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Grogrund - Fertile Soil for Female Entrepreneurship in Rural Areas


This project illustrates the potential for women to own and run rural businesses. The County Administration's initiative provided: ideas seminars, mentoring and mentor groups, business expansion guidance and networking. Results have exceeded targets.


The socio-economic situation in rural Sweden disadvantages women - they have lower employment rates than men, access to fewer business network links and are not as evident in business management. Consequently, there are pressures on rural women to leave the countryside and move to the cities.This "Grogrund" (Fertile Soil) project, supported by the County Administrative Board of Vastra Gotaland, aimed to do something to create the conditions that help reduce women's rural migration.


The County Administrative Board in Vastra Gotaland is striving to create a good overall business environment for both men and women. But they acknowledge there is a special need to support women's entrepreneurship in a kind of "positive discrimination" initiative to help boost the numbers of women in business. Sustainable businesses which increase the opportunities to create desirable livelihoods in the countryside is the main objective.

Main activities

To raise awareness of business opportunities and boost competences for women, the project supported four aspects. First, "idea seminars" to raise awareness of possibilities; "mentoring" from experienced entrepreneurs to help those already with a business or an idea to develop it; "education and counseling" in business management; and "information sharing within mentor groups" - business lamb, rural tourism, horse activities, health and wellness, dairy, bee keeping, general business, etc.

Results & Benefits

A total of 383 women have participated in activities - exceeding project expectations. Over a two-year period 165 women attended four ideas seminars. Sixty out of 76 participants in the 12 mentoring and training groups have started or strengthened businesses, supported by 10 mentors. An additional 54 women have attended the education and business knowledge course about business expansion. Out of this, an active network of business women has emerged.

Lessons learnt

Women's entrepreneurship can be strengthened by linking information activities, education, mentorship and individual guidance. From these kinds of activities it is possible to build sustainable networks that remain after the life of a specific project. The achievements could not have happened without a specific initiative or project as the catalyst.

Project location and other information

Grogrund, SE 232 Vastra Gotaland, Sweden


Västra Götalands län

RDP Territory


Total project cost (€)

456 000

EAFRD contribution (€)

114 000

National contribution (€)

114 000

Private contribution (€)

228 000

Project website

Contact name

Berit Nordlander


+46 510 60 58 63

Languages for contact


At a glance



Final beneficiary type

Non-governmental organisations

Budget range

€100 000 - €500 000

Start date:


End Date:


Theme / Measure:

• Rural Quality of Life & Economic Diversification
• Training and skills acquisition
• 331. Training and information


Skills acquisition, Training, Marketing, Entrepreneurship, Women

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