Profiling

Quality management and inclusive entrepreneurship support – a new COPIE standard for inclusive business advice

COPIE Story of the Month

99% of all businesses in Europe are small to medium-sized; in fact, 92% are micro-businesses with less than 10 employees. According to the European Employment Observatory Review 2010, the total number of self-employed people in the European Union is 32.5 million, accounting for about 15% of total employment. The report acknowledges that ‘Self-employment is an important driver of entrepreneurship and job creation and thus contributes to the European Union’s goals of more growth and better jobs’. Figures from an EU-commissioned Study on the SME’s impact on the EU labour market published in January 2012 further confirm this.

COPIE Tools Quality Management

Self-employment is increasingly perceived as a professional alternative to unemployment and as a means for effective regional development. With the financial support of ESF and ERDF, new business start-up support structures were set up to facilitate this process across Europe over the last ten years. In terms of quality management, however, regional and national entrepreneurial support systems are still very much in its infancy.

Over the course of the project, COPIE’s Thematic Working Group on Quality Management has developed a sample institutional model of qualification and certification for business advisors. This can be used and applied to business advisor networks across Europe. The following two documents provide more details on this model.

  • Short concept of a 'Quality Management System for Business Advisors'. 
    A qualification and certification model of 'Excellence and Award Centres' to implement quality management systems among business advisor networks.
    Download (pdf, English, 145 KB)
    Download (pdf, Spanish, 140 KB)
  • Quality implementation guide. Implementation approaches for quality assurance in publicly financed business start-up support infrastructures in European regions.
    Download (pdf, German, 628 KB)
    Download (pdf, English, 1,2 MB)

In addition, COPIE offers a new set of quality management tools which were developed on the basis of the actual conditions in the partner regions that participated in the thematic group. With this, COPIE contributes to a European discussion on quality in start-up support and provides specific case studies considering sample regional framework conditions.

The COPIE Tools for Quality Management are:
  • Survey on requirements for business advisors and evaluation of the regional infrastructure for business start-ups. Survey conducted in the Spanish regions of Extremadura and Galicia.
    Survey questionnaire:
    Download (pdf, Spanish,  216 KB)
    Download (pdf, German,  218 KB)

    Overview on survey results from Extremadura and Galicia:
    Download (pdf, English, 396 KB)

  • Business advisors' profiling tool. A questionnaire to (self-)assess the qualifications of business advisors. 
    Download (pdf, English, 130 KB)
    Download (pdf, Spanish, 152 KB)
    Download (pdf, German, 233 KB)
  • Self-learning handbook for business advisors in Galicia (in Spanish). Adapted and further developed version of the ACBBA/SFEDI guide on 'How to Be a Brilliant Community-based Business Advisor'.
    Download (pdf, Spanish, 1,2 MB)

    For a brief introduction to the original version of the ACBBA/SFEDI guide on 'How to Be a Brilliant Community-based Business Advisor' in English please have a look at the following document. More detailed information can be obtained through our COPIE expert Norbert Kunz.
    Download (pdf, English, 206 KB)

  • Curriculum for Business Advisor training course. Short description of the curriculum for a business advisor training course based on eight training modules.
    Download (pdf, English, 145 KB)
    Download (pdf, Spanish, 148 KB)
    Download (pdf, German, 136 KB)
  • Business Advisor Passport. An individual instrument of planning, control and documentation for business start-up advisors. The instrument is based on the eight training modules needed to be certified as junior advisor.
    Download (pdf, English, 150 KB)
    Download (pdf, Spanish, 150 KB)
    Download (pdf, German, 120 KB)

In addition, in the course of the work of Thematic group, several instruments were designed to obtain further information from the regions involved in the testing phase.

  • Preparatory questionnaire for regional visits to regions interested in implementing quality standards. A questionnaire used to get relevant information from participant regions.
    Download (pdf, English, 192 KB)
  • Matrix of start-up infrastructure. Matrix of start-up infrastructure to enable comparison between partner regions.
    Download (pdf, German, 88 KB)
  • Start-up advice toolbox. Compilation of all tools used for the start-up-advice process from Extremadura and Galicia.
    Download (pdf, 460 KB)

For more information on the thematic group on Quality Management please see here

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