Development of Rural Localities in the Republic of Belarus: Boosting Rural Entrepreneurship in Belarus and Launching a Rural Business Incubator in Kamarova
About of project:
Period: April 2017 – February 2020
Budget: total - €551,034 and €39,350, EU contribution: €526,503
Implementing agency: International public organisation "Ecoproject" Partnership" (IPO "Ecopartnership")
Location: Miadzieĺ, Smarhoń, Pastavy and Astraviec Districts
Belarusian Viciebsk and Hrodna Regions are unique territories due to their proximity to EU borders and remoteness from large industrial hubs; however, job opportunities there, same as in the entire country, have been shrinking. Private business in rural localities of these voblasts could be a source of new jobs, but now it employs less than 3% of the population. The project is aimed at improvement of the socio-economic situation in the region through development of local entrepreneurship.
Goals and objectives: Facilitate sustainable economic development of north-western Belarusian rural territories bordering EU countries. Provide expert and financial support to local entrepreneurs for development of socially and ecologically oriented initiatives.
Intermediate outcomes: A rural entrepreneurship incubator opened in the village of Kamarova in Miadzieĺ District, Minsk Region. It provides consultations on business opening/closing issues, legal services and information support to local entrepreneurs.
From June 2017 until April 2018 the incubator supported the Rural Business School that taught business planning basics to everyone wishing to start up a business. 60 beginning entrepreneurs from Miadzieĺ, Smarhoń, Pastavy and Astraviec Districts underwent training. After graduating from the school, they presented their business plans at Start-up Weekends. 25 best participants received grants of €2,000-10,000. The financial support budget totalled to €182,000.
By September 2019, most entrepreneurs had successfully started their businesses including manufacturing of wooden toys and windows, clothes mending and shoe repair shops, car service stations, cultivation of organic buckwheat and strawberries.
A website has been launched and 2 press tours have been held to raise public awareness about the business incubator activities and to disseminate information about the positive experience of its residents.
The project also provided for an analysis of factors impeding the development of rural business. Its findings will be used to inform recommendations for public authorities and entrepreneurs.
Contacts: Natalia Andreyenko, Project Manager
+375 17 336 01 90, firstname.lastname@example.org