From household to SME, a training process to empower women

Wed 23 Aug 2017 10:04:00 AM EEST

ENGAGING NEW LEARNERS. Made by and for women, the MUPYME project was created to develop a training program for housewives. The goal of this project is to make women aware of their potential, by transferring the skills they acquired at home to business management.

Six EAEA member’s (CAEA, ADAE, KERIGMA, FEUP, DAFNI KEK, DVV International) took part in the MUPYME project, with the aim of boosting the skills of women and unlock their potential. To do so, a training plan has been created to find a way to transfer the skills acquired in the household to a different economic context.

The combination of two economic realities

The training program was specifically designed to meet the needs of many professional activities. By focusing on a sector which is not usually acknowledge as professional, the MUPYME project has taken the challenge of developing a training plan aimed to people who manage complex units within the household, even though they don’t have any sort of previous academic qualification. Thus, housewives who perform their activities in the family, without any sort of salary or social acknowledgement, can benefit from their previous experience to discover an economic context out of the household. The name of the project directly reflect this ambition.

According to the project coordinator Montserrat Morales Corraliza and project technician Emilio Jurado from Federación Española de Universidades Populares (FEUP), MUPYME is an acronym resulting from the contraction of the words ‘mujer’ (woman) and ‘PYME’ (SME, Small and Medium Enterprises).

"With this project, we want to mix two contexts which are traditionally separated by combining different realities: on the one hand women with experience in decision-making within the household but lack of experience in other economic contexts, and on the other hand SMEs in need of people with management skills derived from their experience in decision-making."

Reducing inequalities and providing social benefits

"We believe that housewives, as a differentiated group, have a great potential to become business managers, since they face even more critical problems and challenges than those usually found in a company,” the FEUP team says.

The project also underlines equality and the need to raise awareness about the status of women in the household. The project also wants to promote the work of women as a socially profitable solution to obtain economic and social benefits. To achieve those goals, the partners of the project developed training guidelines which are transferable into any European country. The plan, which has been designed to be motivational and flexible, is supposed to be in line with the trainee’s interests and motivation.

"The project does not strive for women to receive palliative training in order to compensate their disadvantageous circumstances. We claim that we need housewives because they have the knowledge. They are the key to promote creative, innovative entrepreneurship that is also efficient in terms of production and social enrichment,” says Emilio Jurado.

A ready-to-use educational tool

So far, the target group has been really receptive to the project.

“39 housewives from seven different countries took part on the research as subjects of the study, 107 people took part on the workshops organised in the different countries participating in the project and 40 female entrepreneurs have cooperated by sharing their successful experiences in business as case studies,” Emilio Jurado says.

Women also took an active place in the development of the training plan, expressing what particular skills they would need in case they decided to start a SME. When it comes to skills, all household skills have the potential to be transferred to the business sector. Indeed, being able to manage a purchasing list can refer to the stock control in a SME, when incomes distribution and expenses control can be related to the aptitude of setting up a household savings strategy for example.

These are just a few of the skills that can be implemented in professional activities. The MUPYME project serves as a reference for any trainer interested in implementing the plan in different educational and social contexts.

Text: Lou-Andréa Pinson
Photos: ARIEMA Energía y Medioambiente S.L.