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Increase SMEs export skills through e-learning

The SMEs in Europe constitute the core of European economy but only a few of them have exporting activity. The increase of the exporting activity of the SMEs has been considered as one of the main ways for Europe to get out of the financial crisis. The E-EMPORIO project contributed to the development of the export skills of the staff that is working in SMEs by providing them with complete, qualitative, results-oriented and practice-oriented e-learning contents that are accessible through internet from any place at any time and were adapted to the specificities of each country. Some of the e-learning contents and training methodology were transferred from a previous Leonardo project called text-e. The main target group was SMEs' staff but also another target group was unemployed people who were willing to develop their skills in order to find a job or start their own business (SME). The general objectives of the project were: to contribute to an increase in SMEs competitiveness in the international scene through use of innovative technologies; to increase foreign trade capacities of SMEs' staff; to minimize identified training gaps in exportation across partner countries; to generate dialogue among the trainers from partner countries and to promote the accreditation of skills acquired through non formal and informal learning. The specific objectives of the project included: to develop practice-oriented and competence based e-learning contents, especially developed in order to increase the skills of SMEs' staff in exports, taking into consideration the specificities of each partner country; to transfer these e-learning courses also to mobile phone applications; to provide certification for the skills and competencies that are going to be obtained through the e-learning platform; to transfer best practices and expertise between the partners; to consider the needs of specific target groups such as older workers (or unemployed) wishing to update their skills. The partnership of the E-EMPORIO was constituted from organizations from the Southern Europe (GR, CY, ES) and from the Eastern Europe (RO, LV, TR). The composition of the transnational partnership wass determined by the selection of key actors in the project's area (1 SMEs Association, 2 chambers, 1 SME in management consulting, 2 SMEs in innovation, development and ICT training and 1 organization in the field of e-learning and EU projects) with great experience and expertise in the field of SMEs training, thus facilitating the mainstreaming of project results and the sustainability of outputs. General Description of the Outcomes: Study on the Training Needs of the SMEs, innovative E-Learning Modules, e-learning courses, training of trainers. Impact: The e-learning contents and the certification facilitated the development and recognition of the export skills of the SMEs' workers, fact which contributed significantly to the development of the SMEs and of the European exports.

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