EU rural areas need innovative tools to facilitate business development that helps address social issues and offers inclusive employment opportunities. A possible response can be social entrepreneurship and social enterprises, which contribute to the achievement of social as well as of economic goals. They often drive social innovation in vital aspects of rural life such as social care and health services, retail, education and training, environmental products and services, food production, culture or tourism, by re-designing and re-engineering business models and value chains, developing new clusters and networks, or establishing new relationships or collaborations between public, private and third sector organisations.
In the Rural Action plan of the long-term vision for EU’s Rural Areas (LTVRA) the European Commission committed to implement a dedicated flagship initiative to promote social economy and social business to support prosperous rural areas. A number of policy instruments and funding sources are available in Europe and in Member States to boost and support social entrepreneurship at local level. The European Commission’s Social Economy Action Plan launched in 2021 aims to increase further the range of support for such activities.
In the context of the Rural Pact, this Good Practice Webinar offered practitioners a range of inspiring initiatives fostering social entrepreneurship and provide an opportunity to discuss and explore them in depth. The focus of the discussions was selected to address the interests expressed by participants in the registration form (e.g. finding the right format of social enterprise to address a specific community need, ensuring the involvement of key actors, developing the necessary skills, or maintaining and developing the social enterprise in a long-term perspective).
- to help rural stakeholders interested in social entrepreneurship to present, exchange experience and get inspiration from projects on the ground;
- to take stock of major challenges faced and solutions adopted, in particular for the twin (green and digital) transition, by rural entrepreneurs and communities to make their initiatives a reality;
- to build the capacity of participants to promote social enterprise through effective high quality projects responding to the rural needs.
The webinar was targeted at practitioners currently or potentially involved in the implementation of, or support to, social entrepreneurship projects, including local actors, experts and policy makers at various levels.
Video records of the sessions
What is the Rural Pact?– Alexia Rouby (DG AGRI)
Social Entrepreneurship as a driver for rural development– Urszula Budzich-Tabor, Patricia Martínez Sáez (RPSO), Anastasia Costantini (Diesis Network), Živilė Čimolauskaitė (ESF Agency, LT)
Inspirational social enterprises.Silicon Vilstal – Helmut Ramsauer (DE), Milka social company – Milan Medić (HR), Bałtów social economy cluster – Jarosław Kuba (PL)
Report back from group discussions
Keynote expert: Key learnings for social entrepreneurship in rural areas - Valentina Caimi (AEIDL)
- social economy | rural development | social enterprise
- Online only
- Online only
- Rural Pact Support Office
SMART VILLAGE forum
- External event
Rural geo 2023
- External event