QUICK: Innovative SMEs by Gender and Age (Quick-IGA)
QUICK: Innovative SMEs by Gender and Age
Start date: Sep 19, 2011,
End date: Mar 27, 2014
The following findings are the background of the project: a) The number of persons in employable age in the BSR countries decreases by up to 20 % until 2030.b) The increasing lack of skilled workers will limit innovation and growth of SMEs.c) While equal opportunities for women and elderly in the workplace are comparably high in Scandinavia, it must be improved considerably in countries south of the Baltic Sea.d) The greatest potential for innovation in SMEs are in the field of human resources and organisational development. Supporting these will improve the equal opportunities of women and men and elderly in the workplace and strengthen the competitiveness of SMEs.Thus the project "Innovative SMEs by Gender and Age-QUICK-IGA" addresses the mentioned challenges and elaborates solutions. The partnership includes 6 partners from the QUICK project and 7 new partners, which have specific experiences in SME promotion in the field of innovation and gender equality.Following objectives will be pursued:a) Levelling of equal opportunities for women south of the Baltic Sea with the ones of northern countries;b) Strengthening the promotion of innovation in SMEs by developing working cultures, which explictly improve the equal opportunities of women;c) Supporting the regional development in order to optimally develop the human capital and competitiveness of SMEs in the regions through gender and education policy.In 4 levels the project focuses on the following activities:1. Individually: boost motivation and workability, thus increasing the rate of women participating in worklife, through qualification of consultants and the development of a manual;2. Enterprises: supporting working conditions suitable for womens needs and personnel development through the transfer of Best Practice, qualification and coaching.3. Organisations: Competences and commitment of 50 chambers and 17 universities to support innovation and equal opportunities4. Policy: development of a strategy programme, 5 national agreements and 2 action plans to promote equal opportunities and innovation in SMEs.Main Results: More qualified consultants for gender issues; more women in leadership and elders employed in SMEs; better regional and BSR-wide policy for gender issues in SMEs; improved work cultures in SMEs in all BSR; increased innovation capacities in SMEs esp. in southern BSR countries.All activities will be tested and implemented in Germany, Poland, Lithuania and Latvia and partially in Belarus and then transferred to 50 regions.The partnership includes 13 partners from 8 BSR countries, which have specific experiences in SME promotion in the field of innovation and gender equality: 3 partners from Finland, Sweden and Norway deliver Best Practices, 10 partners from 5 southern BSR countries develop, test and implement Best Practices. Associated Transfer Partners: 50 chambers and 17 universities from 13 countries. Achievements: Beneficiaries are on the one hand women and older people who seek for a job, move into leadership or are entrepreneurs. On the other hand SMEs, which win the required staff promptly and receive consultations. SMEs profit from the project by developing cultures and structures to increase innovation capacities and strengthen competitiveness.With the project, the participation of women and older workers in the BSR are supported in the long term, the SMEs necessary professionals provided and increased innovation in the company. Policy and Stakeholder get tested programs of measures for future promotions. In five cooperative agreements, the continued implementation of the funding has been specifically agreed.The results of overall economic and structure analyses and forecasts as well as analyses of the education and labour markets in the BSR were published in a book and presented at three International Conferences and in workshops in different countries with politicians.A concept for the promotion of the ability to work and the gender management was developed. On this basis the political strategy programme, which also includes Prospects for Regional Development and Regional Policy, and two action plans has been completed, introduced into decision-making and published in a book.The work to collect and analyse the Best Practice examples on the promotion of the employment of women and older people in the Baltic countries with the main emphasis on Scandinavia was finished. The Best Practices were transferred to all project partners and 67 transfer partners.Qualification needs for Trainers, who should train the Consultants in the future, and for Consultants, were checked. The curriculum for a train the trainer program was developed and two seminars with the participation of lecturers from Baltic countries were carried out.Curriculum for Training of Consultants was developed. Trainings in Belarus, Poland and Latvia were carried out successfully.Concept and curriculum for a specific training for SMEs have been developed and successfully used in Brest, Gomel and Minsk. To further promote of the company an electronic tool was developed and installed.Five Memorandums of common Understanding for Belarus, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Germany were developed and signed by different stakeholders. The memorandums have met with great interest and ensure the continuation of funding.A separate study on the employment of women and with scenarios for the future development in Poland is published in a book together with a separate study and survey on the employment of women in Germany.Three International Conferences were carried out, where the achieved results were also adviced. The information about the aims and activities of the project was also spread at seven TV feature of about 45 minutes as well as at 37 events personally. A total of 10 books were published and introduced results in numerous events in decision-making processes.
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