EU4Digital seeks partners in digital skills ‘EdTech Hub’ for Eastern Partnership SMEs

  • Date: 31/03/23
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The EU4Digital EdTech Hub activity is seeking potential partners. This programme will provide a digital learning platform with user-friendly, web-based courses tailored to the needs of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the Eastern Partnership (EaP) region. Launched during the 2023 EU4Digital ICT Innovation Forum on 9 March, the EdTech Hub will help achieve the EU-EaP policy agenda to digitally empower 1 million EaP citizens and support 500,000 SMEs in the Eastern partner countries. 

In today’s globalised and digitised world, digital skills are crucial. They help organisations and individuals to remain competitive in the modern business and economic landscape, and they ensure equal access to new opportunities, information, and resources.  

However, a low level of digital skills in the Eastern partner countries, combined with low English proficiency levels (according to research by OECDITU, and the EF English Proficiency Index) presents a unique challenge: how can relevant, accessible, and applicable digital skills training be delivered to SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) in each country?  

An example case 

To illustrate the situation, imagine the case of ‘Daniela’, a 29-year-old small business owner from Moldova, who produces handmade clothing and bags along with her three employees. Despite recognising the potential of online sales and marketing for her products, Daniela and her employees lack the necessary digital skills to make it happen. Furthermore, all the record keeping is done manually and on paper, a time-consuming task to complete instead of producing new clothes and bags. 

Daniela and her employees have searched online for courses covering such topics and found that the content is almost always in English. None of them feel comfortable enough in English to complete an entire course. Moreover, the course content was not practical enough for their needs: they require applicable, real-world training to clearly guide them in how to start cross-border selling on large European marketplaces or how to start a marketing campaign. Daniela’s experience is not uncommon in EaP countries. Many small business owners and employees face similar challenges.  

How EdTech Hub will help

The EU4Digital EdTech Hub programme offers the solution to this problem in EaP countries in several ways. 

Firstly, the focus is on offering courses in local languages, with practical exercises to build real-world experience, covering topics such as eCommerce, digital marketing, and digitalisation of business processes. This approach provides EaP SMEs with current and contextual learning opportunities to improve their ways of work. 

Secondly, learners who complete a course receive a digital credential called a badge, which represents verified, lasting evidence of learning. These badges can be displayed on LinkedIn or in a CV and can be carried throughout a career and foster a culture of lifelong learning. 

Finally, the programme is closely collaborating with on-the-ground organisations in each of the Eastern partner countries to ensure inclusion and alignment with local contexts.

Furthermore, the course content is being developed with a focus on EU practices and standards, e.g., training on common eCommerce marketplaces used in the EU countries. This emphasis will enable SMEs in the EaP region to expand their businesses and access new markets in the European Union, thus contributing to the economic growth and digital transformation of the region.  

To understand more about how the system will work, see the presentation about EdTech Hub that Artūras Piliponis, EU4Digital Facility Team Leader, delivered during the 2023 EU4Digital ICT Innovation Forum.

EdTech Hub goals and next steps

Through the EdTech Hub, the EU4Digital Facility aims to foster collaboration and cooperation between the EU and the Eastern partner countries, strengthening the SME sector in each country and creating new opportunities for growth and development.

The EdTech Hub is set to launch its first courses in July 2023. Currently, course curricula are being developed, local partners are being selected and partnerships established, while an initial list of SMEs is being identified to participate in the programme. 

Join the activity!

If you are an organisation with educational content relating to eCommerce, digital marketing or digitalisation of business processes and have a desire to help improve digital skills in the Eastern partner countries, or if you are an organisation which provides support to SMEs in the Eastern partner countries; we want to hear from you! 

Please reach out to the EdTech Hub programme at