LEarning And Development project for Micro and Small Enterprises, the LEAD MSE project supported by the ERASMUS+ programme of the European Union.

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The ‘LEarning And Development project for Micro and Small Enterprises (LEAD-MSE)’ ERASMUS+ Strategic Partnership (nr: 2021-1-HU01-KA220-VET-000033052) is a project funded by the European Commission.

The aim of the project is to develop a comprehensive training material and guide that promotes a learning- and development-oriented leadership approach among micro and small company owners/managers by making them capable to manage the training and development activities in their companies, including among others the identification of competence needs and the active facilitation of workplace learning. 

In the project participate the following organizations:
  • Budapest Business School (BBS)
  • University Paris Nanterre (UPN)
  • Tallinn University of Technology (TTU)
  • Wroclaw University of Economics and Business (WUEB)
  • Portuguese Catholic University (UCP)
  • CEPOR – SMEs & Entrepreneurship Policy Centre (CEPOR)

Background of the project
Experience shows that further training of the owners/managers as well as the employees is key factor of the successful development of the companies. A large majority of medium size firms has a history of formal and/or non-formal training whilst small businesses (employing 10-49 people) don't. Even more striking is the difference as to the micro companies (up to 9 employees) which show a lack of propensity to subdue themselves to trainings let it be external or internal (work-based) training let alone the acceptance of external advising.

The partners’ experience and intensive preparatory research pointed out that these two target groups (Micro and Small Enterprises, MSEs) suffer from a major supply/demand side failure in training offering and also in pedagogical approaches to motivate owners/managers to consider the advantages of a predefined retraining scheme or vision for the company. Based on this relevant research findings a major need of MSEs was discovered and the idea to fill the gaps through a project like LEAD is created as a new initiative in the entrepreneurial milieu.

The main ambition of the project participants is to make changes in the entrepreneurial and managerial orientations and attitudes of the MSE owners/managers in favour of better adjustment to external changes via continuous learning and development. In order to achieve that, the project outcomes will foster both organizational- and employee-level learning by combining existing and new knowledge on MSE learning needs and practices with both traditional and innovative teaching content and methodology, relying on the intensive use of digital platforms, means and procedures.

Outputs and expected results:
To make results as perspicuous as possible, the deliverables expected out of the LEAD-MSE project are summarized in three Intellectual Outputs.

IO1 – Preparatory Study – for the orientation of the training material development
The starting point of this project is to get acquainted with and prepare an analysis of the training needs and advisory approaches appropriate with respect of MSEs having been clustered according to their different characteristics and development status. This first intellectual output elaborates a cross-cutting comparative study presenting the state of art of micro and small enterprises (MSE) facing with leadership and skill development challenges in the participating countries.

IO2 – Practical Handbook 
The Practical Handbook is to transfer the knowledge gathered through and developed during the previous project activities. In other words, the results of the preparatory study will serve as an input for the compilation of the Handbook.
The Handbook will provide a guidance for the MSE owners/managers for creating a consistent strategy of further trainings at the company level, including the motivation tools fostering the employees’ engagement in various forms of learning.
The core aim of the Handbook is to support MSE owners in their efforts to improve by transferring relevant knowledge on learning and development orientation and to provide an easily available intellectual resource for them to increase their capabilities to manage training and development at the company level.

IO3 – Comprehensive Training Curriculum/Materials 
The major output of the project will be a comprehensive Training Material for MSEs owners/managers/advisors and for students (future company owners/managers).
The core aim of the training material is to directly contribute to the development of the target group’s competencies in managing workplace learning processes effectively accompanied by an improvement in learning-oriented managerial attitudes. The training materials will be based on the results of the previous project phases, e.g. the Preparatory Analysis and the Handbook and will also comprise the partners’ mastery in curriculum development for SMEs in various fields covering the wide range of company operation.
The joint training material development provides an excellent opportunity for the partners to combine their diverse practical experiences, versatile pedagogical and didactical approaches in order to make a progress in establishing a widely accessible, still unique content that reinforce MSEs capabilities to develop and grow on a learning-oriented basis.

 Further details on...:
- ... Timetable of the LEAD-MSE activities, results and outcomes.


Dr. Péter Soltész and László Varga
BBS - Budapest Business School
29-31 Markó Street,
H-1055 Budapest, Hungary