TVU student cooperative: practical experience in business and entrepreneurship

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Tra Vinh University Student Cooperative was founded in June 2018. A total of over 111 million VND was invested by 537 members in the form of capital contributions, each share valued at 200,000 VND. The cooperative now has 543 members, over 123.7 million VND in total contributed capital, and over 282 million VND in total assets.

Nhân viên Công ty TNHH MTV GoSef phục vụ khách hàng trong nội ô thành phố Trà Vinh.

GoSef ride-hailing service in Tra Vinh.

One may join the cooperative for just 200,000 VND, after which they can enjoy its services at lower prices. Cooperative members may be able to administer numerous services as well as take part in the board of directors. It is an opportunity for students to acquire actual experience in marketing, accounting, management, and business. Instead of giving members a cut of the profits, the cooperative directly lowers product prices by 5% to 15%.

The cooperative also calls for capital contributions to support other business services. Students who join the cooperative will have lots of chances to collaborate with other students, develop their sense of social responsibility, and take an active role in community affairs.

Under the motto “The benefits of our members and the community are top priorities,” the cooperative participated in several community activities in 2023. In the Tra Vinh University Summer Youth Volunteer Campaign, for example, members of the cooperative’s Board of Directors visited permanent soldiers and presented them with gifts worth a total of 03 million VND. They also collaborated with Huyen Hoi A Primary School in Cang Long to arrange the Mid-Autumn Festival event, wherein gifts totalling more than 05 million VND were given to children.

According to Mr. Nguyen Thai An, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Student Cooperative, the cooperative offers the following services: post-harvest services (consumption of goods produced and processed by students at the university); other retail sales in non-specialized stores (co-op and general stores); specialized design (phone decoration); retail sales of computers, peripheral units, software, and telecommunications equipment in specialized stores (retailing phones, components and accessories); courier services; and bread franchise service.

Moreover, since the beginning of 2024, the cooperative has offered transportation and rental vehicle services through GoSef Co. Ltd.

Gosef is a technological vehicle platform, according to Mr. Le Hong Quan, Director of GoSef Co. Ltd., that connects clients with efficient transportation and goods delivery services. GoSef specializes in car and motorbike transportation and delivery services. Its 2-rider service, in particular, offers safe services to help clients avoid drunk riding. Because of how convenient it is, it has been considered one of the top-rated services by a lot of customers.

Le Nhut Khang, a second-year nursing student and Gosef rider, mentions that living close to the university campus has given him an edge over other students when joining the company. He commutes every day on his motorbike and works as a tech-based rider to earn additional income. After more than a month, he has earned an extra 5–6 million VND, which is sufficient to maintain himself financially without help from his family.

In order to find new partners and, concurrently, to promote the image and products of Tra Vinh province in general and Tra Vinh University in particular, the Student Cooperative of Tra Vinh University has participated in numerous programs and activities both inside and outside the province in 2023. Furthermore, the cooperative accompanied members to compete in the contest “Startup Ideas in Tra Vinh Province,” where they won 01 Second Prize, 02 Consolation Prizes, and 01 Third Prize in the contest “Innovative Startup Ideas in Tra Vinh Province.”

Dr. Thach Thi Dan, Vice Rector of Tra Vinh University, describes the student cooperative as a unique example of a cooperative model in the education sector. After six years of operation, the model has demonstrated its efficacy in encouraging students’ creativity and responsibility.

Additionally, the model assists students in putting their academic knowledge into practice and transforming research findings into products that fit consumer tastes. It enhances Tra Vinh University’s brand and establishes a foundation for future international integration. It also attends to the members’ benefits and fortifies the cooperative’s relationships with both its members and the surrounding community. More importantly, the cooperative plays a significant role in instilling in TVU students the value of teamwork.

By Lan Anh
TD-VĐ