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Junior Co-operatives will help set up new co-operatives in the field of education

Jul 11, 2013

The Enpresagintza (Business Studies) faculty in Oñati was the setting for the presentation of Junior Co-operatives, a new legal structure to protect and help set up co-operatives in the field of education. Junior Co-operatives will meet the needs of Entrepreneurial Leadership and Innovation (LEINN) students in their learning process and in setting up co-operatives. The Basque Prime Minister, Iñigo Urkullu; the rector of the University of Mondragon, Iosu Zabala; the LEINN student, Oihana Astigarraga; and the coach from Team Academy in Finland, Sari Veripáa, all took part in the presentation.
Junior Co-operatives will help set up new co-operatives in the field of education

In its drive to promote entrepreneurship and youth employment and as part of its 2013-2014 Employment Reactivation Programme, with Junior Co-operatives the Basque Government has established a legal structure for setting up co-operatives in the field of education. The new co-operatives will consist of teams of between 10 and 20 students. They will be set up as associations when they start their studies and later go on to become Junior Worker Co-operatives, with the help of the Government programme. Their aim will be to promote the development of real projects to put into practice the technical knowledge acquired by the students (setting up, organisation and management of a co-operative enterprise, developing an activity on a co-operative collaborative basis...).

Junior kooperatibak5

The Basque Government has received assistance and advice from the University of Mondragon to help draft the bill "which meets the demand created in the LEINN degree course, with eight proposals put forward for setting up co-operatives ". So the following will soon be set up as Junior Co-operatives: Smash, with 14 students (creating Apps); Ego, 11 students (brand positioning consultancy); Steps, 15 students (innovation in education, design and organisation of events and experiences, consultancy and organisation); Smartway, 11 students (business services); Kibber, 9 students (three lines of business: Play this way -consultancy-, Fénix prods –musical production services-, and MTA Venture Capital, in social innovation; Glow, 14 students (coaching, design and stimulation of workshops and events and advice on innovation in products and services); Snatu, 11 students (projects dealing with social entrepreneurship, technology and events); and Jump in, 11 students (training and workshops, strategic consulting and experiential marketing).

Junior Kooperatibak2

Social Economy Management Programmes

The 2013-2014 Employment Reactivation Programme includes a number of Social Economy Management Programmes, with subsidies for entrepreneurs. So companies set up under the auspices of the training and enterprise plans of universities located in the Basque Country will receive 85% of the activity’s net cost, with a limit of €5,000 per beneficiary body.

To set up a Junior Co-operative there will be a subsidy of €2,100 for each worker-member taken on, with the limit of the capital subscribed by that person. And there will be €2,500 for every worker-member taken on in a social economy enterprise, in the case of co-operatives and people who were unemployed.

What the participants said:

Iosu Zabala (Rector of the University of Mondragon): "The students generate and set up real companies, with customers, profit and loss accounts... they learn by doing, collaborating and co-operating. We needed a legal structure to promote the setting up of co-operatives in the field of education and Basque legislation has responded to that demand".

"These young entrepreneurs are sending messages to society, to institutions to get us involved in promoting new businesses. We need to support them so that they can learn to be enterprising in real companies".

Sari Veripáa (coach and co-founder of Mondragón Team Academy): "We need to change the environment by being enterprising as a team and to set up co-operatives. MTA was set up based on the philosophy established in Finland where I come from and where we have been using this methodology for 20 years. Mondragón Team Academy first developed its project in Irún and Oñati and then in Madrid, Barcelona, Bilbao and Amsterdam".

"The legal structure of Junior Co-operatives is the best way to make our dream come true".

Oihana Astigarraga (LEINN student): "I’m a member of Snatu, a company set up by eleven LEINN students. When I started the degree course I got hooked by the methodology, by how interactive and dynamic it was. I am learning by doing, with the first invoices, the company tax code,… everything is new to us".

Iñigo Urkullu (Basque Prime Minister): "We need entrepreneurs to generate confidence to create people who aren’t scared of failing, who are competitive and have international vision. These are the values we should be promoting, the values of our country. We need new ideas and teamwork. As Nelson Mandela said “the present is always confusing, the future perfect".


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