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Boost for Croatian Sustainable Student Companies | Civic Europe
Environment and sustainability

Boost for Croatian Sustainable Student Companies

Sustainable Student Companies in Croatian High Schools – Green Companies Promote Entrepreneurial Thinking and Actions Among Young People in Croatia


Who is behind this?

Tea Kuzmičić Rosandić

Association for Nature, Environment and Sustainable Development Sunce


Who is joining forces?

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Umwelterziehung (DGU)

Croatian Association of School Cooperatives


Three Croatian schools from the Split-Dalmatia County: High School "Braća Radić" Kaštel Štafilić, Craft and Technical School - Split, Gymnasium of Sustainable Development - School of Design, Graphics and Sustainable Construction - Split


For years Sunce has been cooperating with Croatian schools and jointly we executed several successful projects, including two educational projects with Deutsche Gesellschaft für Umwelterziehung (DGU).


Idea pitch

The objectives of the project are establishing and developing sustainable student companies in high schools (SSCs). The goal is to raise awareness about sustainability and sustainable student behavior and promote an entrepreneurial spirit and a professional orientation with a focus on environmentally friendly management for students. Through the study trips and workshops we will integrate sustainability into the field of student entrepreneurship as a main impact (goal) of this project.

Where will your project idea take place?

The project idea will take place in Split-Dalmatia County, Croatia.

What is the specific societal challenge faced by this region?

The societal challenge that our community faces is the lack of civic engagement in young people who are often seen as insufficiently competent to participate in a democratic society. Apart from not having the concrete opportunity to actively participate in the community, they also do not have the confidence to do so. The knowledge that young people acquire during high school education is mostly theoretical without clear application that would encourage them to take an active, responsible role and involve them in joint decision-making process while giving them the self-confidence in their own abilities. This lack of self-confidence is directly connected to the lack of civic initiative of young people. SSCs provide a unique chance for students to develop entrepreneurial and civic skills.

Who are you doing it for?

In SSCs traditional role of teacher and student changes. In an optimal way the students are equally important to the supervising teachers. The teacher has an advisory and supporting role, is facilitator and learning assistant and promotes the self-organization of students. In addition, working for SSCs students see an increase of their own skills and they gain the experience to act competently on their own. Also, the perception of young people in the local community is changing to active members of society working to increase the quality and quantity of local supply. The main aim is that all young people can have this experience - especially those who do not have access to extra-curricular activities due to lack of role models or lack of time, willingness, knowledge or skills.

How do you plan to get there?

The project idea will be implemented through these activities: analysis of positive practices of SSCs in primary schools in Croatia and implementation of resulting methods in high schools; study trip in Germany where we (Croatian partners) will have a meeting and an exchange of opinions with selected sustainable student companiesin Germany, and study trip to sustainable eco estate Zrno (in Croatia); cycle of 5 workshops for professors and students for a better understanding of the structure and development as well as financing structure of student companies. For the duration of the project, we will use the kiosk of Association Marjan at Marjan Forest Park for selling products from the student companies. The project results will be documented and published in a practical manual.

What are the expected results?

1 study trip to Germany for 12 – 16 participants; education of students and teachers on SSCs and the principle of reuse; 4 workshops in each of the involved partner schools; 1 joint workshop (visit to a sustainable company); establishment of 3 SSCs in 3 high schools that apply the principle of reuse in their business; creating a model for establishment of SSCs in all high schools; education of 10 – 15 students about models and ways of financing SSCs; education of 3 – 6 teachers on the principles of reuse and using these principles in established of SSCs; presentation of products of 3 high schools (i.e. 3 SSCs) in the kiosk of the Association Marjan (ensuring the visibility of the project results and the promotion of the principle of reuse to the citizens of the city of Split and tourists).

How does your idea strengthen active citizenship at a local and community level?

In SSCs, students learning is based on real-life requirements. They learn about economic relations first-hand, acquire professional knowledge and skills and develop personal and social competencies. SSCs increase the motivation and self-efficacy of students and encourage them to take responsibility for their own learning process. In this way, young people develop self-confidence for their own positioning in the development of the local community at the same time changing the social image of young people who are no longer perceived as a problem but as part of the solution. The work of SSCs goes further: SSCs do not only want to be economically successful, they are also pursuing environmental and social objectives giving students a holistic view of business management.

Why is this idea important to you?

The implementation of this project will contribute to the establishment of partnerships between Sunce and the secondary schools, the Croatian Association of School Cooperatives, and sustainable companies. The partnership between Sunce and the DGU is also strengthened by the project. This cooperation offers a good basis for the development of future projects and activities in this field. The project and the project results (including the handbook) will help to increase the recognition of the Association Sunce as an important institution in education for sustainable development at local and national level. This will place Sunce in a better starting position for further application for project funding in education for sustainable development through national and international calls/projects.

€ 115793,-

Total budget

€ 49423,-

Funding requested from Civic Europe

Major expenses

1. labour costs (employee's gross salary)
2. general/overheads/burden costs
3. material costs/ (renewal of the kiosk, purchase of a personal computer, design, proofreading and print of handbook, website maintenance)
4. external services (material cost for SSCs, translation of the handbook)
5. travel cost
The total value of the project is 132.761,86 euros, out of which 66,330,00 euros are secured by DBU (remaining 66.431,86 euros need to be covered by Association Sunce).

What do you need from the Civic Europe community?

We would like to get advice and feedback from other countries which have sustainable student companies, especially on how to incorporate work and products that resulted from this project. Also, we hope to gain some ideas from other sustainable student companies, on how to incorporate those ideas.




Idea created on May 22, 2020
Last edit on May 27, 2020

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