The project

Start Date: 01/03/2022. End Date: 01/03/2024.

Project Reference: 2021-2-CY02-KA220-YOU-000047929.

The COVID pandemic, while challenging to so many, has had a disproportionate impact on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), bringing the rate of SME bankruptcy and closure to skyrocket and changed consumer behaviour forever, having more consumers now ordering goods online. For this reason, SMEs need to stop expecting business to return to “normal.”  There’s no going back to how it was anytime soon. Even before the pandemic and economic crisis, SMEs had been fighting a fierce battle against Amazon and other e-commerce players. Those challenges have now accelerated at staggering speed. The latest data from McKinsey (2021) shows that consumers are likely to keep the behaviors they’ve adopted amid stay-at-home orders, such as always more online shopping.

Undoubtedly, as COVID-19 continues to be out of control, setting up a new company in these current times has its share of challenges and this is especially true for young people. Indeed, if a young person manages to identify a need and finance the launch of his/her company in this tumultuous time, a new set of challenges awaits: bringing in consumers. Shifting to the current consumer behaviour means that a young person-aspiring entrepreneur needs to look closely at his/her online presence and digital marketing opportunities as the company starts to operate, allowing the aspiring entrepreneur to gain traction in the current market. So, young people need to build an online presence which will help them to insulate their business from the closure that many companies faced during the pandemic, and may face again in future outbreaks. Having a strong online presence means that when consumers search for products or services, company products and services will float to the top of the search. Then, a strong web presence increases young people-aspiring entrepreneurs’ chances of being noticed by consumers and chosen over competitors.

Even though young people of today are surrounded by digital technology, they are not equally equipped for their technology rich future: various kinds of digital divides still prevail in the society. When it comes to the use of technology and the internet, there is a clear preference given to communication and entertainment activities (e.g. playing videogames), including participation in social networks, while engagement in more advanced tasks is rather limited. Only 13% of young people have engaged in programming activities, 11% have taken part in online consultations or voting to define political or civic issues and just 10% have done an online course, on any subject (source: Council of Europe and EU Commission, 2020). In this sense, it is possible to find young people, who want to develop their own business, but lack completely online presence skills.

Following, “Entrepreneurship is Online (EIO)” aims to promote entrepreneurial education by boosting key competences in digital marketing, online presence and branding among youth workers and young people in order to improve their entrepreneurial capacity to teach and learn about how to start new businesses and how to reach current markets online. EIO specific objectives:

  • To create educational tools and open educational resources (OERs) about entrepreneurship and online presence for youth workers and young people and so boosting their key competences
  • To upgrade pedagogical skills and qualifications of youth workers in the areas covered by the project (entrepreneurship and online presence)
  • To provide a pedagogical strategy for youth workers that will support them to facilitate learning processes on entrepreneurship through online presence and e-learning.

EIO direct target groups:

-youth workers which need support to upgrade their pedagogic approach and knowledge to deliver entrepreneurial programmes which include online presence education.

-Young people, including the fewer opportunities one, which need more appropriate entrepreneurial education to develop their skills for opening a business.