This document overviews examples of initiatives and strategies related to 'Smart Villages' implemented at national and regional levels, as well as the role of Rural Development policy in supporting them.
The information is based on an EU-wide screening carried out by the ENRD Contact Point. Additionally, the document provides the timeplan of the ENRD Thematic Group on 'Smart Villages' in 2017-2018.
- identifying new trends, opportunities and ‘wild ideas’ for rural businesses;
- business support approaches to help realise innovative business ideas;
- supporting access to broadband and digitisation opportunities; and
- building digital capacity.
This edition of the EAFRD Projects Brochure explores how Rural Development Programme (RDP) funding – co-financed by the EAFRD – has been used not only to support individual rural businesses, but also to create the kind of enabling environment that allows businesses to prosper in rural areas.
Supporting rural business usually means providing strategic interventions that can increase the likelihood of successful, self-sustaining economic activities in rural areas.
The projects highlight inspiring examples of how to provide advice, training and networking opportunities to rural businesses, as well as targeted investment in the digital and physical infrastructure needed by rural business, both on-farm and in other rural sectors of activity.
This issue of the EU Rural Review explores some of the latest thinking and practice in how rural entrepreneurship can be supported to take advantage of emerging opportunities and latent potential in order to develop new forms of successful rural business.
Without seeking to ignore the many challenges facing Europe’s rural areas, the issue overviews new opportunities emerging from sectors ranging from the biotechnology to the experience economy and from possibilities created by new information technologies to changing consumer demand.
Finally, it examines how the Rural Development Programmes can be deployed strategically to take advantage of these opportunities, finding smarter ways to deliver effective business support and making targeted efforts to overcome some of the specifically rural challenges.