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Microlab visits Cresacor

Peer-to-peer visit

Lessons learnt during the visit

  • Cresaçor is a network of 32 cooperatives in the Azores Islands. They all support social inclusion and they actively promote many services for different targets: from startuppers, to micro-entrepreneurs to receive a loan, from the elderly to people with disabilities.

    They have at least 67 employees and this allows them to implement all these activities with different targets (in Microlab we have 4 employees and 3 consultants).
  • As for the microentrepreneurs they support, the emphasis of the business is on the  service sector, followed by trade and catering, and in recent years they have seen an increase in tourism and related services. In Microlab we are also approaching a small (increasing) amount of entrepreneurs with social/environmental impact.
  • Cresaçor also supports their access to finance and monitors their applications. In the last 3 years (2020-2022) it has received about 60 applications and monitored an average of 68 active applications. 14 promoters have finalised their loan payments during this period.
    Not directly related to microcredit, the team has submitted applications for 121 promoters to the CPE-Premium measure, which allows people to get early repayment of unemployment benefits and use it to start their own business. In Microlab we facilitate access to finance without direct contact with loan officers and promoters and this can be implemented in the future.
  • One of the topics covered by Cresaçor is heritage. In fact many people have migrated from the islands, and the elderly are the only ones who preserve the history and heritage of the past. This is a very interesting aspect for Microlab, because in the past the organisation has not developed any cultural projects with the elderly, although we have been working for 20 years in the intergenerational field together with mentor volunteers (usually retired) and young entrepreneurs. More concretely, the 2 organisations are developing new EU projects and they are exchanging contacts to create new possibilities to find new donors/funds on those topics.

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Peer-to-Peer Visits

The peer-to-peer exchange visits, exclusively intended for EMN members, provide each EMN member with the opportunity to visit another member on a specific theme, in order to deepen the understanding of their work, to encourage exchange of good practices and to develop expertise. These bilateral exchanges, tailor-made to members' needs and expectations, also facilitate cooperation and collaboration between EMN members.
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