The GRASS CEILING Project is a three year EU funded project that explores the barriers facing entrepreneurial women in rural settings across nine European countries. A significant part of this project is the Living Labs, in which a group of innovative rural women (eight in the Netherlands) meet three times a year to follow a trajectory guiding them through their own innovate ideas and training them in relevant skills. The learning process is not limited to the women, but also to the facilitators who are studying Living Libs as a concept and its role in facilitating learning.
We (NL) hosted our third Living Lab recently, at the LTO Noord offices in Zwolle. All eight women participants were able to attend and shared progress on their empathy maps. Group discussion and feedback is so valuable in this session and this group have created a strong and supportive bond, sharing suggestions and inspiration. The structure of the Living Labs is as such that stakeholders are invited to share their knowledge with the innovative women. For this session the wonderful Anne Marie van Oldeniel-Boerhof stimulated challenging and emotive topics, focusing especially on the position of family in business partnerships, and giving guidance on how to respect boundaries without losing focus on the topic. The professional input from stakeholders further enrich the Living Lab experience and we are excited to follow the women’s journey when we next get together as a group in February.