Why e-CIT and Craftopolis


Most of the companies in the field of handicraft are SMEs or micro companies, where the know-how and activities are based on the actual owner, the artisan himself and on his manual skills. After graduating, most of the handicraft students become independent entrepreneurs. Though manual skills play an important role, more is required: to be successful the companies need to find new ways to act and acquire business knowledge as well as increase their manual skills.

Traditionalism and out-dated ideas of handicraft products are common challenges of the handicraft field all over Europe. Craftsmen do not seem to detect possibilities in the society, and to find new solutions. They seem to lack the resources and business skills. [1, 2]

To improve the situation, the EU commission has defined the areas of development [2]:

  • development of the sectoral image,
  • increasing operational preconditions of enterprises,
  • emphasizing the cultural and social meaning of handicraft,
  • involving the younger generation in active development of the sector,
  • development of business strategies of the cluster and the field of handicraft.

The need for consumers’ attention and good use of consumer information is paramount: The most essential factor in growth is transforming user trends into lucrative business. It is necessary to understand customer needs and the added value to the customers, and transferring cultural inheritance and people’s individual lifestyles offers possibilities for expansion in the sector [2].

There is a clear need to prepare the future workforce to the challenges of society. This regards also the learning material. Bringing e-learning to the field is a possibility to renew the learning material.

To enable these changes, the level of creativity of the students and their teachers must be increased, problem solving skills and real working life problems need to be introduced, and independent thinking of the students must be encouraged.

  1. Luutonen, M. & Äyväri, A. (Editor). (2002). Käsin tehty tulevaisuus: näkökulmia käsityöyrittäjyyteen. Helsinki: Sitra
  2. SEMA Study 2001. Art professions: enterprises with great potential for growth and job creation. Commisioned by the European Commission.

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission.
This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.