Rural Rules


Youth Exchange on Rural Entrepreneurship.
Stasiunai, Lithuania. 

Many of the European Union’s rural areas face a common challenge, as their capacity to create high-quality, sustainable jobs has fallen behind that of urban areas. Income is lower in rural regions than in towns or cities, and there are fewer job opportunities. Marginalised youth living in rural areas have a difficulty getting good jobs and continued education to get ahead in life and contribute to society. One of the obvious solutions for them is to move to the city and try to get a job there. Even if they do manage to get one, it is usually not the best paying one.

However, these marginalised youth possess one asset, which isn’t being explored by anyone to its fullest potential- their familiarity with the rural area where they live. Starting a business in rural areas would be a great vehicle for capitalising on this asset. In general, rural areas account only to 15.3% of GDP on average in the EU, which is not too much when we think about the numbers of people living outside the cities.

Non-governmental organisations from six European countries allied to create this project to help the youth expand their knowledge about business opportunities in rural areas. The main aim was to help the participants identify the business opportunities that exist in rural areas.

Workshops and activities

36 participants arrived in beautiful Stasiūnai village and took part in a variety of workshops and activities. They also visited Rumsiskes Open Air Museum, where entire buildings and artefacts from towns, villages and farmsteads from all over Lithuania have been brought to and reassembled.

The participants had the opportunity to meet interesting guests such as the founder of “Dalios Sodyba (Farmstead of Dalia), a countryside tourism farmstead situated in Stasiūnai village, who is a successful rural entrepreneur and owner of the  “Restaurant in the Field” ( http://ooosom.lt/ ). Finally, the participants took part in how-to sessions, business simulations and a business idea contest.

Results

The participants created many solutions to prevent unemployment in rural areas. During the exchange, they learned a lot about rural entrepreneurship and possibilities of starting their own business. Most importantly, they have developed their ideas for rural businesses.

Project title: Rural Rules
Programme: Erasmus+
Programme: Erasmus+
Key Action: Learning Mobility of Individuals
Action Type: Youth mobility
Youth Exchange
Project identification/ contract number: 2016-2-LT02-KA105-004818
Dates of the activity: 11- 19 September 2016
Place: Stasiunai, LITHUANIA