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New Entrant netWork: Business models for Innovation, entrepreneurship and resilience in European agriculture

Periodic Reporting for period 3 - NEWBIE (New Entrant netWork: Business models for Innovation, entrepreneurship and resilience inEuropean agriculture)

Reporting period: 2021-01-01 to 2021-12-31

The European Commission has identified a distressing shortage of new farmers, based on an assessment of statistical figures showing that the number of young farmers in the EU27 is declining and older farmers are not passing on their farms to the new generation at a sufficient replacement rate.

The Newbie Network was designed to address the challenge of enabling new entrants to successfully establish sustainable farm businesses in Europe. The Newbie network facilitated the development and dissemination of new business models, including new entry models, to the full range of new entrants.
The primary objective of the Newbie network is to increase innovation, entrepreneurship, and resilience in the European farming sector by enabling new entrants to successfully establish sustainable farm businesses in Europe.
Specific objectives of the Newbie project are:
• To collect, critically review and publicize existing and potential new farm business models and new entry models and associated communication channels across a broad range of international contexts.
• To increase the flow of practical, educational and scientific information on new business models and new entry models between and within the geographical areas in Europe.
• To produce and disseminate practice-based, educational and scientific information on business models and entry models in an easily accessible form, for new entrants through traditional and non-traditional agricultural knowledge systems making this information available long-term.
• To increase awareness and user acceptance throughout the agri-food industry and in rural businesses of the available new business and entry models, through establishment of stakeholder-led steering and discussion groups and development of practical ‘toolkits’ for new business model establishment.
• To foster creative experimentation within practice, education and research on new entrant business models, through training and/or study visits, and promotion of innovative business models, thus leading to increased economic, environmental and social gains from these enterprises.
• To provide support for the implementation of the European Innovation Partnership (EIP) 'Agricultural Productivity and Sustainability', through interaction with Operational Groups, and in particular through the delivery of a substantial number of “practice abstracts” in the common format of the EIP-AGRI, including a library of new entrant visual ‘stories’ illustrating successful new entrant business models.
• To provide input for research agendas and policy on new business models and new entry models for new entrants, including the identification of current barriers to the up-take of innovative new models (both within farming and associated support systems), helping to develop more resilient European agriculture and rural areas, as well as strong interactions between rural-(peri-) urban areas.
The Newbie consortium succeeded in involving a broad range of stakeholders all across Europe.
In each involved country, Steering Groups (5-10 people from relevant actors and stakeholders) were established and met at least twice per year in each country.
The consortium also organized dialogues, called Discussion Circles, at national and regional level. In total 97 Discussion Circles (DC) meetings have been organized in 9 countries during the runtime of the newbie project, gathering over 4400 people. A report on the Discussion Circles meetings within the 9 countries is available.
On the project website a registrations system was developed enabling individuals to “become a member”. By the end of the reporting period over 680 people had registered, indicating the interest in the network. A report was written on the characteristics of the registered stakeholders.
Based on desktop research a report was produced on new entrants’ business models and entry models in all partner countries. Furthermore a report was produced on the available strategic business planning in the partner countries.
In every participating country 10 case studies (90 in total) were selected and interviewed. The majority of new entrants interviewed for the case study collection are also being presented individually on the Newbie website on an easy accessible map (
A Transnational Dynamic Learning Agenda and a connected National Dynamic Learning Agenda was developed in every partner country. The Learning Agendas were used by partners to focus on relevant content for the Newbie network(s) and to foster international learning and knowledge transfer.
In all partner countries national Newbie award ceremonies were organized and in every country at least three award winners for the best new entrant business model were selected.
A toolkit for new entrants in Europe was developed which exists out of 4 parts:
1. The NEWBIE Umbrella Toolkit: an integrative online toolkit presenting relevant information on 13 topics (
2. NEWBIE Hurdles and solutions – A Practice Abstracts browser toolkit: (
3.The NEWBIE World map – Videos and stories Toolkit: an informative and interactive online toolkit on individual practices-solutions of Newbies (
4. The NEWBIE Topic specific Toolkit: Project partners have identified specific needs in their countries and developed specific toolkits: (
Pedagogical materials were developed on:(1) Entrepreneurship: A must for Newbies in agriculture, (2) Newbies on the search to find niches in production and markets, (3) Newbies’ world: Social and technological innovations, and (4) Taking advantage of Newbies’ skills: on-farm non-agricultural diversification. See:
Project partners communicated and disseminated project information and outcomes through social media to a wide variety of targeted stakeholders: Facebook – more than 55.800 followers, Twitter – more than 44.900 followers, LinkedIn – more than 1500 followers, Instagram – more than 12.500 followers, National web pages’ views – more than 935.000.
More than 130 popular articles and 3 scientific articles were produced as well as interviews in regional and national radio and TV with large audience. all this output is described per country in the Newbie impact report:
For policy, local authorities and the financial sector 3 short recommendation papers were written:
We worked with National steering committees in which relevant stakeholders in each country participated to reach maximal impact.
For creating longterm inpact we have specifically developed the Newbie legacy plan in which we have described all measures to ensure the legacy of Newbie and so maximizing the long term impact. In the report we present general measures safeguarding Newbie's legacy like the continuation of the Newbie website where all reports can be downloaded as the Newbie toolkit and all publications . Besides general measures, all partner countries have taken specific actions to safeguard the legacy of Newbie like the continuation of New entrants awards, maintaining Newbie national websites, continued cooperation with organizations of the Newbie national steering committees, the use of training and other material in curicala and events etc.
The newbie team