Rural development policies based on economic criteria in Spain have proven not to work. These policies have aggravated depopulation and dependence of many rural areas on unsustainable economic models that generate even more inequality.Meanwhile, bottom-up social entrepreneurship initiatives committed to more appropriate and sustainable development are mainly ignored.Tararaina will create collective support mechanisms for social entrepreneurship,allowing people implication, and promoting advocacy
The project will start in Jacetania and Alto Gallego,and then be expanded to Aragon
The process of depopulation in Spain (Aragon being one of the most affected regions) is causing enormous social and environmental problems, the loss of social, cultural and environmental values and the violation of fundamental rights such as participation or education. Public policies based on purely economic and short term criteria have failed to reverse the situation, and sometimes generated more dependence, greater inequality and concentration of wealth in a few hands, pushing more than 25% of the municipalities to “irreversible depopulation” situations. Some residents and communities in these rural areas, feeling left behind, have started various social innovation initiatives to save their dying rural communities. These initiatives are struggling to get institutional support.
Alternative and collaborative finance is much about raising funds, as it is about influencing local decision-making. Crowdfunding and crowdlending are also a way to shape a more participatory democracy and to boost social change and innovation. This project will create a collective support platform for social innovation initiatives in rural areas, to make possible to advance towards a more sustainable territorial development, but also to counteract current policies and generate a crowded movement to change them. Collective support for these initiatives goes far beyond financial support; it is about expanding social support, and about reinforcing an eroded social fabric. Our idea also promotes alliances and collective entrepreneurship spirit as a key part of active citizenship.
Current structures for financing rural entrepreneurship are mostly based on purely economic criteria and unsustainable approaches. As an example, post-covid funds are benefiting large companies and non-sustainable sectors such as seasonal tourism or extensive livestock farming. In addition, the rigid structure of the funding mechanisms (with disproportionate guarantees, or requiring advance payment of funds) is excluding certain sectors of the population. What we have is that social innovation initiatives are mainly driven by young people, non-formalised groups of citizens, women... Groups that struggle to get institutional or traditional support. Our Project is based on the identification and participation of these groups, and on the creation of a broad community of support.
Creation of a project own online- collective investing platform based in social technology. For its development, participatory working groups will be created. Basic functionalities will include mini-sites for each of the initiatives focusing on social / environmental impact, crowdfunding and Matchfunding section.
There is already a database of social innovation initiatives but it will be completed with extensive and participative fieldwork engaging relevant stakeholders.
Social impact study and individualized supporting work with each of the initiatives.
Dissemination and mass marketing through existing networks and platforms and creation of a promoters network in the areas at greatest risk and vulnerability.
A year from now the project should have promoted and consolidatse existing social entrepreneurship initiatives in the territory, so as maximized their impact in social and environmental terms.
It should have attracted social investment to the territory aimed at filling the gaps left by traditional financing structures
It should have created intervention models (prototypes) that can be exported to other territories with similar problems.
Traditional actors should have started to change their traditional approaches, incorporating a broader vision of entrepreneurship, and taking into account social movements and demands.
New entrepreneurial initiatives should have born at the territory aiming to solve social problems prioritized by the communities and residents.
The problems facing democracy in Europe today include low levels of public participation and low support for political representation. Many citizens lack trust in government or political parties but demand responsive and accountable government. Collective funding is about transparency, is about organizing ourselves to decide where we want our money to be invested, but is also about influencing local decision-making. Crowdfunding indeed provides a nice entry for participation, and allows for more ambitious participation mechanisms to be put in place, strengthening relations between citizens, and forcing institutions to understand what the real interests of the communities are.
This project is an important step forward in our strategy to bring about real change in rural development policies. We have advocated a bottom-up strategy, working to get institutions and administrations to change their traditional approaches in order to adopt a more comprenhensive aproach of entrepreneurship. We have had some relevant successes, but his project would allow us to take a step forward in pooling efforts, and to have a powerful tool to collectively drive a change.
Funding requested from Civic Europe
Development of the platform and complementary investments 12000
Salaries (including coordination, field work, etc.) 40000
Professional services (training, advice to entrepreneurs, impact measurement) 6000
Advertising, broadcasting, materials 4800
We would be glad to receive suggestions to improve our approach, about potential partners, about other initiatives…