Maybe you have wondered already… What is a rural council to start with and why should you even build it? A rural council is a relatively small group of key actors that come together as a catalyst of change for rural areas. It brings together a balanced set of representatives from public, private and non-profit organisations working on revitalising rural areas through entrepreneurship.

European Education Institutions need to ignite an entrepreneurial spirit among adult learners and to integrate them into a process where they need to generate creative solutions to real-life challenges of rural communities. When local stakeholders are offered the chance to come together and channel resources into rural areas, there is a willingness to innovate and a high level of responsibility for the proper spending of resources.

The consortium sees several potential benefits in organising a rural council, such as:

a) Identification of the social and economic needs and challenges facing rural communities.

b) Seeking creative solutions to the real social and economic challenges facing rural communities.

c) Improving the quality of life in rural areas by introducing innovative solutions.

d) Integration of various entities operating in the region and enabling cooperation between institutions involved in the development of rural communities, residents and entrepreneurs.

e) Involvement of universities in local/rural community issues.

f) Supporting unemployed adults in acquiring and developing basic skills and key competencies in entrepreneurship.

g) Stimulating entrepreneurship in rural areas and creating new jobs to make rural areas more attractive places to live and work.

Thereafter, we, the ARDENT consortium, created the Rural Council Building Toolbox to help you set your rural council. The toolbox facilitates the creation of the conditions and organisational connections that are essential for the processes promoting entrepreneurship in rural areas. The toolbox contains a roadmap for a successful rural council creation. The roadmap is formed by 7 steps that you can follow to build a successful council. The following image summarise all the necessary steps.

You can find more detailed information on our ARDENT website under the section ‘toolbox’. The toolbox is available in multiple languages. Additionally, on top of the seven steps to take to organise a rural council, you will find useful information about the types of members that should participate to the council, tips to organise online events, and five successful examples of rural councils in the EU.