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Social Enterpreneurship in Structurally Weak Rural Regions: Analysing Innovative Troubleshooters in Action

Project description

Social entrepreneurship and innovative troubleshooting in structurally weak rural regions

Structurally deficient rural regions are faced with social and economic problems, the most significant being restricted production of goods and services, and loss of young and highly skilled inhabitants. The MSCA-funded RURACTION project aims to pave the way for social innovation in rural regions. The research and training network will bring together renowned academics and experienced practitioners from social enterprises to contribute their expertise to spring schools, autumn skills seminars, and cross-sectoral secondments. The various ways in which practitioners who create and implement social innovations by entrepreneurial means operate will be analysed in order to gauge their impact on community empowerment. This will allow them to receive support in their problem-solving activities.


Structurally weak rural regions are faced with major social and economic problems. In comparison to urban or intermediate regions, predominantly rural regions are economically less productive and they provide a less extensive scope of desired goods and services. As a consequence, the regions experience a loss of inhabitants, especially of young and highly skilled people. Thus, downward spirals are set in motion that further reduce economic opportunities and prevent rural regions from overcoming their structural deficits.
The proposed RURACTION research and training network focuses on socially innovative solutions to these rural problems developed by social entrepreneurs. Social entrepreneurs are understood as practitioners who create and implement social innovations by entrepreneurial means. The question arises under which conditions they operate, how they organise solutions, how they network and empower residents, which impacts they actually have on rural development, and how they can be supported in their problem-solving activities.
The European Commission identifies the subject of social innovation in rural regions as a research gap. RURACTION intends to fill this gap. The research and training network brings together highly acknowledged academics and very experienced practitioners from social enterprises to contribute their expertise in this field (e.g. with spring schools, autumn skills seminars and cross-sectoral secondments). It strives to achieve excellent research results and aims at qualifying early stage researcher as equally scientifically and practically skilled experts for social entrepreneurship and social innovations in rural regions – be it in order to conduct further research in this complex scientific field, to professionally support and promote initiatives of existing social entrepreneurial organisations, and/or to professionally start their own initiatives and social enterprises.


Net EU contribution
€ 498 432,96
15537 Erkner

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Brandenburg Brandenburg Oder-Spree
Activity type
Research Organisations
Total cost
€ 498 432,96

Participants (8)

Partners (3)