Hungary, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Romania, Slovenia, Ukraine

Period of implementation:

2020 – 2022

Field of activity – formal/informal/non-formal:

Building of digital entrepreneurial capacities of the elderly (Unemployed and employed over 50) through an innovative training system

Funding sources:

Interreg Danube Transnational Programme

Overall cost/budget:


Target group:

  • local public authorities
  • regional public authorities
  • national public authorities
  • infrastructure and (public) service providers
  • interest groups including NGOs
  • education/training centres and schools

Implementing organization/lead organization:

Lead partner: Innoskart Business Development Nonprofit Ltd. (Hungary)

Contact info:

  • Éva Ábrahám and Nóra Szirmai:
    • tel: +36 20 431 4264
    • email: innoskart@innoskart.hu

Challenge or social need:

There are 2 common issues in countries of Danube macro-region.First is lack of employees or self-employed entrepreneurs who can provide specific simple digital services for SMEs (e.g. basic system administration of Windows workstations, 3D printing, digitalcampaign admin or digital graphic design). The other issue is the ageing of population and employability difficulties of the elderly population. At the EU level is concluded that workforce of 51 years or higher is affected.


The objective of the project is to develop sustainable ecosystems which successfully turn older workers to the digital self-employed entrepreneurs.

This is going to happen through development, pilot and assuring of sustainability of the eDigiStars Innovative system. The system consists of 3 modules – POWERYOU to empower elderly for digital self-employment, CAMPUS to adjust relevant courses to specific needs of elderlies and LABEL to certify those elderlies, who demonstrate enough digital skills.

Benefits/success factors/ measurement of success:

At the strategical level, the project result is the built sustainable ecosystems in participating territories, which successfully turn older workers (51+) with employability difficulties to the digital self-employed entrepreneurs. In practical terms, the measurable result of the project is the number of such workers, who were empowered and educated inside eDigiStars system and thanks to that, they get contracted by the employer to provide digital services. To achieve it, the project will build components inside the territorial ecosystems and ensure their sustainability. 

These main result components are: 

1) change of attitude of key actors to believe that the elderly people can provide digital services as self-employees to employers; 

2) system for continuous empowering of elderly people; 

3) adjustment of relevant courses to specific needs of elderly; 

4) continuously build trust among employers, and 

5) increased cooperation of multiple key target groups. 

By doing it, the project was intensify cooperation of all relevant stakeholders through their engagement in eDigiStars tools development, piloting, evaluation and Action Plan developments. It was engaged 16 employment offices, 10 educational and training centres, 18 business and industry actors, 9 associations representing elderly and 37 policy actors on various levels responsible for employment, social or education domains. A sample of such cooperation was delivered good practice exploitable to other territories of Danube macro-region.

Critical points/weaknesses:

Employer involvement and acceptance of older workers.

Sustainability characteristics:

The objective of project is to develop sustainable ecosystems which successfully turn older workers to the digital self-employed entrepreneurs.This is going to happen through development, pilot and assuring of sustainability of the eDigiStars innovative system.

This system consists of 3 modules – POWERYOU to empower elderly for digital self-employment, CAMPUS to adjust the relevant digital skills courses to specific needs of Elderlies and LABEL to assure quality and build trust among SMEs towards new “workforce”. The lack of qualified „digital workforce“ makes Industry of Danube less competitive. 

The project directly contributes to program specific objective of boosting the competences of SMEs for business, as it promises to deliver them the qualified workforce tackling their need in digital era. It also boosts the competences of key actors in ecosystems (labour offices in empowering of elderlies, providers of courses in their adaptation to needs of elderly and employers in accepting and trusting new workforce.

Transferability characteristics:

By design of the whole eDigiStar ecosystem the project addressed the transferability issues: 

1) All documents are in English. All material will be available on-line, free to use (using the Danube Interreg website). There are also available training materials on how to use Outputs of the project. It boosts the transferability. 

2) The research during the preparation of the project shows, that the fundaments of operation in the area of labour markets (assistance to unemployed, training model and funding) are relatively similar across all countries in Danube Territory. There ara also differences. The developed Strategy (and the Tools) are possible to use in all territories of Danube Macro-region. Transferability of Strategy was boosted by Communication activities. Communication activities was boosted the awareness and knowledge of the representatives from other territories. 

Primary it was thanked to: 

A) Transregional communication actions: a. eDigiStars InfoDays – organizing of 3 large scale events attracting key stakeholders from territories outside of eDigistars Ecosystem (partnership) b. eDigiStars Ambassadorship – participation at 8 other relevant conferences/fairs to create awareness about eDigiStars tools c. eDigiStars Workshops – organizing of 3 large scale international workshops inside Danube macro-region but outside of the participating territories. They were disseminated the
knowledge about the adaption of Strategy, using Tools and developing of the Action plans. 

B) Various communication tools raising awareness (i.e. eDigiStars Stories) or building knowledge (i.e. Infographics).

Inclusive characteristics/Innovative elements:

eDigiStars will bring multiple benefits to the territory: 

1) a better chance for inclusion either as entrepreneurs or employees for elders (they were one of the most vulnerable groups in the area), 

2) access to new labour resources for local SMEs who are struggling to find new workforce during this extremely low general unemployment rates, 

3) an innovative and practical approach for elders to be part of the active community,

4) a best practice for local and national partners regarding the elders learning and development,

5) improved cooperation of various players on the employment market.