A training programme for rural entrepreneurs

What do southern Saxony-Anhalt, Münsterland and Dębica in Poland, Viana do Castelo in Portugal and Osijek in Croatia have in common? The rural regions are part of the extensive needs analyses in the EU project ARDENT.

The focus is on the challenges of rural entrepreneurship, induced for example by demographic change, urbanisation and digitalisation. These are to be met with offers in the field of adult education, especially in the field of entrepreneurship education. In order to put such learning opportunities into practice, ARDENT pursues the goal of equipping institutions in the field of adult education with the appropriate knowledge and tools for planning and implementation. For the Saxony-Anhalt region, Univations GmbH worked closely with the Competence Centre for Social Innovation Saxony-Anhalt and the Anhalt University of Applied Sciences as a project partner.

The idea for the learning offer was driven by the recognition of the need to bring together different approaches and participants with different backgrounds (e.g. IT, social entrepreneurship, creative industries and public administration). For effective collaboration, the consortium has developed a training programme that trains adult learners to develop and test creative and innovative solutions for social and economic needs of rural areas in a few months. The result is the concept of a Rural Entrepreneurship Accelerator.

The training programme enables participants to develop and implement projects and approaches with the aim of solving challenges faced by rural enterprises. To enable academic actors, higher education policy makers and business actors to run such an accelerator, there is a strategy paper that the project partners make available to interested parties free of charge. The so-called "Learning Packs for Rural Entrepreneurship" can be downloaded here. Using the document as a guideline, the partner universities of the ARDENT project will plan and implement the trainings in their regions and evaluate the results.

The project is now entering its final phase: In a final partner meeting (online) it became clear that the international cooperation of the project partners with ARDENT should not end. Due to the success of the measures and actions that the partners were able to initiate and promote in their regions through ARDENT, all members of the consortium expressed a high level of interest in initiating a follow-up project. It could be submitted in the 2022 or 2023 Erasmus+ application rounds and focus more on e.g. sustainability competences and "green" entrepreneurship.

In a final online meeting of the consortium, the marketing materials were presented in order to optimally disseminate the results of the project.

Contact persons

Daniel Worch

Mail: worch@univations.de

Phone: +49 345 13 14 27 00

Florian Bratzke

Mail: bratzke@univations.de

Phone: +49 345 13 14 27 00