- Los18.org and Redeia open a new call to support people wishing to start businesses with a positive impact on rural Spain
- The participating ideas and projects will have access to a mentoring programme run by professionals from companies such as Hispasat and Elewit
- The most viable projects that have the greatest impact will participate free of charge in the South Summit, where they will have their own stand
- The Ruralizable Community is born, a space that connects participants from all editions, mentors and professionals committed to rural entrepreneurship
Ruralizable, the free platform to support rural entrepreneurship, launches a new call to promote innovative and sustainable business ideas and projects with a positive impact on rural Spain, providing solutions to problems and needs in sectors such as agri-food, tourism or caregiving.
The ventures will have access to an intensive mentoring programme run by experts in entrepreneurship and innovation, and those that prove to be the most viable and have the greatest impact will be granted free entry to fairs, conferences and events for entrepreneurs, including the South Summit 2023, where they will have their own stand from which to make themselves known to investors and other startups.
The social platform Los18.org, which has experience in supporting projects to promote sustainable development, and Redeia, the parent company of Red Eléctrica, Hispasat and Elewit, among other companies, are launching this new edition of Ruralizable following the success of the last edition, which promoted 40 ventures, including that of Leopoldo Rodríguez. His startup, Orion Agriculture, applies technology to the study of farmland to generate fertiliser and irrigation maps in order to maximise crop yields: "Ruralizable," he says, "has brought another dimension to our project. It gave us the opportunity to attend South Summit 2022 in Madrid and Smart AgriFood 2022 in Málaga. In addition to the incredible contribution of the mentors, from whom we took away lessons, knowledge and a network that we will always count on. We have gained clients, alliances and, above all, realised that there is a large number of agents promoting sustainable business models focused on the rural environment".
This new call for projects seeks to continue contributing to the revitalisation of economic and social activity in rural areas, where the rate of entrepreneurial activity (TEA) has grown considerably in recent years, but remains below the national average: 4.9% compared to 6.1% in 2019 (latest available data), according to the report Entrepreneurial Activity in Rural Areas - Situation Analysis with GEM data 2019-2021.
“Ruralizable intends to reach every corner of the territory so that all rural entrepreneurs can benefit from the initiative. We plan to increase the number of projects that meet challenges related to the rural world, provide them with tools and bring an expert eye to their development. At the same time, the aim is to connect these projects with an entrepreneurial ecosystem that generates opportunities and positive impact”, stated Sara González Paños, member of Los18.org and CMO of Ruralizable.
Additionally, Antonio Calvo Roy, Manager of Sustainability at Redeia, points out that "at Redeia we maintain our strong commitment to the territories in which we operate, mainly in rural areas. We believe in the potential of many women and men who are working to develop business ideas to improve the management of our countryside, promote environmentally friendly tourism and care for our elderly. That is why we support them with Ruralizable, because we defend the power of entrepreneurship to reactivate rural Spain".
The Ruralizable Community is born, an ecosystem of support among entrepreneurs
Registration for Ruralizable is open until Wednesday 27 March and can be done through the website: https://ruralizable.org/convocatoria-2023. The only requirement for participation is that the idea or project must be viable and have a direct and positive impact on the rural environment.
The call has two phases. In the first phase, participants receive advice and acquire tools, knowledge and skills from mentors specialised in entrepreneurship and innovation who will help them to shape or scale their business models. Most of them are employees of the satellite operator Hispasat and the technology platform Elewit, who, through corporate volunteering, provide the entrepreneurs with their vision and transversal knowledge in entrepreneurship and niche solutions applicable to the rural environment. The best projects move on to a second phase, in which Ruralizable promotes their participation in entrepreneurship events such as the South Summit.
As a novelty, the organisation has created the Ruralizable Community, a free space that brings together participants from previous editions, mentors and other professionals committed to the rural world to promote the creation of synergies, collaborations and networking, as well as to accompany and position the projects throughout the year.
Key dates and information
- Registration period open until 27 March (online)
- Mentoring of selected projects until 21 April (online)
- Competition to select the best projects: 22 April (online)
- South Summit from 7 to 9 June in Madrid (in person)
- Accompaniment and positioning (all year round)
Los18.org is a social innovation platform founded in 2016 with the aim of launching projects with a positive impact from a sustainable point of view. To do so, it launches initiatives that have a direct impact on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as is the case of Ruralizable, which has an effect on 13 of the 17 SDGs.