Co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union
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):
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:
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.
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:
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:
General competencies, knowledge and skills after completing the Program:
Specific competencies, knowledge and skills after completing the Program:
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:
The appropriate methods to evaluate the competences gained by digitalization experts - participants of the Program based on this Curriculum are the following:
Additionally, each module contains in its description the appropriate method of participants’ evaluation.
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”.