Holapueblo: Seeking new residents to reactivate 80 municipalities in rural Spain
  • The platform to fight depopulation promoted by Red Eléctrica Group, IKEA and AlmaNatura starts the search for people interested in living and opening businesses in locations with low population levels
  • In this edition, Holapueblo also seeks people to cover job positions in the participating municipalities
  • The villages are located in Andalucía, Aragón, Castilla-La Mancha, Castilla y León, Comunidad Valenciana, Comunidad Foral de Navarra, Extremadura and Galicia

Holapueblo starts the search for new dwellers and businesses willing to settle in one of the 80 municipalities in rural Spain participating in its third edition. The platform to fight depopulation, promoted by Red Eléctrica Group, IKEA and AlmaNatura helps people with entrepreneurial ideas wishing to live in the rural environment and connects them with villages with low population levels that are actively working on attracting new neighbours. Reale Seguros, Correos, Triodos Bank and Fundación Triodos collaborate in this initiative.

The municipalities are located in the regions of Andalucía, Aragón, Castilla- La Mancha, Castilla y León, Comunidad Valenciana, Comunidad Foral de Navarra, Extremadura and Galicia (see the list on the map attached). They are known for meeting the minimum requirements to host new residents: accommodation, public services such as a school and a health centre nearby and an internet connection, among other things. Half of the villages have already taken part and, among them, some have already attained excellent results, such as Tragacete (Cuenca), where there are five families installed already.

Those interested in living and setting up entrepreneurial projects in any of these municipalities are provided with mentoring services regarding their business idea, advice on the municipality that best suits their life and entrepreneurial project and are accompanied through this whole life-changing process.

To date, Holapueblo has supported 70 entrepreneurs, of whom 28 have already started with their families a new life in rural areas. Most of them are couples aged between 41 and 50 with children. The types of businesses created are family businesses linked to 60% of the services sector.

As a novelty in this edition, Holapueblo also offers support to people willing to live in rural areas but want to be employed. Therefore, Holapueblo facilitates the employment of unemployed people in small companies in the participating municipalities that have vacancies and accompanies them along a customised employability itinerary.

Enrollment is possible via the website holapueblo.com/inscríbete/emprendedores.

Home insurance, financial support and other resources for residents and town halls

Entrepreneurial projects arising within Holapueblo have Correos Market available to them. It is an online platform that Correos has to promote and market manufactured products created or handled by Spanish companies.

Moreover, Triodos Bank is going to launch a match funding call with a fund of 10,000 euros to drive the creation and consolidation of businesses. The call will be managed through Fundación Triodos, which will make its crowdfunding platform available to entrepreneurs, so the initiatives selected can receive contributions from citizens, which will be doubled by the call fund. This financial support will be complemented with training pills on entrepreneurship.

In turn, since the available accommodation offer is an essential requirement to be met and serves as a magnet to attract people living in a village, Reale Seguros offers owners with closed-up dwellings rent payment protection insurance with guarantees. The goal is to promote the real estate market to welcome new dwellers.

In addition, IKEA has launched a call to revitalise local spaces that boost the community. Two winning projects will be selected, and they will be fully designed and planned by IKEA, including the interior furnishings.

From Argentina to Sierra de Huelva

Ricardo and Bernardita are two of the new neighbours in Arroyomolinos de León. He is an urbanite, a visual artist, teacher, cultural manager and art curator. She is a rural enthusiast, an environmentalist, a writer and an art dealer. Both Argentinians, they have resided in Spain since 2018 and in this village in Huelva since 2021. "We are motivated by the opportunity to launch an art entrepreneurial project from a rural perspective, because 'man does not live by bread alone.'" Tarima-Lab, their self-managed art workshop, accepts star seeds and art planters, and we want the best crop. Creating a rural aesthetic is making nature and landscape take centre stage”, they express and declare regarding the platform: “Holapueblo has helped us to be very efficient, leave distraction behind and focus. The entrepreneurs’ network of which we are part has been equally important and we find there the drive and strength we needed”.

Find all the stories from entrepreneurs installed in rural areas here: