The development of an online platform helped stimulate and support rural enterprises to turn to e-business.
Rural entrepreneurs are confronted with increasing competition from internet sales. People and especially younger generations in rural areas tend to shop online more and more. Due to these factors rural entrepreneurs and local shops that do not sell online are losing customers.
EAFRD support helped to develop an online search engine that combined local news and information about local businesses. The platform was connected with a local newspaper and the local edition of national newspapers. This online platform organised award campaigns for the best local entrepreneurs on the internet. The project also supported the Hageland Online Academy which provides training to local shops, stores, business owners, etc. on how to use the internet for commercial purposes (social media, webshops, internet marketing, content marketing, etc.).
The project helped reinforce the branding of the region Hageland.
During the project period 12 new local webshops were launched.
More than 1 500 visitors are recorded every month.