The project “Crafting 50 & beyond” aims at improving the entrepreneurial skills of European professional craftspeople, aging 50 years or more and at accompanying them in the digital transition. For many of them, the economic crisis of 2008-2014 and the following Covid related one, have represented a loss of income and unemployment.
This is particularly true for European areas with less economic and social preparation to face the collapse. Traditional handicrafts are human-centred professions, enrooted in European territories as part of the local culture and economy, including circular economy. It is necessary to keep crafts professions alive and preserve the access to artisanal products. And it is urgent to increase the revenues of craftsmen to make this possible. In many cases crafts businesses are also an opportunity to involve people with disabilities by providing them social integration.
These are some of the threats which are endangering the traditional crafts sector:
- Products are created in small quantities as opposed to industrial products that can be made in series. Economy of scale is not possible for artisans, which makes their products less competitive.
- Traditional crafts production works more locally where products are recognised and valorised or through specific resellers, aware of the products.
- Professionals are aging and have not integrated new ways of promoting their skills and their work to ensure their revenues.
- The sector is fragmented into microbusinesses, often based in rural areas, and not connected with the global market.
Taking into account the characteristics of the craft sector, Crafting 50 & beyond will work to understand the competences that craftsmen from different partner countries have and the activities they need to develop to make these activities more creative and digital. Taking advantage of the economic restructuring that the pandemic requires, the entire craft area will be worked on, understanding the cultural and legislative contexts of each country for these activities, and working directly with craftsmen to endow them with the business and technological skills needed to boost their business. At least 42 craftsmen will be involved in the project activities, following a co-construction methodology and 18 craftsmen will have the opportunity to participate in a blended mobility of learners. 230 stakeholders will be involved in multiplier events directly.
A Craftsman Business Guidebook
The guidebook will include two types of instructions, first information about existing support and craft organizations in each partner country, and second, practical information about how to develop business, tools available, digital tools to be applied. That means a map of the process to create and develop a business successfully. This will have a joint version in English. Each partner of the project will create a pocket format with the relevant information from its country and the translated tools to apply to the process of business construction.
Arts and Crafts toolkit
This manual aggregates the skills developed by the craftspeople accompanied by the project, to make known the various forms of crafts existing in Europe and how to carry them out, leaving the knowledge available to all those interested, especially younger generations. This will create an added value also in terms of showcasing and marketing the product to potential sponsors.
Training course to boost craft businesses
Involving 6 artisans over 50 years old per country, especially from rural areas. The course aims to equip the artisans with skills to boost their business, creativity, and digital readiness, by applying the resources from the above mentioned Craftsman Business Guidebook into a pilot group. This course will allow professionals to develop their business with a business advisor’s auxiliary who will guide the process.
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The European Commission support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein. Grant agreement n.2020-1-IT02-KA227-ADU-095006