The CY Tech Engineering School mobilizes students from its campuses to serve local businesses. It is observed that still 34% of SMEs in France are not digitalized (1). This figure shows that the importance of digitalization is not yet uniformly established. In the unpredictable context of COVID-19, however, having a website allows us to continue sales and thus continue to operate.
CY TECH x CCI, a mobilization in support of SMEs
The announcement of the national reconfination forces businesses to close their doors once again. The year 2020 will have been punctuated by openings and closures, leading to significant losses for businesses. One way to get by is to set up a click and collect process if possible. This allows businesses to continue to sell, without opening their stores to the public. In order to promote this process and support businesses, the Chambers of Commerce (CCI) and Industry are mobilizing. The aim is to help companies, especially small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to digitalize in order to keep their business going.
Thus, the CY Tech campus in partnership with the CCI of Pau Béarn follows the dynamic. They therefore offer support to the shops of Béarnais that have closed their doors again (2). Indeed, ARPIAE, the student and junior business association of CY Tech connects student volunteers with SME leaders. The students, led by an educational team, help implement solutions to help with digital transformation. These solutions complement the measures already put in place by the ICC in the region.
Businesses in trouble, students to rescue themselves
The processes of accompanying companies by students have indeed a dual purpose. First of all, it allows companies, especially independent entrepreneurs, SMEs and TPEs, to pass the digital threshold. Thus, they are then able to keep their business going in the current health context, punctuated by closures. This can have a strong impact on their business and can reduce their losses. On a financial aspect, student support is also interesting because as volunteers they should not be paid.
Students, on the other hand, develop new skills through situationalization. Thus, established in groups, they learn to work together, to combine their skills and apply theory in practice. As a result, many schools are developing these types of operations. Just like CY Tech, this is also the case of the reference school in computer science Epitech. It mobilizes its students to help SMEs and TPEs to pass the digital age.
Study: SME and Website in 2020: Where is digitalisation?, Sortlist, June 2020 article
Press release: Covid-19: solidarity mobilization of CY Tech engineering students to help businesses in Béarn, CY Tech and CCI Pau Béarn, article of November 18, 2020