We present another example of good practice developed by the Better Cooperate project partners. This time we invite you to Spain, Murcia to be precise. There, the educational cooperative Colegio San Agustin operates and has created the CONNECTCORE CSA initiative.

CONNECTCORE CSA – a self-employment platform for students in the form of a cooperative,
in which young people can act during their studies and gain employment in it after their education.

The educational cooperative is located in Fuente Álamo de Murcia, a municipality in Spain,
in the province of Murcia. The CSA has been operating since 12 September 2005, being the only subsidised educational centre in the area. It has 800 students from 4 months to 18 years of age – from kindergarten to secondary school or FP (vocational school).

In recent years, the area in which the Co-operative operates has seen a significant decline in economic development, particularly in services and small trade. It has been a bad time for small
and medium-sized companies in the region – many of them have gone out of business because the prospects for economic development have run out.
Among the reasons for this are that companies are poorly prepared for the digitalisation of their business and lack an online presence. Small companies cannot afford consultancy and training
in the area of digital skills.

Colegio San Agustin decided to assist local businesses in the process of digitalising and maintaining their computers. Such needs were reported by the businesses themselves.
The teachers began to take action – adapting some of their teaching activities to work with students to the extent indicated by the entrepreneurs. At first, they informally started with the repair of all kinds of computer equipment, the implementation
and maintenance of networks and servers and the management of office applications at the school.

The initiative was a great success and both teachers and students considered setting up a student-run cooperative (student cooperative) in order to be able to develop activities outside the classroom as well.
A project proposal was developed: the creation of a self-employment platform for students
in the form of a cooperative in which young people will be able to operate during their studies and gain employment in it after their education.
The initiative for students called CONNECTCORE CSA helped both the students themselves and the local community. It has provided young people with entrepreneurial learning, reinforcement of skills and a test of them in practice, and local businesses with modern services and technical support.
The results of this activity have been so successful that it is also being implemented by the next generation of students.

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