Business Models Empowering Rural Social Entrepreneurship – voicing the rural norm

Project: EU funding

Project Details

Description (abstract)

The effects of structural change processes vary in different parts of the world and globalisation in society has made it even more important to discuss the conditions for sustainable regional and local development. The services provided by social enterprises in remote rural areas both enhance liveability for local people and the quality of the visitor experience. The objective of MERSE is to make it easier to start and develop social enterprises (SE) in rural NPA areas. There is a need for simple, easily-adapted tools to make their social impact sustainable and legitimate as local value contributors.The project will transfer and develop better adapted business models, support structures and conditions for rural SE, enhance transnational knowledge and learning of SE, create networks to better connect social entrepreneurs with supports. With the transnational cooperation between regions in the five NPA countries (Sweden, Finland, Norway, Iceland, Ireland) we will be able to exchange and compare country-specific knowledge and experiences on contextual social entrepreneurship. With this supply of new skills for community entrepreneurs and business advisors the prerequisites for social entrepreneurship will strengthened regions in the sparsely populated NPA area, this will lead to better opportunities for people who want to develop sustainable entrepreneurship and community services to promote a development where it is possible to live and work in the whole of NPA area. Changes occur through active ownership within the project organisation; collaboration between actors and organisations based on joint-knowledge formation interspersed with action; development-oriented action that leads to multiplier effects. Conducting interactive sharing and co-creating place-based best-practices, analyses similarities and differences, the project will search for gaps that different unique models and examples can fill for each other and support transformative knowledge across borders.
Short titleMERSE
Effective start/end date01/07/202330/06/2026


  • European Regional Development Fund Northern Periphery and Arctic Progr: €145,603.05
  • Lapin liitto: €54,881.00