As from November 2021, the International Integrity Foundation is also involved in the Erasmus+ funded project “MicroHUB – Promoting creativity microbusiness though web tools in rural area“.

The aim is to develop innovative digital training solutions to enhance the effectiveness and competitiveness of craft and artisan microenterprises, especially with a view to support their participation in 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 enterprises to strive in the current economic environment. At the same time, the project is devoted to all those individuals who wish to establish their own creativity micro and craft-type enterprise as a response to the crisis or unemployment.

Over a period of 2 years, the project will be implemented by 7 partner organisations from 7 different European countries: Technical University of Kosice (Slovakia), I&F Education and Development Ltd. (Ireland), OECON Group (Bulgaria), Anazitites Theatrou (Greece), Centre For Education And Entrepreneurship Support (Poland), SENSUS (Sweden) and IIF (Malta).

The project rationale:

Culture and arts have been traditionally recognized, promoted and preserved in relation to their very intrinsic value. However, in the last decades they have also been increasingly recognized for their instrumental value, in particular their contribution to social and economic development of territories.

Craft is a worthy connector to heritage but is also an essential part of the subsistence economy and capable, with encouragement, of becoming a valuable and thriving economic sector. The sector had been hit dramatically by COVID-19, raising not only the possibility of job loss but also a loss of identity. Moreover, crafters and creatives often face challenges to access entrepreneurial and business creation/development focused training and digital tools. The interplay between technology and traditional crafts is critical, as two should not be pitted against one another. Technology is for the modern artisan a tool like any other, something that they can use to augment their skills, better promote and deliver their creations to larger audiences.

The specific project objectives are to:

  • Develop entrepreneurial and digital skills of people holding or wanting to
    create a microenterprise.
  • Create a virtual training curriculum for enhancement of creativity micro businesses
  • Develop a digital platform for cooperation among micro businesses and entrepreneurs from rural areas
  • Facilitate the start-up of new enterprises in post COVID-19 era
  • Deliver digital tools for acceleration of craft-based and creative businesses

These are planned to be achieved through the following activities and results:

  • Development of a competence matrix for digital entrepreneurship and business creative thinking for crafters, based on identified specific capacity gaps of craft-type and creative microenterprises in post COVID-19 era. Particular attention will be given to artisans and creatives in rural areas.
  • Development, testing and validation of a virtual training curriculum “The Transformative Business Model for creativity micro businesses”.
  • Design of innovative multilingual online tool to support the cooperation among craft entrepreneurs  and creative microbusinesses from rural areas, as well as to enhance their participation in training via digital classes.
  • Individual online acceleration procedure for craft and creative entrepreneurs, mentoring and supporting them to create tailored business plans for their ventures.

The immediate direct users and beneficiaries of such project results will be:

  • 140 craft entrepreneurs and creative microbusinesses to benefit of the training
  • 70 of them to benefit of promotion and matchmaking on the online tool for cooperation
  • 35 of them to benefit of individual online business acceleration
  • 140 stakeholders that could further use and disseminate the results to various other crafters and artisans in their ecosystems.

For further details on the project and the results as they are being finalised, see the dedicated project website https://microhub.erasmus.site/

Call for Malta-based craft and creative microbusiness owners