FIERE: Furthering Innovative Entrepreneurship Regions of Europe
FIERE is an innovative project, co-funded with the support of the European Commission’s Lifelong Learning Grundtvig Programme, which aims to enhance regional public and voluntary organisations with innovative entrepreneurship skills that can facilitate bottom-up regional development and tie-in with top-down regional development policies, across six European countries. Since January 2014, the seven partners of the project (Tipperary County Council (TCC) – co-ordinator – Ireland, Allweb Solutions S.A. – Greece, Institute For Postgraduate Studies (IPS) – Bulgaria, Waterford Institute Of Technology (WIT) – Ireland, Commercial and Industrial Association of Barcelos (ACIB) – Portugal, Einurd EHF – Iceland and CESIE – Italy) have been managing the project's local and international activities and exploring the role of entrepreneurship skills in their respective regions.
After the kick-off meeting in Ireland, a pilot survey on users’ entrepreneurship skills was carried out by all partners. Subsequently, in June 2014, partners met in Palermo (Italy) for the 2nd Partnership meeting during which the survey was adjusted and finalised.
Partners then interviewed 450 respondents from 223 regional public, private, community & enterprise and voluntary organisations in all six partner regions to find out their current level of entrepreneurship skills training.
According to the composite Europe-wide report, resourcefulness, resilience and analytical thinking were the most common skills cited as important for the organisation, the individual employee and as important skills to be trained in. Moreover, across all regions and sectors the worth of an entrepreneurial skills training programme was valued very highly.
The Composite Report and the National Reports on users’ needs analysis are available and downloadable at this link: http://fiereproject.eu/index.php/reports/.
The results of this survey are now being used to develop an entrepreneurial skills training programme aimed at increasing the capacity and capability of individual employees to behave, think and act more entrepreneurially.
In February 2015, partners met in Sofia (Bulgaria) for the project’s 3rd Partnership meeting. During the meeting, based on the findings of the user needs analysis survey, partners defined the contents of the entrepreneurial skills training programme and discussed possible ways to deliver it in each country, starting in June 2015.
The training programme will be supported by a trainee and a trainer handbook (which will be available in all partner languages) focusing on three main skills:
Creativity and innovation;
Resilience and leadership;
Analytical thinking and resourcefulness.
Furthermore, practical examples of how such skills have benefitted a series of regional public and voluntary organisations across Europe will support and integrate the training programme. These case studies have been developed to give an overview of how innovative entrepreneurship skills have been applied in different geographic contexts and sectors. The case studies will be contained in a booklet that will soon be published online.
In the upcoming months, the training course content will be finalised and partners will start recruiting participants for the FIERE pilot training workshops.
The Europe-wide pilot training will consist of innovative entrepreneurship workshops. These will be trainer-led modules and sessions on the basic concepts of innovative entrepreneurship and on skills such as: creativity and innovation, resilience and leadership, analytical thinking and resourcefulness. Particular attention will be paid to country-specific material. The sessions will be supported by materials and by the case studies that will challenge trainees to discuss about the application of innovative entrepreneurship skills in their respective regions and organisations.
The entire training will be free of charge for attendees, will last approximately 8 hours and be held in one day or over several days, according to local needs.
Target groups for these pilot workshops will include: regional policy planners, municipalities and other local authorities, community and voluntary organisations staff, human resources officers, business networks and chambers of commerce members.