European SME's and start-ups revolutionising the educational sector

The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated that crises do not impact everyone and every sector in the same way. According to the OECD : "SMEs [small and medium-sized enterprises] have often been more affected than large firms by the COVID-19 crisis". However, despite their losses, they have shown us once more how important their role is in strengthening the global economy and supporting other sectors.

At EU level, SMEs represent 99% of all businesses in the EU, thus being the backbone of Europe's economy. They bring innovative solutions to challenges like climate change and help transforming different fields like health or education. Therefore, they are key in achieving the green and digital transitions.

SME's, start-ups and the educational sector: united for a better future

In this context, yesterday, 27th of June marked the International Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Day and we would like to congratulate all the SMEs and entrepreneurs for their efforts during these hard times, especially the ones that did not cease to help tackle the challenges that the education sector faced during the last year and a half. Due to schools' closure, the entire education community had to readapt quickly and efficiently to the new normality: emergency remote and blended learning, online classes, new digital skills acquisition, and much more. Teachers faced the demanding task of keeping students interested and engaged, despite the fact that they were now interacting on a new and completely digital learning environment. In this context, the many solutions developed by EdTech SMEs and start-ups are key to bridge the gap of remote learning.

During these past 18 months, we have seen that the link between new technologies and education is more important than ever and that innovation in this matter needs to be fostered and encouraged. In this regard, European Schoolnet has been supporting EdTech start-ups and SMEs, together with its partners ISDI and Funding Box, through the IMPACT EdTech programme.

Creating connection between new technologies and education: European Schoolnet's support

The IMPACT EdTech project is a pan-European programme designed for EdTech start-ups and SMEs to remove barriers to education and enhance learning experiences in a new era of human-centred digital education. Its goal is to support, through a hybrid incubator-accelerator, promising start-ups and SMEs working in inclusive education, personalised learning and skills development to progress their prototypes towards more viable products.

Three of these start-ups undertook a piloting phase in different schools across Europe, in order to test their solutions and discover how they can better tackle the various challenges that education currently faces. In this context, the project is organising a series of three public webinars on 2nd and 5th of July where the start-ups, their educational mentors and their pilot teachers will discuss the benefits of using these innovative solutions in transforming the digital learning sector.

The three public webinars will be led by the promising EdTech disruptors: Kinems, Mathia and Annie Advisor. They have developed ground-breaking solutions such as: a multi-sensory personalized educational gaming platform that fosters the whole child development, an app that revolutionises mathematics lessons and a chatbot that starts conversations with students to evaluate their needs for support. All of them are ready-to-use resources and tools that are already helping the education sector reinvent itself. If you wish to know more about how IMPACT EdTech is celebrating the efforts of European start-ups and SMEs, do not hesitate to sign up to their webinars.

Finally, we would like to reinforce our commitment in promoting synergies between the educational sector and SMEs, and we will do so by carrying out projects such as IMPACT EdTech. We are proud of the joint efforts made to overcome this crisis, so let's celebrate their work, and their resilience!