GEW: Rural Entrepreneurship in small villages in Portugal – panel video

By dpoig Feb 7, 2024

Part of our Global Entrepreneurship Week celebration Nov 13-19, 2023. Speaking about small businesses, entrepreneurship and sharing rural stories Story and photos by Deb Brown I was invited to speak in Portugal by my friend and business associate Frederico Lucas. My first night in Lisbon I spoke at this event hosted at the coworking space NOW […]

Part of our Global Entrepreneurship Week celebration Nov 13-19, 2023.

A panel of people seated in a coworking space holding a discussion.

Speaking about small businesses, entrepreneurship and sharing rural stories

Story and photos by Deb Brown

I was invited to speak in Portugal by my friend and business associate Frederico Lucas. My first night in Lisbon I spoke at this event hosted at the coworking space NOW Beato and broadcast live on Facebook. Focused on rural entrepreneurship, the panel had a lively conversation about the possibilities for their rural areas. And meeting the challenges their depopulated communities have.

In today’s global economy, entrepreneurs are always looking for new opportunities to innovate and create value. Small towns and villages are often overlooked and also can be a rich source of local knowledge and expertise. However, engaging with these communities can be challenging for people outside them, especially in areas with low population density and depopulation.

Empty building in a rural village in Portugal.

41 Small Villages Network Project in Rural Portugal

Ana Linares, from Novos Povoadores (“New Settlers”), and her team work with a group of small villages, 41 of them. There are very few people living there and few children, so the schools are closed. One town has 17 residents. Low density population is a problem. In the US we would call them ghost towns, in Portugal they call them depopulated.

Ana told us about this project. These 41 villages have created a network to develop tourism, but also to develop the community, and the social aspect of their economics. Because they are very small, if they were alone in trying to implement projects, it would be even more difficult. They started to organize and work together and use their synergies.

If one village has a festival, and another villag

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