Strengthening DEI in Education and SME (DEI4SME)

Why are Diversity & Inclusion benefits not always available for the firms?

  • Lack of skills and knowledge in diversity management & conflict management
  • Poor awarenesss of diversity outcomes and their impact on business competiveness
  • Lack of commitment from leadership
  • Old ways of doing hard to change

DEI4SME in a nutshell

About the project

We aim to create a digital tool for planning, implementing and monitoring corporate social responsibility and educational materials for using it, so that higher institution (HE) graduates can lead the change toward diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) even in small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that have little extra resources.

This will lay the foundation for creating the EU’s joint standard for monitoring social responsibility and solving a number of social challenges in the union.

The SMEs can use this tool to enable an easy DEI management and ESG reporting system. Since they are involved in the development of the tool and can introduce their real life cases to be solved, the system fits their needs exactly and can be put right into action.

Do you want to introduce your business cases to be solved? Then we look forward to you contacting the International Team of the IHK-PG.

Hartmut Schäfer

Head of Department 

International / National VET Team

Anna-Carina Mohrholz

Project Management International

ERASMUS+ Cooperation Partnerships

Project design

Developing a framework for social responsibility in SMEs

Gaining understanding about the DEI related challenges that underrepresented groups are facing when seeking employment or at work and gaining understanding about the DEI related challenges in SMEs. 

Mapping perspectives of the key stakeholder groups in order to start building solutions and identifying issues to be considered when planning, implementing, and reporting DEI management.

Defining specific cases of DEI challenges in the SME realities and generate innovative solutions for them. Organising DEI hackathons to connect SMEs with students, and other under-represented groups to raise awareness in the public about DEI issues.

Open-access online tool for DEI management in SMEs

Producing a ready-to-use open-access digital tool based on the blueprint for the DEI management developed in the previous result.

Ensuring that the tool is usable and easy to apply in the HEI education and the SME context through the development of the user manuals.

Providing experiential learning to make the educational material for the DEI management innovative and presented as a simulation of a real managerial process. 

Easy to use system for the SMEs who would directly adopt the tool in their managerial best practices to measure the DEI actions they take and report them in visual manner within the ESG report, as required according to the EU directive.

Developing educational materials on DEI management

Creating a good understanding about what DEI is, what benefits it brings, how to balance out different perspectives, and how to create content within the digital tool for the DEI management. 

Ensuring that the structure and procedures offered within the digital tool are actually integrated in the SME management, and that DEI best practices are adopted appropriately.

Ensuring that the study material used for teaching DEI management is representative of the SME realities and prepares students to tackle challenges in the DEI management. 

Providing support in terms of pedagogical tips for the educators who are willing to integrate the DEI management issues in the business education courses and programs.

How will you benefit from it?

Sooner or later all SMEs need to report on their ESG and thus also DEI actions. To support you in doing so, we create a tool and training material for it. The project also ensures, that the future workers in the SMEs, the current graduate students, know exactly what the reality in the SMEs is and how they can best apply the tool and material to support them.

Besides receiving well-trained future employees and a tool that is easy to use, you can tailor-make it to your business in providing us with business cases, best practices or just your opinion and expertise. This way the material does actually meet the needs of the SMEs.

DEI4SME Strengthening DEI in Education and SME Management

KA220-HED - Cooperation partnerships in higher education ​​​​​​​


Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Education and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA). Neither the European Union nor EACEA can be held responsible for them.

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