Business as usual would consign us to a gradual decline, to the second rank of the new global order. This is Europe’s moment of truth. It is the time to be bold and ambitious.
José Manuel Barroso
One of the important economic trends over the last 10 years has been the increased use of e-commerce, by consumers and businesses alike. The take-up of ICT by businesses, seen as crucial to the raising of productivity potential and future growth prospects, , as said by the Directive 2000/31/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 8 June 2000, needs the implementation of new professionals, able to support enterprises, above all Micro Enterprises, in new market challenges, offering them technical and specific competences, strong entrepreneurship attitude, developed transversal skills, and great skills in learning to learn, as the digital market technologies and strategies are an on-going updated knowledge area. As proved by the data analysis made by Eurostat in 2014 on ICT usage and e-commerce, only 16% of small enterprises engaged in e-sales. The Micro Enterprises are accountable for more than two thirds of the EU’s workforce (ESBA) but, as a consequence of their small dimension, they often have not the internal resources to face the challenge of a digital global market, are often vulnerable, underdeveloped, suffering from local segregation and facing severe economical crisis, but are rich in tradition and human resources and have enormous e-commerce opportunities to spoil.
According to this background and starting from the Barroso’s inspiring statement, the main project goals are:
- to design, implement, promote and test, starting from a research at EU, national, regional and local level within the market contest and by a glocal perspective, a professional able to match the training offer and the market needs: a specific professional profile able to help local Micro Enterprises to face the market challenges and to tackle, by a tailored made approach, their marketing needs;
- to generate new job opportunities for trained young people;
- to enhance Micro Enterprises market visibility, fostering their entrepreneurship capacity and building strong local opportunities;
- to tackle the topic by a cross-sectoral approach matching the needs of VET agencies, VET learners and Micro Enterprises; to develop a cross-sectorial partnership to look at the topic by a 360° perspective.
The project objectives and the needs it intends to fulfil are strictly related to the target group identified and to the key stakeholders needs. The main target group is made of VET learners or VET post-graduates aged 20 to 35 and/or having sectorial competences and/or having previous experiences in the marketing field, currently unemployed or underemployed, while the key stakeholders are the Micro enterprises located in the partner’s business activity areas and public bodies. To reach its objectives and the selected target groups, the project will implement, as Intellectual Outputs, a research, as a starting documents on which to build the following project steps, and an e-learning Platform, containing, among other outcomes an OER online course. Exploiting the project IOs, the targeted people will achieve, at the end of the path, a comprehensive, specialised, factual and theoretical knowledge in the field of e-commerce management, suited to the market implementation of Micro Enterprises.
Starting from the result achieved by the participants to the course, 4 people (1 in each country) will be selected, within the project and in a sustainability perspective, to participate to a pilot experience in strict collaboration with 4 selected Micro enterprises, representing different business sectors, to build up 4 e-commerce start ups. The implementation of this closing step will let people attending the course to get a real WBL experience and to the selected Micro Enterprises to implement a real e-commerce business under the project partnership tutoring.
All the project activities are carried out by four partners coming from Lithuania, Italy, Czech Republic and Spain, belonging to different business and social sectors and dealing with different topics (training, marketing, labour market, economy). By the means of this collaboration and by the planned results, the project will not end upon its closure, but is designed to become sustainable and continue on a long term. The project Platform will remain online to become a virtual job placement space with a network of firms/enterprises offering jobs or internship opportunities: an exchange platform for experts to compare and confront best practices and a reference guide.
The project is developed at transnational level, as it will offer to participants opportunities to better understand foreign contexts, take part and be supported by an European stable network: all key assets in the e-commerce sector and a positive trigger for work quality and employment opportunities.