On 16 November 2021, the European Commission launched the Start-up Village Forum, an initiative to gather insights on challenges for and potential of rural start-up companies. As part of the EU’s Long-Term Vision for the Rural Areas and the Commission Action Plan for Rural Areas, this forum intends to contribute to boosting research and innovation in rural communities and help build up a more innovative entrepreneurship to attract young and talented people. 

Start-up village forum

According to the Commission, the Start-up Village Forum aims at becoming an open space where local, regional, national and European institutions and stakeholders can meet, discuss and shape action for start-up-driven innovation in rural areas. 

It also seeks to provide knowledge on rural innovative start-ups, the types of innovations they are involved in, the gaps in the services that they expect from innovation ecosystems and how these could be strengthened in the future.

Taking all these into account, the broader objectives of the Start-up Village Forum are to:

  • Support the further development of rural innovation ecosystems.
  • Identify and analyse triggers for innovation in rural areas.
  • Connect rural innovation actors across the EU, with a focus on start-ups.
  • Provide a common understanding of the concept of Start-up village and highlight the link with the concept of smart villages.

More information here.