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International trade e.learning suite for SMEs

The project is devoted to enhance the capacity of SMEs first of all to export and in general to trade at European and international level. Due to the well known reluctance of SMEs owners vis a vis of training, often considered as time consuming, expensive or of modest impact on the firm’s performance, the current proposal focuses an easy to access e.learning programme, web site based but also supported by CD , manuals and help desk (or mentor’s desk): in order to facilitate the fruition and make the product appealing to the SMEs staff. Overcoming the stereotype of the international trade as a matter for marketing specialists only. The envisaged e.learning training will exploit a performing portal implemented thanks to the EU funded “Easy Trade” project and the simulation techniques of simple use created in the framework of another EU funded project “The Export Game”. The contents of the training are explained as a pathway through the national and international regulations of commercial exchanges, the compulsory documents, the rules and praxis of the most promising markets, the business plan congruent with the firm’s strategy of expansion abroad . The partnership include a number of chambers of commerce and business associations having a continous relationship with SMEs : what favours the promotion of the programme, the feed back by the SMEs staff concerning its effectiveness, the involvement of the relevant people in the pilot training and a promising valorisation campaign. -- OBJECTIVES AND ACTIVITIES: In spite of their fame of dynamism, SMEs still currently have a relatively weak presence in the intra- European and international trade. The general objective of the project is to enhance the existing consistent opportunities and overcoming the difficulties, that cannot be denied too. The project is therefore finalized to help the SMEs people, owners and staff, to overcome fears through a valid knowledge of the scenario beyond the borders and a professional consciousness of the compulsory steps to afford it with reasonable chances of succeeding. The activities consist: (1) in a preliminary survey, made jointly with the partners, finalised to updating the real needs of SMES, Country by Country, mapped through a direct dialogue with the SMEs themselves;(2) by the drafting of the e.learning contents and tools for an easy access and their the validation by the SMEs involved, (3)the pilot training with SMEs’ staff; (4)the production of the courses and of the complementary materials and the implementation of the procedure for the accreditation of the relevant modules and their diffusion in the training system -- RESULTS AND PRODUCTS: The products: the web site based e.learning supported by the quoted platform implemented in the framework of “Easy Trade” project, the complementary CD and manual, the demo-CD and the promotional printed materials -- POTENTIAL FUTURE: The expected outcomes and products could be easily « translated » for use in Countries different from those of the partnership

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