Embarking on the journey of freelance success requires not just talent but also a deep understanding of legal frameworks and industry nuances. In a recent focus-group interview conducted as part of the Erasmus+ co-funded project ‘Inclusive Design Hub’ (Project Nr. 2023-1-DE02-KA210-VET-000124768), held in Sofia, Bulgaria, freelancers shared their experiences and aspirations. Let’s dive into the rich insights gathered during this qualitative data collection.

The focus-group interview, held on November 13th, marked Activity 1 of the project, focusing on developing learning objectives for freelance success. Moderated by Prof. Dr. Petyo Budakov, the session aimed to extract concrete recommendations from a diverse group of 12 respondents, including recent migrants from Ukraine and individuals with prior connections to Budakov Films. However, the use of focus group interviews was driven by the desire to gather in-depth and contextual insights from our diverse group of participants, promoting interactive discussions and leveraging group dynamics to explore the complexity of the given topic.

Key Findings: Knowledge in GDPR: Overall Familiarity: 75% of respondents indicated a need to learn more about GDPR, emphasizing a potential gap in understanding, especially in digital marketing and website cookies compliance.

Willingness to Explore: The remaining 25% expressed a proactive attitude towards learning, indicating an openness to exploring GDPR.

Current Unfamiliarity: Acknowledgment of unfamiliarity with GDPR suggests an opportunity for education and awareness-building, considering its crucial role in data protection practices in the EU.

Analysis and Comments on Knowledge in IPR: Willingness to Learn about IPR: All respondents unanimously expressed a positive willingness to learn more about Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) in the creative industry across the EU.

Uncertainty Regarding IPR of Downloaded Images: 88% expressed uncertainty about the IPR of images downloaded from online sources, signaling a need for clarification on licensing and usage rights.

Issues Related to Website Production: Uncertainty about IPR after producing a website suggests a knowledge gap in contractual agreements and ownership terms.

Confusion in Differentiating Copyright, Patent, and Trademark: 79% expressed confusion, indicating the need for targeted education to clarify distinctions between various forms of intellectual property protection.

Analysis and Comments on Training for GDPR and IPR: Limited Utilization of Training Resources: The unanimous response that respondents have not enrolled in any training focused on GDPR and IPR highlights a potential gap in access to or awareness of available resources.

Desire for Blended Training Program: Respondents suggested a comprehensive blended training program covering various aspects, demonstrating a holistic approach to professional development.

Preference for Micro-Learning: The preference for micro-learning aligns with modern learning behaviors, emphasizing the need for concise and visually engaging content.

Recommendations for Training Programs:

  1. Increase awareness of existing training resources on GDPR and IPR.
  2. Develop a comprehensive blended training program covering various aspects of digital skills, creative processes, and legal considerations.
  3. Implement micro-learning strategies in training programs to align with freelancers’ preferences for concise and visually engaging content.

Identification of Time Constraints: The limitation regarding insufficient time emphasizes the importance of designing flexible, accessible learning programs tailored to the busy schedules of freelancers.

In conclusion, the focus-group interview provided invaluable insights into the challenges and aspirations of freelancers in Sofia, Bulgaria. The recommendations derived from this qualitative data aim to empower freelancers on their journey to success, fostering a community of informed and skilled professionals in the ever-evolving landscape of the creative industry. Now, the Inclusive Design Hub consortium has been analysing the results from the focus group internee conducted in Germany by our consortium partner Arvana GmbH and the training needs as well as the exact learning objective of the blended training program ‘Inclusive Design Hub’ will be specified.

*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.