VIFRE (Virtual Incubator for Refugee Entrepreneurs) is an Erasmus+ project which aims at the development of innovation by having strategic partnership between different institutions experienced in various fields. The project was initiated by three academic partners: Paris Business School (PBS), University of Bremen: Chair in Small Business & Entrepreneurship (LEMEX), and Dublin Business School (DBS). The academic partners will bring research excellence to the project consortium providing expertise on target groups needs analysis, methodological and content development of entrepreneurship skills training, MOOC design and specifications, training for NGO workers, and optimization of the e-learning. Four large, nationally working, collaborating with the public authorities, and widely recognized by refugees NGOs in France, Germany, and Ireland will be involved in VIFRE project as partners (SINGA-France, the Irish Refugee Council (IRC), and the Institute for Social Pedagogic Research (ISM)). They will participate actively in the process of designing the training for NGO workers, as well as will provide feedback on the sections of the virtual incubator. Their most important activity will be that they will serve as a bridge between the academic partners and refugees since they work on a daily basis with the main project target group and have well-established contacts with them.
The VIFRE project answers two horizontal priorities of the Erasmus+ strategic partnerships in the field of education, training and youth:
-Social inclusion (i.e. integration of refugees)
-Open and innovative practices in a digital era (i.e. new technologies)
And tackle one specific priority in the field of adult education
-Achievement of relevant and high quality skills and competences (i.e. entrepreneurial education)
VIFRE project wants to shed light on its role of social inclusion and promotion of innovation methods and pedagogies. VIFRE project covers the topic of social inclusion in relation to the integration of refugees on the labour markets in the hosting countries, as well as tackling the topic of social entrepreneurship. A successful professional integration is a step toward a good integration. The project aims to support refugees in France, Germany and Ireland (and in future other European countries such as Italy) to succeed in a both professional and social integration.
VIFRE project will design, develop and validate an innovative open access IT tool to support refugees and NGO professionals working with them in the field of entrepreneurship and therefore will directly contribute to Horizontal priority on open and innovative practices in the digital era.
As for the specific field of adult education in the program of the Erasmus+ strategic partnerships in the field of education, training and youth, the VIFRE project will improve and extend the supply of high quality learning opportunities tailored to the needs of individual low-skilled or low qualified adults.
As the main project target group is represented by adult refugee population in France, Germany and Ireland, they can be both high and low skilled individuals and the learning opportunities offered to them will increase their competences as well as their digital skills using a web-based training.
Additionally, VIFRE project also answers to the European Commission demands regarding the specific field of education. The project tackles three out of four priorities presented in the strategic Framework – Education & Training 2020:
-Improving the quality and efficiency of education and training
-Promoting equity, social cohesion, and active citizenship
-Enhancing creativity and innovation, including entrepreneurship, at all levels of education and training