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Rural Vision
News article4 April 2023Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development, Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy1 min read

Revitalising rural areas with Startup Villages

The European Commission and the Joint Research Center (JRC) have launched the Startup Village Forum as part of the long-term vision for EU’s rural areas’ flagship action on research and innovation. The forum is designed to promote startup-driven innovation in rural areas by creating an open and inclusive platform for institutions and stakeholders to meet and discuss ways to drive innovation and entrepreneurship.

The 2023 edition of the Forum took place in Brussels on the 28th of February and discussed the main elements and enabling conditions of the Startup Village concept through a genuine science-for-policy interaction. The event supported the identification and analysis of triggering factors for innovation and startup creation in rural areas.

To support this initiative, a recent report has been published defining the concept of the Startup Village as a place that embraces innovation and ambitious entrepreneurship to unlock development potential and support wellbeing in rural areas. The report also highlights the key enabling factors of Startup Villages, with a particular focus on the pivotal role played by the ecosystem for innovation and entrepreneurship.

The EU has also developed a Startup Village Mapping Tool to identify and support rural areas with innovation and entrepreneurship potential. Understanding how innovation works in rural areas is essential for effective public and private sector initiatives to strengthen these communities. In February 2023, a call for expressions of interest was launched for all European villages wishing to be recognised as "Startup Villages". The map gives an overview of the villages that have identified themselves as Startup Villages and the information they have provided. As the call for expressions of interest remains open, the map will continue to evolve.

If you represent a local authority and believe that your village has the potential to qualify as a Startup Village, please complete the questionnaire provided to have your village included in the map: