ECOINNOVA – Center of cooperation for innovation in agricultural productivity and sustainability - is an initiative aimed at promoting innovation and employment
ECOINNOVA is a type of business incubator whose functions are: to support new initiatives, to strengthen the entrepreneurial capacity, to encourage the consolidation of new companies by minimizing costs, in the beginning, to help increase the survival rate of these companies and to contribute to the creation of job. The goals of ECOINNOVA project are: promotion of innovation, cooperation and the development of knowledge in organic farming, identifying professional profiles in highly innovative areas, developing a complementary training itinerary based on skills and abilities, promoting an ecosystem of innovation in agriculture, to raise awareness, inform and stimulate people and entities of the rural environment and design and promote the acceleration of business and social innovation projects, with a "custody of the territory" approach. The project has three phases: 1) selection of 45 jobseekers as potential entrepreneurs; 2) Training program selected 25 candidates and; 3) Project development: 15 of them would have access to finance. The duration of the project is 18 months.
Results and the expected social impact are the incorporations of new technologies in agriculture, improvement of the competitiveness of the small agri-food industry and promotion of entrepreneurship, revaluation of the agricultural profession and promotion of food autonomy.
Costs are supported by FUNDACION CAJA DE CANARIAS: 44.180,00 €, CABILDO INSULAR DE GRAN CANARIA: 180.000,00 €, and SERVICIO CANARIO DE EMPLEO: 523.313,1
The project has a total budget of 172,822.74 €; staff team for assessment, advice and training.
Evidence of success
The initiative has trained 45 unemployed from Gran Canaria and has increased their potential to improve their activity in the sense of competitiveness.
15 participants have received entrepreneurship coaching and have been included in a ecological farms companies incubator, with the financial support of a regional bank.
The main challenge was to equate the training team / consultant with the needs of the people who participated in the process.
Potential for learning or transfer
The initiative has great potential for replication since it can be adapted to agricultural areas and only requires a content budget and a quality technical team to assess the projects. Each institution that wants to replicate the initiative should adapt the contents to the characteristics of the territory where it will be implemented.
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