February 23, 2017

The Project

‘Creating Entrepreneurs in Food’ aims to boost innovation and entrepreneurship in rural communities. The project is led by the project coordinator Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology, Ireland working in partnership with the University of Bedfordshire in the UK, CEJA in Belgium and the Polish Beef Association, Poland.

The project will examine short food supply chains in Europe and aims to identify innovative methods that may overcome the current challenges food producers face. The main outputs of the project will include a training course for food producers developed by industry and academic leaders aimed at providing producers with the transversal skillsets that will empower them to gain control of their business, promote innovation, create employment and move up the value chain. The second output will be the development of an online web portal that will stimulate the flow and exchange of knowledge and best practice between education and enterprises allowing food producers to connect and collaborate with one another.

The project will facilitate a better experience for food producers, consumers, enterprises, educators and students throughout Europe by providing formal work-based training on how to boost innovation and entrepreneurship in short food supply chains.  The aim of the curriculum and web portal to be developed as part of this project will be:

‘To develop entrepreneurial skill sets in early stage food entrepreneurs and to facilitate innovative thinking that will develop the potential for participants to recognise and critically analyse opportunities within the sector and in turn create employment in their local regions throughout Europe.’

Having commenced in December 2016, CEF is a two-year project during which time the partnership team together with leading food entrepreneurs will establish and build relationships, host a series of events, conduct surveys and pilot the training programme with food producers in Europe. Connecting farmers, food producers, enterprise and education will be a core theme running through the project both on a national and international level.

Promote

The project aims to promote and support those involved in Short Food Supply Chains by providing them with entrepreneurial work based training and opportunities to connect, collaborate and knowledge share with other food producers.

Develop

An accredited course aimed at providing entrepreneurial training will be developed for those involved in the short food supply change. The objective of the course is to provide the target group with the knowledge and work-based skills required to foster and develop their food ideas into successful businesses, encouraging graduates to consider food entrepreneurship as a viable alternative to employment. The course will be developed by academics and industry leaders with practical learning being the key focus throughout.

Connect

A dedicated web portal hosting an interactive forum will be designed as a Project Output which will serve as a support to existing and developing food entrepreneurs and those involved in short food supply chains. This will allow them to stay connected, boost innovation and stay up to date with current industry developments. The web portal will provide an online network for the industry and will be an opportunity for businesses to collaborate and overcome challenges facing the short food supply chain industry.