Towards a European Mentoring culture to ensure Trust, Replicability and a blossoming Societal development.

Insist projectINSIST project is on  the INtergenerational Succession in SMEs' Transition. It is co-financed by the ERASMUS + European programme as a Startegic Partnership project.

Insist projectINSIST project is on  the INtergenerational Succession in SMEs' Transition. It is co-financed by the ERASMUS + European programme as a Startegic Partnership project.

It is lead by BGF - the Budapest Business School (HU) and regroups 7 partner organisations from 5 European countries.

Genesis of the project

25 years after entering capitalist operating mode, Hungary's business community, and certainly those of the other post-socialist countries, is facing a new challenge, the first generation change in small and medium size companies where owners and managers are approaching retirement age.

Along the last two decades the coordinator, the Budapest Business School (BBS), has become one of the major training providers in the field of entrepreneurship in Hungary. Soon after the change of the regime BBS realised that it was not enough to open the door before entrepreneurial endeavours, but also support from the training community is indispensible for the very different would-be entrepreneur populations.

At this genesis of the present proposal BBS has found little evidence of political or scientific preparatory work to help intergenerational succession in the Hungarian SMEs and even less training offers supporting this sensitive period. This aslo applies to the transmission and development phase of SME's.

Overwhelming proportion of new entrepreneurs launched their small, very often family company without the necessary knowledge, competences and skills of entrepreneurship. This revelation gave birth to intensive search of experience in partner EU countries and also at OECD and EU level. So BBS looked for experience in entrepreneurial training development in countries with long standing entrepreneurial culture and launched a number of bilateral and European projects in order to adapt trainings and pedagogical approaches. These efforts resulted in defining training modules and solution – face-to-face or virtual – for a variety of target groups, which is the objective of the INSIST project.

Aims and objectives

The participant institutions have a rich course offer in the field of entrepreneurship but they have no special training solution targeted to the target groups involved in generational succession or transmission.
The INSIST project will enrich initial and vocational curriculum and training systems of the partners, university partners as well as the SME / entrepreneur federations and support services.

The largest target group to be impacted by the project is composed of SME owners and managers who are facing the challenges of the generational changes and are forced to take care of the succession process. The help offered to these SMEs in form of training seminars and/or practical mentorship will facilitate the generational transition, avoiding firm dissolutions, and will impact on firms' survival rates.

Governmental bodies are also expected to be impacted by the results; preparatory international analysis points out the important potential role for governments here in terms of providing tailored support to the succession process. The results of the project, in form of a study to be prepared by the research working group, will define the possible activities and roles of governments to support SME succession /transmission thus protecting investment and jobs. The extreme importance of this is shown by the fact that existing companies maintain, on average, five jobs whereas start-ups generate, on average, two jobs.

Another impact (short term on the participants of the pilot training seminars and long term on the general student body in economics) will be exerted on the student population who is in entrepreneurship Master and will have a new specialisation of this Master as an option.

The local impact of the project will be exerted on the local SMEs, mainly in Hungary and in Poland,facing the imposing need for generational change:

The project dissemination activities will reach them with the information of the existing learning, mentoring and support possibilities.Their participation in the training seminars will facilitate their transition period.After the project's lifetime (end 2016), the succession process will be helped by the mentors trained during the INSIST project through the new training offer.

Impact at national and European levels is foreseen also by two other channels:

INSIST partners plan larger follow-up activities to be supported by the Knowledge Alliance strand of Erasmus+ and by the European Social Fund in the same field;In addition, different governmental bodies are to be informed about the training possibilities and are to receive the final study with recommendations on how these governments can help the SME succession and transmission process through their regulatory measures.These follow-up projects will be open to and conceived with larger partnership and with wider geographical coverage.


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