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Slovakia, Poland, Hungary, Ukraine, Romania, Serbia

Facilitating Accession to EU Market for Slovak SMEs and Enterprises and Increasing their Competitiveness


Project Number: IB_JEP-14337-99
Funded within the Programme: Tempus Phare
Project Duration: 2 years
Web: http://nataly.elf.stuba.sk/expo/index.html
Responsibility of ACRU: Dissemination of project results
Contact person for ACRU: Tomas Sabol, sabol@ccsun.tuke.sk

Summary of the project:

Slovakia, as one of applicants for membership in the European Union, has to fulfil many demanding requirements during the transition period. One of them is to bring enterprises into line with Community standards. The fact how enterprises in Slovakia (especially SMEs) will be able to cope with the competitive pressure and market forces during the EU accession will have a significant influence on the character and duration of the transition period. The project aims at facilitation of EU market accession for Slovak enterprises, especially SMEs, and at increasing their competitiveness by means of providing a complex package of training activities and consultancy to them. The basic project objectives are based on inputs and needs analysis carried out by the project non-academic partners, specially by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The project aims also at enabling enterprises to implement EU standards and practices and thus possibly support implementation of the "acquis communautaire". In order to achieve this, the experience of the EU project partners (UK, NL) is taken advantage of through W-E and E-W mobilities and information plus knowledge transfer. At the first stage an analysis of trainers training needs will enable the optimisation of targets. Very important aim of the project is also to increase and upgrade training capacities and competencies of Chambers of Commerce, Slovak industry and professional associations, business innovation and information centres etc. They will be involved in the training (as trainees and as trainers as well) and will be providing input to all phases of the project. Thus the educational process will be supported by all Slovakian partner Institutions with special competencies relevant to the project. Prior to the preparation and delivery of the pilot courses, Slovak trainers will be trained (both at EU partner institutions and in Slovakia) in the continuing education style of delivery of subject areas most relevant to the foreseen results, to enable the most efficient transfer of knowledge to the target groups. The project will facilitate the following (re)training programmes: law and finance in international trade; services and programs of assistance to SMEs available in EU and in Slovakia; marketing; project management; general skills (communication, intercultural negotiation); technical skills (information technology and Internet skills), new technologies (electronic commerce, Internet marketing), European studies; and language. The taught materials will be worked into textbooks available to the participants. The expected number of participants of the pilot courses (i.e. SME managers, representatives of enterprises etc.) during the run of the project is about 120. Later this number will increase through sustained effort of the SK partners. To make this training process sustainable, a network of co-operating institutions (including universities, Chambers of Commerce, public bodies, business innovation centres etc.) should be established and plan of future joint activities developed. The project will promote also the development of a university-based multiplier centre (the Institute of Lifelong/Distance education) - to have a possibility of training also other target groups in the public and private sector involved in the "acquis communautaire". The results of the pilot courses will be regularly evaluated. The teaching material development and the teaching itself will be supported by HW and SW procured or upgraded within the project. The developed courses and teaching materials will be applicable also in other areas of Slovakia, but also in the whole Carpathian region.

Content of the project modules:

IT skills and internet
course will be prepared in two groups - for beginners and intermediate
  • for beginners - description of common features of all SW packages; description of the purpose of each of the package
  • for intermediate - for each SW package show how special application task can be solved
Beginners will learn:
  • for beginners - description of common features of all SW packages; description of the purpose of each of the package
  • common features of all applications
  • the purpose of each application
  • description how to use applications
  • how to write simple documents in MS Word
  • how to work with tables, simple computations in the tables; "small" databases in the MS Excel
  • how to control the presentation and how to create presentation based on the templates
  • basics of the Internet: using E-mail and WWW
Intermediate will learn how special application tasks can be solved:
  • Word - preparation of some kind of "marketing" printing material - integration of text, graphics (video, audio); using templates; …
  • Excel - fast computation with presented data; graphical presentation of data; tool for data analysis
  • PowerPoint - example of possibilities of PowerPoint in business presentation and preparation of their own presentations
  • WWW - own presentation on Internet; search of information (about competitors, products etc.) on the net; means of permanent business (24x7) - E-commerce (introduction)
  • Co-operation of MS Office applications
  • MS Word, Excel and PowerPoint and publishing documents on the WWW
Project management
  • First thing first: What is a project? Who needs project management
  • Phase of project management - Planning & Implementing
  • Defining the project
    • State the problem
    • Identify project goals
    • List the objectives
    • Determine preliminary resources
    • Example
  • Specifying the project
    • Identify project activities
    • Work breakdown structure
    • Estimate time and costs
    • Sequencing project activities
    • Critical path
    • Project proposal
  • Organising the project team
    • Recruit project manager and project team
    • Organise project team
    • Assign work packages
  • Control
    • Define management style
    • Establish control tools
    • Prepare status reports
  • Close the project
  • Software for project management
  • EU funded programmes for SMEs
    • Overview of programmes
    • Sources of information
    • Writing a project proposal
    • Management of and participation in European projects
Electronic commerce
  • Business trends - new technological trends, new (digital, net) economy, information age, globalization, convergence of info-communication technologies
  • E-commerce (EC) - principles, advantages vs. disadvantages, implications of EC, basic characteristics
  • Electronic markets and Internet - impact of infrastructure and character of channels, new types of products, trends
  • Examples of Internet businesses - successful and unsuccessful virtual businesses and reasons of their failure
  • Auctions on the Internet
  • Catalogue business systems, intermediaries, characteristics, examples
  • Payment systems
    • types - electronic fund transfer, notational fund transfer, outside and inside money
    • types of financial intermediaries, characteristics, examples
    • types of electronic payment systems - advantages and disadvantages, problems, trends
  • Electronic banking as a support of EC - existing services on the Slovak market
  • Security - characteristics, systems for security on the Internet, certifying authorities (VeriSign, Inc.), encrypting - characteristics, examples
  • Business implementation plan - elements, steps, process of the implementation
    • basic decisions
    • financial analytical studies, costs and revenues
    • marketing - on-line marketing, segmentation, advertising and advertising strategy, marketing research
    • utilization of Web possibilities - catalogues, dynamic web pages
    • functions of Web pages
    • selection of a payment system (in the context of cultural differences)
    • integration with the firm's information system
    • regular updates, statistics and report software
  • Business and political implications - copyright, open questions and problems in EU countries
  • Legislative issues - taxations, regulation policy
  • Marketing of e-commerce
International finance
  • Exchange rates
    • definition of main notions
    • systems of exchange rates
    • system of clean float exchange rates (free float, independent float)
    • system of managed float exchange rates (dirty float)
    • system of fixed exchange rates
    • system of exchange rates pegged on single currency or group of currencies
    • system of crawling peg exchange rates
    • European monetary system and EURO
  • Determinants of exchange rates
    • demand and supply
    • operations at the foreign exchange market
    • monetary balance
    • inflation rate
    • interest rate
  • International system of payment
    • Non-documentary payments
      • smooth payments
      • payment order
      • check
      • bill of exchange
    • Documentary payments
      • payments documents
      • documentary credit
      • letter of credit
    • Bank guarantee
    • Compensations
    • Clearing
  • Traditional and new forms of financing
    • definitions of main notions
    • bank credit
    • supplier credit
    • consumer credit
    • bill of credit
    • factoring
    • forfeiting
    • leasing
  • Interbanking payment system
    • definitions of main notions
    • interbanking payment system on the base of correspondent principle and clearing
    • Bank accounting Centre of Slovakia
    • kinds of payments and standards
    • Kinds of payments and standards
    • SWIFT
  • International investment
    • definitions of main notions
    • foreign investments and determinants which motivate them
    • risks and risk eliminate methods, rating.
European studies
This course will provide information about:
  • Process of creation of EU, causes and intentions of origin
  • EU institutions - system of their operation, their purpose and importance for member states as well as for citizens of members states
  • prepared reform of EU (Agenda 2000) in connection with accession policy of EU ˇ support programs aimed at future members states
  • support of economical transformation especially oriented at SME`s ˇ Economic and Monetary Union, convergent criteria, EURO as a common currency and about European Central Bank
  • cultural aspects of Europe unification, co-operation possibilities on the field of education
  • relations and co-operation between EU and non-member states, as well as between EU and international organisations and institutions

Learning outcomes :
After finishing the course participants:

  • will have basic but complex information about listed themes
  • will be familiar with basic terms related to EU, Monetary union and integration process
  • will understand the system and operation of EU institutions, their practical importance for every person
  • will have practical information about possibilities to participate in programs aimed at support of SMEs
Teaching International trade law for Entrepreneurs
  • Legal regulations of international entrepreneuring
    • Relationships between domestic /internal/ and international legal regulations
    • Sources of legal regulations of international entrepreneuring
  • The Form and conditions of international trade
    • Conditions for Joint entrepreneuring
      • Entrepreneuring of legal persons (entities)
        • General Commercial Partnerships
        • Limited Liability Companies
        • Limited Partnerships
        • Joint -Stock Company
        • Co-operatives
      • Entrepreneuring of natural (an individual) persons
        • Silent partnership
        • Societas iuris civilis-Partnership
    • Law of Obligations - Contracts
      • Relations between Civil Code and Commercial Code
      • Bussines Contracts according to the Legal regulations of Commercial Code
        • Purchase Contract (Concept and function, Distinction from Purchase Contract under the Civil Code, Formation, Essential terms, Rights and Duties of Parties, Liability for Delay, Liability for Defects of an Object beign Purchased, liability of Demage)
        • Contract of Purchase of a Leased Object
        • Work by Contract (Concept and Function, Formation, Rights and Duties of Parties Liability for Defects of a Work, Liability for Demage)
        • Licensing Contract (Intangible Industrial Rights)
        • Contract with a Commission Agent (Merchant)
        • Contract of StorageContract of Transport (Concept and Function, Formation, Rights and Duties of Parties)
        • Forwarding Contract
        • Contract of Carriage
        • Contract on the Lease of a Means of Transport
        • Brokerage Contract
        • Contract for Commercial Representation(non -exclusive Representation,exclusive Representation)
        • Letter of Credit
        • Lease Contract (Concept and Function, Formation, Rights and Duties of Parties)
        • Contract of Loan (Concept and Function, Formation, Rights and Duties of Parties)
        • Insurance Contract (Concept and Function, Formation, Rights and Duties of Parties)
        • Contract of Mediation (Concept and Function, Formation, Rights and Duties of Parties)
        • Electronic Business (Present situation in the development of the Internet,legal regulation-legislation, Conditions for the Development of electronic Business in Slovakia)
        • Securing an Obligation
          • Guarantee of Contract (Mortgage, Conventional Fine, Suretyship ,A Bank Guarantee, Recognition of an Obligation, Security for a credit line, Bill guarantee, Performance Bond, Retention money , Missing bill of lading, Stand by letter of Credit)
          • INCOTERMS (International Commercial Terms)
          • realations between INCOTERMS and cession of ownerships
          • Trade and customs documents
        • UNIDROIT
        • Vienna Agreement
    • International Trade Market and European Union
      • Legal principles for Customer Protection on the internal EU market
        • misleading advertising, responsibility for the product, consumer credits, terms and conditions of unfair competition in consumer contracts
        • Time sharing, Distance business E-Commerce /direction on the consumer protection in conclusion of distance business contracts/ COM (92) 11 valid from 21.05. 92 UL 1992, C156/14
        • Protection of the consumer safety and health (safety of products, introduction of hazardous matters into circulation, food health, regulation of foodstuff price, ban on advertising)
        • Consumer protection judgement CASSIS- DE- DIJON formula
        • Export restrictions
      • European Competition Law
        • Competition policy
        • Dominant position. Abuse of dominant position. Joint dominance
        • Mergers. The policy reasons for mergers control. Concentration
        • Enforcement and procedure. Public enforcement by the Commission. Private enforcement and the role of the national courts
        • Competition rules according to the European Agreements.
      • Company Law in the EC
        • free movement of persons /physical and legal/ Article 58 of the EC Agreement public and clear arrangement of corporate activity- see part 3 free movement of Persons
        • establishment of corporation and its capital /second directive - No. 77/91/
        • accounting relaated requirements
        • new forms of corporations /European economic interest grouping/ order No. 2137/85
    • Bussines methods used in International Trade
      • Direct bussines methods
      • Indirect bussiness methods
  • Exchanges aspects in International Trade (Foreign currency)
    • Legal regulations
    • Bussiness with Foreign Currency
    • Exchanges relations in International Trade
    • Financial obligations and outstanding Bill with respect to Foreign countries
  • Solving of Lawsuits in International Trade
    • Conflict of laws
    • Legal Proceeding
    • Resolution of disputes (Arbitration)
  • Structure of International Trade
    • Foreign Office
    • Chamber of Commerce and Industry
    • Entities engaged in International Trade
Communication skills
  • Communication skills
    • verbal
    • non-verbal
    • written
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Influencing others
  • Negotiation skills
  • Time management
  • Self management
    • The EuroRecord tool
  • Auto-ecology
    • Neurotechnology
      • effective relaxation
      • effective thinking and learning
      • creativity enhancement