are provided on the project portal, www.SMe-Mentor.net, in Multilanguage form. E-Training Material in te form of modules are built in to the project portal.
For more information such as need analysis, dissemination plan and evaluation report contact project co-ordinator