SMEs are important within Europe’s economy. In 2019, SMEs in the EU-28 NFBS accounted representing almost all EU-28 NFBS sector enterprises (99.8%); and slightly less than three-fifths (56.4%) of the value-added generated by the NFBS. The competitiveness of Europe’s SMEs needs to be improved especially through the digital transformation of enterprises.
Research shows that SMEs lag in digitalization. Digital diffusion tends to be lower in smaller firms as they face more difficulties in undertaking the complementary investments in skills and organizational changes that are needed to adopt and benefit from technology.
This Erasmus+ project, Project On-Time and On-Budget (PRONTO) will focus on two specific questions:
(1) how to support the VET sector to be better equipped to meet the demands of the digital era and
(2) how to support enterprise and entrepreneurship to improve competitiveness and performance.
The project will result in the development and deployment of high-quality, innovative work-based VET within the context of helping entrepreneurs to implement high-impact, results-focused business improvement projects. The aim is to identify the lessons from this project which will be implemented in the context of VET teachers/trainers engaged in entrepreneurship training and to share these lessons with the wider VETsector and other stakeholders.PRONTO will support the continuous professional development of VET teachers/trainers in the use of digital technology and upskill entrepreneurs in the use of digital technology in their enterprise.
The long-term aim of PRONTO is to improve the performance of Europe’s SMEs through the development of a network of VET teachers/trainers supporting SMEs to improve business performance using a new VET performance tool called PRONTO.
PRONTO’s objectives are:
1. To develop a new VET tool (PRONTO) and learning portal designed to help entrepreneurs and managers to implement business performance improvements;
2. To train 14 VET teachers/trainers in the use and delivery of PRONTO, ultimately leading to a European network of Approved PRONTO trainers;
3. To inspire managers and entrepreneurs from SMEs in IT, UK, PT, NL EL, ES, and other countries to use the PRONTO VET tool and learning portal
4. To raise awareness of VET stakeholders responsible for increasing the competitiveness and performance of SMEs of the PRONTO VET tool and methodology
This will be achieved through the development of a new project management methodology and online tool (PRONTO) designed to enable managers and entrepreneurs from SMEs to deliver business improvement projects on time and on budget. PRONTO will provide a step-by-step project management methodology and training course specifically for managers and entrepreneurs from SMEs.
It will enable users to create project plans in 30 minutes or less using the 30-minute ready-to-use PRONTO project plans leading to concrete results and improved performance. Partners will also develop a series of digital Learning Journeys about how to execute high-impact business projects, and an e-book, ‘A Guide to Effective Business Projects which will be used to showcase how effective digital technology and tools are in the business.