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Is Rural Entrepreneurship an Alternative For Young People?

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Many young people have negative perceptions of doing a rural business. Although, the rural areas have huge business potential, young people do not choose rural entrepreneurship as their life direction. As we learnt from previous collaborations with partners (FSE project) even more poor situation is in the context of women entrepreneurship in rural areas. The main reason emerges as the less attractive lifestyle of the countryside compared to urban life. According to the UN – Office of Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, “the ability of rural youth to engage in productive agricultural and non-agricultural activities has social and economic benefits for both young people and the economy”. However, young people believe that rural business is not a feasible choice and it is not an attractive way of working for them since they need job security, do not want physical labour and do not want to live in the countryside.

However, a well-designed rural development policy promotes building of sustainable green economies. Rural areas have a massive potential to start up new business practices for young people. Moreover, European Commission and national authorities support these rural practices with large funding programmes. These programmes significantly contribute to solving the employment problems of young people. Despite the uncertainties of young people about their future life, doing a rural business could be one of their career options. They need to be more inspired and aware of the opportunities in rural places to lead their future careers in a sensible way.

In this regard, Efektas Group has two ongoing projects about young women empowerment in rural entrepreneurship. These projects are funded by Erasmus+ Programme namely Key Action 2 – Strategic Cooperation Among Organisations and Institutions. Therefore, projects promote awareness about the potential of rural places to start a new business. Let’s take a glance at the projects!

1st Project: YOUng Women grEen Entrepreneurs (YOU_WEEN)

YOU_WEEN is a 2-year, Erasmus+ funded, innovation-focused project that aims to provide effective tools (such as educational videos, networking, and specialized training) to young women living in rural areas (or sustainable urban areas) to increase their employability, socio-educational development and personal development. The YOU_WEEN project activities are designated to improve the entrepreneurship skills of young women with the help of youth workers. Through the project, we build connections between experienced youth workers and young women by using the coaching circle methodology. Also, we are working on an online learning platform to reach broader audiences. Our online learning platform will contain training modules in the titles of;

  • Entrepreneurship
  • Young women in rural areas
  • Rural Development and environment
  • Non-formal education methodologies
  • ICT Competences
  • Best Practices

The project plans to train the youth workers that will continue applying the acquired competences with other young women willing to improve their entrepreneurial potential in the framework of sustainable development. Besides, the participant young women will help to promote sustainable development, as well as involving their peers and their communities.

2nd Project: Empowered Women for Rural Development (EW4RD)

EW4RD aims to educate educators and equip leaders in isolated and rural areas with skills and knowledge to address low economic and development activity in those areas. The project provides participants with good practices in partner countries in order to learn how to develop economic activities and sustain them with regards to ecology, finances and other resources. Basically, the project has learning, teaching, training activities to promote rural entrepreneurship. During the training courses, we organized two study visits in stakeholder organisations to learn best practices and exchange knowledge. Besides, developed training format contain modules in the titles of;

  • Agriculture
  • Permaculture
  • Rural development
  • Entrepreneurship

In this respect, the project focuses to empower and encourage women in rural areas to take action on their career development and starting their own business. Finally, the project will increase the probability of local, regional, national and international economic growth and cooperation.

We will be sharing the following activities with you by our communication channels. Stay tuned!