ECOOPE students propose measures for improving user experience in the health service


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ECOOPE students propose measures for improving user experience in the health service

The University of Cantabria (UC) and the International Entrepreneurship Centre in Santander (CISE) have brought a close to the pioneering work to provide training in entrepreneurship based on the cooperative model in which 12 young university students have taken part.

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Ángel Pazos, rector of the UC; Dolores Gorostiaga, president of the Parliament of Cantabria; Marta Pérez, managing director of Valnalón; José Pérez Arias, deputy director of the Espriu Foundation; José Luis Herrera from El Salvador de Barreda School and Federico Gutiérrez-Solana, director of CISE, attended the presentation of the four projects, which was held in the CISE facilities at the University.

After taking one week-long intensive course at CISE on cooperativism and agile methodologies for developing business ideas, the 12 youngsters, split into four groups, travelled to their target cooperatives in February (Suma Wholefoods in the United Kingdom, Moncloa University Hospital – Espriu Foundation in Madrid, El Salvador Teaching Cooperative in Barreda in Cantabria, and the Adega de Mesão Frio winery in Portugal) in order to tackle genuine challenges posed by the companies themselves.

This pioneering initiative has created a symbiosis between the participants and the cooperatives, providing the youngsters with a first-hand insight into more sustainable business models. The cooperatives have, in turn, benefited from the external perspective of the participants, who have worked on analysing potential problems, assessing solutions, and building and validating a prototype.

The teams’ proposals have been very well received. An example likely to be implemented is the prototype developed by the youngsters in Portugal: the “Portonic”, a mixture of tonic water and port wine, which has become fashionable in Portugal and for which the participants have devised a set with instructions and the right amount, ready to drink. In addition, the HLA Moncloa University Hospital will look into implementing the proposals put forward by the team in order to improve the user experience.

The ECOOPE project has also enabled the youngsters to gain an insight into how the cooperatives’ business model could be an attractive option for setting up new businesses models, since it does not require a large investment of capital, and responsibility is limited. Their incorporation is on the basis of people coming together to work towards common economic, social and cultural objectives, and these people are the best business model for distributing wealth.

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