First Croatian Living Lab “Eco-Women Entrepreneurs”

The Living Lab Croatia (LLHR), named Eco-Women Entrepreneurs (EWE), has held its first meeting. It was organised by the Faculty of Agriculture of the University of Zagreb and the Croatian Chamber of Agriculture (HPK) and held in Šibenik on June 16, with the support of the Public Institution Development Agency of Šibenik Knin County.

Eight rural women set out to develop their ideas and entrepreneurships for social-ecological innovations over the next three years. During this first LL HR event, the participants presented their innovation ideas and shared their experiences in terms of business, introduction of innovations and commented on the obstacles they encountered while starting their entrepreneurships.

They spoke of changing environmental awareness, hunger for knowledge and sharing knowledge for a better world, changing traditions, a healthier living environment, reviving childhood stories and living with nature, all factors that encouraged them to innovate in their rural setting. They also highlighted that on their way to success they encountered a considerable lack of understanding in their social environment, as well as numerous administrative obstacles, frequent changes in laws and regulations, and a lack of adequate support for knowledge transfer and research. In the second part of the one-day EWE workshop, stakeholders from academia, civil society and the public sector joined the workshop and together with EWE participants identified the key shortcomings in the institutional support available for rural women entrepreneurs.