Ruralizable holds a new event to discuss financing for rural entrepreneurs
  • Ruralizable brought together the government, investment experts, and entrepreneurs to discuss funding opportunities for rural start-ups.
  • This initiative, which aspires to be the largest initiative in support of entrepreneurs in rural areas in our country, will soon launch a new call for proposals. 


Yesterday, Ruralizable, the largest rural entrepreneurship initiative in Spain, brought together representatives of the central government, funding experts, and start-up leaders to explore the possible ways in which innovation projects arising in rural areas can be financed. The meeting, held at the Casa de Zamora in Madrid, convened around 30 people interested in swapping ideas and generating proposals on this issue.

Panellists included Rocío Castrillo, Director of Entrepreneurship and Strategy at Enisa, the National Innovation Company. Castrillo explained in her speech that Enisa's main tool, the participative loan, is very interesting for start-up projects because, unlike traditional loans, it does not require collateral;  the company itself guaranteeing the loan, and not the entrepreneur. This has a grace period of 5 to 7 years to allow the business to mature, and bears interest at market conditions. This tool has generated 8,500 loans that have placed 1.3 billion on the market, making it a differential factor for many companies, especially in its first stage. In addition to these loans, Enisa has recently started certifying start-ups as emerging companies, which gives them visibility and recognition from the outset, especially those that are outside the classic circuits of large cities.

Along the same lines, Álvaro Castellanos, COO of Ruralizable and moderator of the panel, added that the initiative has detected a whole range of projects in rural areas that are seeking entrepreneurship but are unable to find the way, and that this is encouraging them to bring the mentoring they offer to small towns. He remarked that the impact of an initiative in a small town can radically change the prospects of the region , and therefore investing outside the big cities has more incentives than just the economic return. Castellanos also announced that the next call for applications will be opened soon.

The event was attended by Fernando Blaya, Corporate Venture Capital at Elewit, Redeia's technology platform. Blaya explained that “the commitment of companies such as Elewit to technological entrepreneurship that can have an impact on the rural environment is essential to contribute to a more sustainable future: corporate venture capital promotes the development of innovative projects in a more autonomous way, but with the backing, experience, and trust of the company”.

Marta Huidobro, president of the Spanish Association of Business Angels, explained that, unlike traditional investors, BAs seek to help the company move forward, which means it can grow faster. On investment in the rural environment, he explained that the projects coming from this area provide investors with a great deal of diversification, both geographically and typologically, which always reduces risk and facilitates the return on investment., and what is more, rural start-ups are very close to the social and environmental problems they are seeking to solve. He also pointed out that the most interesting niches for investors are those related to technology, agri-food, sustainability, and the care economy.

This meeting is the fourth in a series to be held on the last Thursday of each month in Madrid. Ruralizable aims to generate a space for an ongoing conversation around entrepreneurship and innovation in rural areas, aspiring to disseminate these dialogues throughout the territory. To achieve this goal, Ruralizable relies on the Ambassadors' Network it is building, with 12 ambassadors to date. 

About Ruralizable
An initiative for all those entrepreneurs seeking to make a positive impact on the rural environment.
Ruralizable aspires to become the largest entrepreneurship initiative in rural areas and, to this end, it regularly organises calls for applications in which any entrepreneur with an idea or project that has a direct and positive impact on rural areas can register for free. They will receive mentoring, development, and support from Ruralizable and its community of entrepreneurs and innovators in the region.

This is possible through the collaboration of large corporations committed to the development of the region that provide resources and qualified mentors to our programmes.

Ruralizable also hosts conferences and meetings with opinion leaders in which it discusses innovation and entrepreneurship in the region, with the aim of identifying references to serve as an example and inspiration, generating a current of change, and revitalisation of entrepreneurship in rural areas.