1 University of Applied sciences, Budapest Business School (HUNGARY)
2 Budapest Business School (HUNGARY)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2017 Proceedings
Publication year: 2017
Pages: 6501-6508
ISBN: 978-84-697-6957-7
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2017.1677
Conference name: 10th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 16-18 November, 2017
Location: Seville, Spain
EU level comparative statistics reveal high bankruptcy rates in the SME sectors of the member countries. It is an even more striking phenomenon in the new, Central and Eastern European members. Since the contribution of the SME sector to the GDP is overwhelming in most of the countries it is appropriate to look for remedies. For these reasons it is necessary to point out shortages which can be blamed for SMEs’ weak sustainability and to fill these gaps. This has become high priority of the national economies. This analysis has sensibilised Budapest Business School (BBS) to develop and extend its curriculum system targeting SMEs with the help of a series of European project.

This project of BBS produced training materials for divers SME target groups and potential entrepreneurs. The different degree-delivering and non-degree blended-learning (b-learning) courses were tailored to the needs of specific clusters of SMEs and developed the teaching staffs’ capability in on-line work. However, as far as the operational SMEs are concerned our training experience and the feed-back of the participating entrepreneurs pointed out that traditional and even b-learning training are not ideal for the entrepreneurs any longer and that various sort of mentoring increasingly proves to be a more effective mechanism. The partners realised that a mentoring/coaching approach is needed for the easy access of the entrepreneurs. This radically new approach necessitates an important change of mindset of the teaching staff. This analysis gave birth to the Trust me project.

The major objective of the project is to elaborate an internationally certified training of future SME-mentors who, with the new hard knowledge and soft skills can work with the SME directors/owners as a process counsellor in a more personal and convivial environment. Beyond the mentor training material an entry level assessment and a continuous monitoring will be elaborated ending in a final evaluation of the learning outcomes achieved by the trainees. Pilot trainings will finish the project’s work plan with their feed- back facilitating the last fine tuning of the training material.

In this paper and presentation we will summarize the experiences of the pilot training we hold for practitioners. We will highlight the modules of our didactical innovation that we set in the competency framework and skill card. We will refer for the importance of the entry level, continuing and final assessment and these methodologies. We combined the hard skill and soft skill improvement and we used different methodology for these. For the improvement of the hard skill, we used business simulation games together with supplementary materials to put the participant into a real life context. For the soft skills we developed the learning path and competency map of a business mentor. The aim was to balance the hard and soft skills and competencies for a business mentor to know the business and understand the CEO. We will present our experiences, successes and questionable issues and methods both from the side of the trainers and the participants.

We will present our experiences, successes and questionable issues and methods, both from the side of the trainers and the participants. We will also summarize the identified personal and technical problems, the consequences and the possible solutions for them.
Business mentoring, didactical innovations, skill card, SMEs mentoring.