Digital entrepreneurship tools and support for women entrepreneurs

Curriculum Prototype

 

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Digital entrepreneurship tools and support for women entrepreneurs | Tools für digitales Unternehmertum und Unterstützung für Unternehmerinnen | Инструменти за цифрово предприемачество и подкрепа за жени предприемачи | Alati za digitalno poduzetništvo i podrška poduzetnicama | Ψηφιακά εργαλεία επιχειρηματικότητας και υποστήριξη για γυναίκες επιχειρηματίες | Strumenti di imprenditorialità digitale e sostegno alle donne imprenditrici | Digitālās uzņēmējdarbības rīki un atbalsts sievietēm uzņēmējām | Інструменти цифрового підприємництва та підтримка жінок-підприємців

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Co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union

 

 

 

| AT | BG | HR | GR | IT | LV | UA |

Curriculum Prototype

Title of the curriculum

Curriculum relevance

Potential organizers and partners in implementation of the curriculum

Suggested target audience, scope and dynamic of implementation

Learning outcomes of the program

Teaching methods and tools

Evaluation of the program participants

Curriculum content


Title of the curriculum

Suggested title of the Curriculum targeting digitalization experts:

DIGI Women - ToolKit for Trainers

DIGI-WOMEN partners also identified possible titles for the trainings on digitalization that would target women entrepreneurs (to be adjusted when translating to local languages):

  • WOMEN IN ACTION! HOW TO IMPROVE THE BUSINESS THANKS TO ICT TOOLS

  •  A new approach of women entrepreneurs to achieve digital transformation

  •   Succeed by digitalizing your business!

  • Accelerated Digitalisation Venturing Aimed to New Creative Economy (ADVANCE)

  •  Learning Experience Targeted at Special Groups of Digital Women Entrepreneurs - LET'S GO Digi (WE)

  • Women Entrepreneurs Go Digital (We Go Digi)

  • New Entrepreneurs Women - Digital Tools for Applicable Learning (NEW DIGITALS)

  • DigiWomen Training Modules - DIGTM or DiWoTM

  •  DIGI women: Digital Competences for Business Women

  • Acquiring Digital Value Aimed to New Competitive Enterprise (ADVANCE).

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Curriculum relevance

The objective of the Curriculum is to train digitalization experts to be able to help women entrepreneurs in difficulties to raise competitiveness and sustainability of their businesses by introducing digital tools. COVID-19 pandemic confirmed the fact that going digital has become no longer an option, but a necessity. Indeed, the crisis has intensified а small businesses' dependence on technology and illustrated the importance of digitalization. The more digitally mature a business is, the faster it adapts to market changes and grows its revenue. At the moment, in all DIGI-WOMEN partnering countries, only a few examples of training courses with specific content for women entrepreneurs were identified.

The importance for development of Curriculum is also supported by the findings of the desk and primary research conducted in 7 partner countries that indicate the following:

  • Digitalization can make entrepreneurs more competitive and increase number of customers, income, and profit

  • Under-representation of women in IT jobs impose lower level of IT literacy of women compared to men

  •  Low level of digitalization of small businesses in general (as reported in Greece, Bulgaria, Croatia, Latvia)

  • Increase of women entrepreneurs, but they are still operating mostly in micro business segment. Digitalization can stimulate further growth.

  • Most trainings on digitalization target highly skilled employees coming from large companies

  • The available training courses often provide specific product guidelines but neglect the specific needs of the enterprises, distinguished by size class, industry affiliation and basic technology used in their activities

  • Smaller enterprises face barriers in adoption of ICTs (smaller absorption capacity).
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Potential organizers and partners in implementation of the curriculum

A systematic training program for digitalization of businesses created and managed by women entrepreneurs could be used by various training organizations - public, private, and non-profit, which can attract experts with relevant knowledge and skills. An essential element that will determine the interest in such a program is the model that will cover the costs of its implementation given the limited financial resources of the target group - women entrepreneurs who are experiencing difficulties in their business.

If needed, the program might be implemented exclusively online, which will significantly decrease the cost of its implementation. The implementation of this program on the market is also possible, but then it will only reach women entrepreneurs who can allocate the necessary funds.

An important role in popularizing the program can be played by the associations of women entrepreneurs (like SEGE in Greece, Female Founders in Austria or International Business Women Network in Croatia), the employers’ organizations (like Business Chambers in Greece, Chamber of Commerce in Italy or Croatian Employers’ Association in Croatia), universities, public organizations (like public libraries that can provide access to online trainings in Latvia) and  organizations specialized in  training on economic and managerial issues.

For women entrepreneurs who do not have the necessary resources, it is good to provide alternative and affordable ways to further improve the skills of digitizing their businesses with a limited or zero budget (for example, through participation in training, counselling and mentoring provided by various targeted grant programs implemented by organizations of women entrepreneurs or other stakeholders).

Curriculum can be also used by consultants and trainers – as an additional know-how for working with women entrepreneurs as target group.
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Suggested target audience, scope and dynamic of implementation

Target audience for the implementation of the Program are digitalization experts (working as free-lancers, entrepreneurs, large corporations or organizations, or being students – young experts who can be trained by using this Curriculum and gain in such way real hands-on experience by helping women entrepreneurs, under the supervision of their professors), while final beneficiaries are women entrepreneurs whose business are faced with difficulties.

The review of the existing specialized consulting and training services for digitalization of the business conducted in all 7 partnering countries provide strong support for following recommendations in implementation of the Program:

  • Groups of participants should not be larger than 20 participants in case of trainings for digitalization experts and 12 participants in trainings for women entrepreneurs (due to guided step-by step approach)

  • The dynamic of implementation of the Program would depend on the available resources for its implementation, but it is suggested to implement the trainings based on this Curriculum several times a year.
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Learning outcomes of the program

After completing the Program based on this Curriculum, the trainers will understand the circumstances and needs of women entrepreneurs with business difficulties and adapt their services to these framework conditions. They will also be capable to adjust the methods and tools they use according to women entrepreneurs’ specific needs. They will gain knowledge and skills regarding the identification of the practical needs for digitalization of basic functions in the management of micro-enterprises.

After completing the Program, digitalization experts will be aware of:

  • challenges and specific needs of women entrepreneurs facing business difficulties

  • adequate methods to transfer knowledge to women entrepreneurs facing business difficulties as a target group

  • motivation techniques to motivate women entrepreneurs to reach their goals

  • appropriate measures in the field of digitalisation that women entrepreneurs (in difficult circumstances) can apply to improve their business success.

General competencies, knowledge and skills after completing the Program:

  • Ability to use knowledge in practical situations

  • Ability to apply pedagogical teaching methods to  women entrepreneurs as an audience

  •  Understanding the specifics of business models and management approaches typical for women-led micro and small enterprises

  • Using online tools and methods for training purposes, as well as to know how to apply different methods during the online training, such as gamification techniques, hackathon, etc.

  • Developing pedagogical skills and capacity to work with people with low level of IT literacy.

Specific competencies, knowledge and skills after completing the Program:

  • Experts will be able to provide trainings on how to find a business idea via Internet resources

  • Experts will be able to provide trainings on creating business plans for digitalization projects

  • Experts will be able to provide trainings on the development, placement, analytics and promotion of websites in the absence (or availability of a minimum) budget for these activities

  • Experts will be able to provide trainings in social media marketing for entrepreneurs

  • Experts will master the basics of website development and analytics

  • Ability to promote a website in search engines in the absence (or availability of a minimum) budget for this type of activity

  •  Ability to develop a social media promotion strategy for micro / small business.

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Teaching methods and tools

In order to raise the capacity of digitalization experts to transfer effectively their knowledge to women entrepreneurs in difficulties it is important to adjust and apply a specific pedagogy in teaching adults. Most appropriate teaching methods and tools for implementation of this Curriculum are the following:

  • face-to-face trainings

  •  student-cantered approach

  • inquiry-based learning

  • personalized learning

  •  demonstrations of specific solutions, developing individual and team projects

  • using online platforms and tools for lecturing

  • pre-recording of lectures and making them available online

  •  a full learning circle

  • use of gamification techniques that combine learning with social activities to solve creative tasks

  • using the hackathon format for interaction and generating ideas

  • digital solutions for the implementation of virtual learning activities

  • online group seminars for theoretical topics

  • case studies and good practices analysis

  • interactive elements.

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Evaluation of the program participants

The appropriate methods to evaluate the competences gained by digitalization experts - participants of the Program based on this Curriculum are the following:

  • Online evaluation questionnaires after completion of each module and at the end of whole training

  • Final exam – application of knowledge on case study problem solving – preparation of presentation and oral exam for further explanation.

Additionally, each module contains in its description the appropriate method of participants’ evaluation.

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Curriculum content

Curriculum consists of 4 obligatory modules, each of them lasting for 12 teaching hours. Besides obligatory modules, participants can choose minimum 4 elective modules, that can be chosen from the list of 10 thematic modules (related to digitalization, small business management and women entrepreneurship) and 3 pedagogical skills development modules, each of them lasting for 8 teaching hours.

The thematic modules are structured in a way that the content of these modules presents knowledge that can be used directly for working with women entrepreneurs and serves as a “tool kit for digitalisation of women led small businesses”.
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Last change: 12/29/22.