SMEs are the backbone of our economies: they make up 99% of businesses in the UK, Ireland and across Europe and create 85% of new jobs. Yet the business environment is changing rapidly, not least due to developments in digital technology. If the EU is to meet its “Start-up and scale-up” initiative to help more businesses grow faster, more work must be done to teach business managers and entrepreneurs they skills they need to adapt to the digital global economy.
BEGIN will respond by creating and mainstreaming a new blockchain training model that enables entrepreneurship education providers to teach blockchain technology to their SME and entrepreneur learners. We start from the assumption that blockchain technologies and the infrastructure surrounding it has matured sufficiently so that the digital skills and investment required to integrate blockchain technologies into SME/start-up business models are now accessible. However, new training must not be solely technical: it must address the attitudinal, knowledge and skills barriers that SMEs – and the wider entrepreneurship VET sector – faces.
Our model includes three innovative resources:
- Guide to Blockchain Skills Development for SMEs and Start-ups, a publication that introduces the importance of blockchain training for SMEs with high growth potential, illustrates this with a series of case studies examples, and educates entrepreneurship educators and VET managers on how to approach skills’ building in this field.
- BEGIN Problem-based Learning Resources, a suite of OERs is designed for use by entrepreneurship educators in small groups or coaching scenarios. Structured around a curriculum outlining key learning objectives, resources include scenario-based learning activities and a trainers’ guide to help educators adjust to this new methodology.
- BEGIN Online Course, a multilingual, interactive learning course in which SME managers and entrepreneurs can access training directly independently of their location or time of day.