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Open Educational Resources for the development of Arts and Crafts
Start date: Sep 1, 2015, End date: Aug 31, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The economic crisis is leading to the creation of many micro and crafts-type of enterprises, especially among women. Not finding employment elsewhere, or worse, losing their current job, leads many women to start their own microenterprise. In addition, the vast majority of firms in EU are microenterprises. Almost 90% of all enterprises in EU are microenterprises that account for 53% of all EU jobs (EU Commission, DG Enterprise, 2014). Micro and craft-type enterprises have a huge social and economic importance and in times of crisis they are a crucial professional and social “buffer”:1) in economic downturns microenterprise are more reluctant to fire employees; 2) starting a microbusiness is often the alternative for people who lose their jobs because of the crisis. Yet, microenterprises are the most vulnerable to the crisis and are the first firms to fall victim of downturns. Many capacity constraints undermine microenterprises’ competitiveness and ability to thrive. The need to define better and more concrete training for microenterprises is best captured by official papers of EU Commission: “Identification of Future Skills Needs in Micro & Craft-Type Enterprises Up To 2020”, DG Enterprise 2011, the EU Commission calls urgently to “develop tools and skills training structures with a special focus on micro and craft-type enterprises”. When put in the context of female entrepreneurship, such need for innovative and concrete training is even more important: “Promotion of Women Entrepreneurship”, DG Enterprise, 2009 identified the following “Soft Obstacles” affecting female entrepreneurship: A. lack of access to technical and general business networks B. lack of business training C. Low entrepreneurship skills In this context CRAFT aims at developing innovative training solutions to enhance the effectiveness and competitiveness of microenterprises, especially in the context of participation to national and EU markets. This will be achieved by developing relevant training solutions and material to strengthen the capacity of existing microenterprises and craft-type of enterprises to strive in the current economic environment. At the same time, CRAFT is devoted to all those individuals who wish to establish their own micro and craft-type enterprise as a response to the crisis or unemployment. While defined for this enlarged target group, CRAFT has a specific gender focus that privileges the support to female entrepreneurship. The partnership brings together 8 partners from 6 countries and includes target groups’ representatives, HEI, VET providers and entrepreneurship facilitators: the proposal is a platform to complement each partners’ specific expertise in this domain. This composition ensures geographical coverage as well as projection of dissemination and valorisation across the EU. Partners will carry out the following activities: 1. identify specific capacity gaps of microenterprises and craft-types of enterprises. The needs and issues identified by EU documents will be corroborated by a survey of at least 120 target groups to pinpoint specific training needs through Output 2 Capacity Gap Assessment 2.Design innovative multilingual training content, material and web based tools for the OER 3.Test and validate main training modules and content with at least 200 micro/craft enterprises The methodology is based on a “collate -> analyse -> develop -> test & validate -> deploy” approach and combines academic pedagogical accuracy with VET demand-driven practical approach. CRAFT is devoted to microenterprises, entrepreneurs-to-be and facilitators of entrepreneurship with a focus on female entrepreneurship. Dissemination and exploitation plans have already been drafted to sustain visibility and mainstream results, both during the project and in the 2 years after completion. Valorisation activities will reach at least 48.000 recipients in 4 years (2 years of project + 2 years beyond). Active and wide exploitation focuses on VET providers, business facilitators and policy makers at all levels of governance, from local to EU. All training courses and resources in multilingual versions will be made freely available to all interested parties through the platform without restrictions of sort. Such open attitude enables CRAFT to generate impact in the immediate term on target groups of micro-craft enterprises, entrepreneurs to be and participating organisations and stakeholders. CRAFT will also produce long-term benefits in support of -female- entrepreneurship across EU. CRAFT is fully in line with Erasmus+ Horizontal Priority 1: develop basic and transversal skills (such as entrepreneurship) in all fields of training, using innovative and learner-centred pedagogical approaches Hor Prior 2: enhance digital integration in training: promote access to and learning through OER VET Priority 2: increase labour market relevance of VET and reduce skills mismatches and shortages in economic sectors.
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7 Partners Participants