Rural areas cover more than 50% of Europe’s surface and are home to over 20% of its population. They host the continent’s natural resources, nurture its biodiversity and feature spectacular landscapes. They also play an important role in Europe’s economy, with the agricultural sector supporting millions of jobs. However, rural areas face numerous challenges. Global competition, automation, changing markets and environmental challenges all impact upon rural activities.
To foster sustainable growth and job creation in this changing environment, the RUBIZMO project is working to identify the vital ingredients for developing entrepreneurship and successful business models in high potential sectors such as food and agriculture, new bio-based value chains and services.
In each of these three complementary and interlinked sectors, RUBIZMO experts are analysing business models from 100’s of previous European and nationally funded initiatives. By examining the reasons of their success – or failure – in context of their collaboration and support networks, the project will discover and share the key ingredients to recreate innovative business ideas elsewhere. Special focus will be given to generating benefits for the economy, environment and society in equal measure. The RUBIZMO success recipe will be shared across Europe through a set of practical tools supporting collaboration, entrepreneurship and business development in rural communities. In addition, active coaching and peer-to-peer training will be provided to rural entrepreneurs and networks to foster sustainable business transformation.
During the three-year project, an international team of business and innovation advisors, researchers, and rural networks will join forces to introduce a new set of dynamics in rural economies. Their expertise will be combined with the practical experience of 11 national panels of rural actors including policy makers, entrepreneurs and researchers, who will share their insights on rural development, feeding the project’s outcomes and ensuring the suitability of the business support tools it develops.