Important factors

Country Important Factor Important Factor Important Factor Important Factor Most promising/emerging sector of rural entrepreneurship Driving Factors for Rural entrepreneurship success Most important obstacles Most important skills How could potential rural entrepreneurs be assisted?
Bulgaria Risk factors in rural entrepreneurship: Harsh working conditions, unattractive public image Decreasing population density in rural areas. In addition, there has been a decline in the relative share of all age groups Possible actions to assist rural areas: Funding for technological innovation, funding for vocational training, conditions to increase FDI Limiting Factors: ageing/inadequate infrastructure, broadband infrastructure, unemployment, age of workforce, education 1) Renewable Energy 2) Tourism 1) Proper Entrepreneurial skills 2) Connection with a diverse network of stakeholders 3) Financial capacity 1) Demographic changes 2) Environmental changes 1) Planning and Business Strategy 2) Management skills 3) Opportunity spotting 1) Exchange of experience and expertise 2) Continuous learning and training
Belgium Rural areas cover the majority of the European continent, reaching 83% of the total of the EU area (in 2018) and hosting 137 million people, representing more than 30% of the European population At European level, three are the main funding entities to support rural SMEs to align with the Sustainable Development Goals: the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), Competitiveness of Enterprises and SMEs (COSME) and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD). EU Common Agricultural Policy (CAP): — Economical support with direct payments that ensure income stability, and reward farmers adopting environmentally friendly actions for delivering public services, such as taking care of the countryside. — Market measures to deal with difficult unforeseen market situations out of the control of the farmers. — National and regional programmes to support rural development. The disparity between urban and rural SMEs lands on some main challenges, such as digital infrastructure, the access to finance, human capital and skills, the variety of the seasons, and the access to new markets.   1) Proper Entrepreneurial skills 2) Connection with a diverse network of stakeholders 1) Lack of vision 2) Access to funds 3) Environmental changes 1) Networking skills 2) Management skills Exchange of experience and expertise
Germany 57% of the population live in rural areas Hidden champions: small, rural SMEs with a good performance in the market due to a) connection to regional research b) innovation In order to succeed in rural areas, businesses need funds from external resources and/or interconnection with other communities   1) Renewable Energy 2) Circular Economy 1) Proper Entrepreneurial skills 2) Access to innovation 3) Financial resources Economic context 1) Planning and Business Strategy 2) Management skills 1) Continuous learning and training 2) Appropriate networking
Spain High life expectancy, low birth rate, imbalance in the territorial distribution of inhabitants Economic indicators in rural areas: Lower productivity in primary sector activities, smaller product diversification Imporance of local commerce in rural areas   1) Renewable Energy 2) Circular Economy 1) Proper Entrepreneurial skills 2) Connection with a diverse network of stakeholders 1) Economic context 2) Social context 1) Planning and Business Strategy 2) Appropriate networking  
Greece Rurality and Technology: 1) Resistance to change 2) Lack of familiarity with ICT 3) Ageing population, de-population of rural areas Emerging opportunities in Greece: 1) Rural Tourism, 2) new ICT tools 3) bio-economy & renewable energy Significant factors affecting rural business effectiveness: 1) Level of education 2) Age 3) Farm size 4) Peer network Challenges: 1) Distance from decision making centers 2) Lack of networks 3) International competition 1) Renewable Energy 2) Circular Economy 1) Innovation 2) Propoer entrepreneurial skills 3) connectionh with a diverse network of stakeholders 1) Environmental changes 2) access to funds 3) Fewer educational opportunities 1) Technical skills 2) Skills promoting innovation 1) Continuous learning and training 2) Appropriate networking

Case studies

Country Name Sector Aim Challenges Good practices
Bulgaria Biofish Trading Ltd Agriculture 1) Connect producers to customers 2) Small food supply chain 3) Maximum benefit from waste   1) Preservation and teaching of know-how to next generation 2) Pay attention to the behavior of animals 3) Digitization
Bulgaria Gorunaka Complex Agriculture Hotel-Restaurant-Farm 1) Lack of infrastructure 2) Legislation Knowledge in a) economics b) management c) engineering
Bulgaria Grikam LtD Agriculture Franchising for Mushrooms 1) Lack of people with technological knowledge 2) Lack of training programs Growing mushrooms according to the conditions in the area
Belgium Linked.Farm Agriculture Sales and distribution digital platform for local Farm2Fork products 1) Limited access to public tenders 2) Every farmer can invest only money they have 1) Shortening the food chain 2) Diverse stakeholders-resilience
Belgium Ma Ferme General for rurality Facilitator and incubator for rural enterprises 1) Low profit margin 2) Capital-intensive activities 3) Environmental threats 1) Solidarity 2) Exchange of Knowledge 3) Complementarity 4) Focus on emerging sectors
Belgium Cocoricoop Agriculture Trading products for local and environmentally friendly farms 1) The work of volunteers is essential 2) Imbalance between workload and personal life 1) Specific guidelines to respect and promote local production 2) Synergies betwee farmers and customers 3) Producers are asked to be beneficial to the environment 4) High quality of products 5) Fair, inclusive and cooperative business model
Germany Bioland e.V Agriculture Association to support the independence of the agricultural sector   1) Biodiversity 2) Closed production cycle
Germany Markgesellschaft der Naturland Bauern Agriculture Organic Producers association   Committed to local producers
Germany Innovative Landwirtschaft Reber Agriculture Family-run farm Lack of funds and economic incentives Regenerative farming and carbon farming
Greece Development Agency of Karditsa (ANKA) General for rurality Assist in management of natural resources, innovation, support for collective actions Legislation, limited opportunities for public funding Knowledge of legislation, use of EU programs, Collaboration with research institutes and universities
Greece ThesGi Agriculture Promote the cooperation among its members to achieve economic, social and cultural development 1) Increasing cost of energy and supplies 2)Scaling up is difficult 3) Limited access to R&D 4) Political and financial context Organizational structure, focus on local community, involvement in all aspects of agricultural production
Greece Amyntaion wine Tourism, Agriculture, Cultural Heritage Cooperative to provide support, resources conservation and utilization of technology in wine production 1) Increasing cost of energy and supplies 2)Scaling up is difficult 3) Limited access to R&D 4) Political and financial context 1) Use of technology and modern wine techniques 2) Employment of enologists 3) Consumers feel safe about the product
Spain Movilex Circular Economy integrated management of dangerous and non-dangerous waste To implement all the different processes that the organization is (or wishes to be) involved is a challenge of itself as it requires engagement of different entities and the society, and sometimes some entities can be resilient to change. 1) a renewed production model of circular economy while at the same time opening up new ways of doing business, creating jobs and generating wealth, especially in the natural environment 2) without neglecting its contribution to the necessary innovation in the application of technology at the service of this philosophy in business action 3) correct use of data and its analytics for learning and continuous improvement.
Spain BioAgro Agriculture a company that uses technology at the service of agriculture, sending the necessary information to help farmers in their decision-making. In this way, it contributes to increasing productivity and improving the environmental control of their crops. no rapid implementation by most farmers 1) agricutural digitization 2) committed to intelligent irrigation, with a new product already on the market that allows "optimising every liter of water used in the field"
Spain Bodegas José Pariente Agriculture wine production family company 1) Local and National Competition 2) International markets and competitions 1) The investments in R&D and innovation 2) integrated corporate social responsibility 3) quality 4) commitment to preserve the environment


Country Program Name Aim Contents
Bulgaria Measure 4: Investments in tangible assets Agriculture-Livestock Farming 1) Modernization of agricultural holdings 2) Investment in processing/marketing of agricultural products
Bulgaria Rural Development program 2014-202- European Agricultural fund for Rural Development Agriculture-Livestock Farming-Training 1) Vocational training and skills acquisition 2) Awareness actions 3) Experience exchange
Bulgaria Workforce Development Project Involvement of stakeholders-training Training and employment opportunities to unemployed
EU Level SKLLTOUR Creation and development of rural touristic businesses 1) Sustainable management 2) New ways of communication and digital marketing 3) Cultural heritage and local tradition
EU Level Scalibur Valorisation of secondary raw materials in agriculture Training on the concept of circular bio-economy
Belgium Job Yourself   Training program
Germany Federal Program for Rural Development (BULE) Strengthening rural areas 1) Finding new ideas to implement in rural areas 2) Knowledge transfer 3) Foster of research
Germany Digital Villages Digitization of rural services Digital platform for supply of local goods, communication and mobility
Germany Self-made women Fostering female entrepreneurship in rural areas Training
Greece Young Farmers Financial support for young people to become rural entrepreneurs Financial support
Greece Green AGRI-Tourism Improvement of farmers in value chain, Strengthening competitiviness of products, incorporation of innovation Investment, business planning
Greece Action 4.1.3: Implementation of investments that contribute to the use of Renewable Energy Resources Improve the competitiviness of sustainable agricultural holdings, Improve the environmental profile of agriculture Investment/financial aid
Spain, Sweden, Croatia and Netherlands dRural development of a Service Marketplace that will digitally connect the ecosystem of potential end-users and service providers in rural areas 1) improvement of internet broadband coverage in rural areas 2) user-friendly digital marketplace
Spain, Italy TouriSME provide support to local business working in the field of rural (eco)tourism in Italy and Spain assisting in their green and digital transition through capacity building, Local Green Deals implementation, co-creation of smart solutions and partnerships on the local and transnational level between local SMEs, industry, local Municipalities and communities 1) Training and mentoring activities 2) Setting-up local agreements 3) contribution to the development of the new innovative products, services, approaches, digital skills and competences 4) Matchmaking events
Spain InnoCámaras helping companies to incorporate significant innovations in the products, services and processes raise awareness and support companies in the assimilation of the culture of innovation in their action strategies, the project includes two sequential and progressive phases.


OREN – Multi-stakeholder platform for rural entrepreneurs


Project Details