A total of 70 municipalities from 24 provinces and nine autonomous communities will be participating in the second edition of Holapueblo, a project by Red Eléctrica Group, Correos and AlmaNatura to drive the repopulation of rural areas by matching villages looking for new residents with people who are looking for a change of life style while starting up a business venture and settling there.
“Holapueblo takes new dwellers to the rural environment, fosters the development of environmentally-sustainable businesses, generates a positive impact on rural communities and revives the territory’s economic activity”, says Antonio Calvo Roy, Sustainability Manager at Red Eléctrica Group.
Registration for municipalities has been open to the whole of Spain and, after analysing 112 applications, 70 municipalities have been chosen.
Selection has been based on criteria considered to be the most important by those wishing to live and set up business in a rural environment, such as having a good internet connection, a choice of housing, a doctor’s surgery and educational centres, among others.
The municipalities are located in Andalucía (Almería, Huelva, Málaga and Seville), Aragón (Huesca, Teruel and Zaragoza), Cantabria, Castilla- La Mancha (Albacete, Ciudad Real, Cuenca and Guadalajara), Castilla y León (Burgos, Palencia, Salamanca, Soria and Zamora), Comunidad Valenciana (Castellón and Valencia), Extremadura (Badajoz and Cáceres), Galicia (Lugo and Ourense) and Navarre. Full list below.
In order for possible new residents and entrepreneurs to get to know the municipalities, Holapueblo will publish a technical data sheet and a photographic report of each location on its website, www.holapueblo.com, and will carry out several promotional campaigns.
The enrolment period is now open for people who have entrepreneurial idea and are interested in settling in a rural environment, and can be done at Holapueblo.com. 35 entrepreneurs will be selected and will be given access to an individualised mentoring process aimed at developing their business idea, will be accompanied in their search to find a municipality, and will be provided with relevant information and put into direct contact with municipalities that are compatible with their personal and professional needs.
The first edition of Holapueblo, which was launched as a pilot project, helped a total of 30 people. Below are a few of the businesses that started up:
- Esencias Yvy. Antonio Ponce and Marta Luz Pinto, from Seville and Paraguay respectively, have moved to La Sotonera (Huesca) and are running Esencias Yvy, a business based on the cultivation of medicinal plants and subsequent extraction of essential oils.
- Artiga Partners. Héctor Sanmiguel and his partner have settled in La Sotonera (Huesca) and are on the verge of launching an advice bureau to give support to projects and companies related to mountains, natural resources and sport, at any stage and in the long term.
- AGRO Regenerativa. Arturo Ferrer and his family have settled in La Sotonera (Huesca), where they have started up a project to manage a farm where they are recuperating the land’s natural fertility, a service that, by implementing regenerative agricultural techniques, ensures that farms minimise their inputs and produce high quality food.
- El Huerto de Ignacio. Ignacio Morillo was living in his home town of Esplús (Huesca), and through Holapueblo has received support to continue increasing his business services, namely farming vegetables combining traditional and modern techniques.
- Nuvo. Emmanuel Gatti has settled in Sasamón (Burgos), and is preparing to launch Nuvo, a leisure innovation start-up. Over the next few months he hopes to welcome the rest of his team who will also be moving to the municipality.
- Gafasván. Daniel Paniagua and his family were living in Mayorga (Valladolid) and at Holapueblo we have given him support in developing an itinerant optician’s business that provides services to several municipalities in Tierra de Campos, including Velilla and Villarramiel.
- PlanB ResiduoCero. Elena Sáiz and her partner Emilio have settled in Tragacete (Cuenca), where they both manage their online product sales businesses. Elena has started up PlanB ResiduoCero, where she sells zero waste products. Emilio markets historical recreation pieces through his website, Northern Traders.