A GUIDE TO
the evaluation of
&natural resources This project has been funded with support from the European Commission.
LLL GRuNDTVIG LEARNING PARTNERSHIP Project Name: PANORAMA A guide to the evaluation of heritage & Natural resources Project Nยบ: 2008-1-RO1GRU06-00119 Project Start Date: 1 October 2008 Duration: 24 months This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein. Designed by Jane Bramwell, firstname.lastname@example.org l This publication is not for commercial use.
04 THE PARTNERS/ REFERENCES
05 FOREWORD 06 SITUATION ANALYSiS 10 EVALUATING
l l l l
First step to enterprise diversification Evaluate your assets Assess your community Assess your cultural heritage Set your objectives Check for sustainability
28 CONSERVATION AND
MANAGEMENT OF RESOURCES
l l l
General considerations on conservation of your resources Best practice management guidelines Invasive plant management
32 PLANNING AND ORGANISING l l l l l
Planning your rural business Writing a business plan Management processes Financial requirements Business risks
38 MARKETING l
l l l
What is marketing? The marketing strategy The marketing plan Promotion and innovation
46 LEGAL AND LIABILITY l l l l l
Legal procedures for setting up a rural business Regulations, licences and compliance Environmental permits and licences Manage your risk and liability Risk assessment
50 CASE STUDIES l l l
‘Casa Jesusa’; ‘AsturianBerries’ Countryside Tourism: ‘Kotrynos Sala’; Countryside Pub: 'Kletis' ‘Meelmore Lodge’; ‘Vista allotments’
56 APPENDIX I: ALTERNATIVE
57 APPENDIX II: ADDITIONAL RESOURCES AND LINKS
the partners… Lawton School
SPAIN, PROJECT LEADER Lawton School S.L. E-mail: email@example.com http://www.lawtonschool.com
Northern Ireland – U.K, Castlereagh Enterprises Ltd, UK E-mail: Louise.firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.castlereagh.com
Lithuania Alytus Business Innovation Centre (Alytus BIC) E-mail: email@example.com http://www.avic.lt
focuses on vocational training through language competences, and by the use of new technologies for on-line and blended learning. The company is ISO-9001 certified. We are an Official Examination Centre for international language examination bodies and a recognized training centre for the Dept. of Employment & Training of the Principality of Asturias. We have over 15 years experience in EU projects. One of our main areas of interest is tourism and we have organized vocational training courses, through English, in Equestrian Studies ,Rural Tourism, Tourism Management and for Guides in the Natural Environment.
Castlereagh Enterprises Ltd (CEL) established in 1992 is a not for profit, local enterprise agency based on the outskirts of Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK. Our role is to support the SME sector locally through delivery of business start and development initiatives and the provision of workspace premises. In addition to running successful start up and development programmes we have delivered specific interventions to assist various target groups including rural enterprises, creative industries, the community and voluntary sector, social economy enterprises and female entrepreneurs. CEL is a member of Enterprise Northern Ireland which represents 32 local enterprise agencies throughout Northern Ireland.
ABIC – Alytus Business Innovation Centre was established in April 1998. It is a not for profit public body. The ABIC provides information about business innovation accumulation and usage, qualifications and business practice. It develops collaboration with companies and with science institutions on the instilment of progressive technology, science analysis, and other innovation in business practice. It is involved in relations with social associates from the European Union and other countries, to motivate business expansion. It informs on business connections within Lithuania and the European Union. ABIC is a participant of LLL project Grundtvig 2 programme “Successful professional alternative in Europe“.
References… The research for this guide was undertaken between November 2008 and March 2010. Sources reviewed or consulted during the analysis include: l Turismo Rural y Sostenibilidad – Carlos Fernández Hernández, Universidad de La Laguna, Tenerife. l Politicas, Turismo Rural y Sostenibilidad – Gemma Cànoves, Montserrat Villarino y Luís Herrera, Universidad de Santiago de Compostela. l Turismo Rural en España – Paisajes y Usuarios, Nuevos Usos y Nuevas Visiones, Gemma Cánoves Valiente, Luis Herrera
Jiménez, Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona. l INI – Instituto Nacional de Estadística. l The DEFRA report on UK Agriculture 2003. l European Commission Agriculture and Rural Development. http://ec.europa. eu/agriculture/rurdev/index_en.htm l Taking the first step: Farm and Ranch Alternative Enterprise and Agritourism Resource l Evaluation Guide – Resource Economics and Social Sciences Division. United States Department of Agriculture. l Natural Resource Enterprises: Wildlife and Recreation – James E. Miller and Ken Hood, Mississippi State University.
l Heritage Tourism Toolkit
– Utah State History - State Historic Preservation Office, Salt Lake City. l Getting Started: How to Succeed in Heritage Tourism – National Trust for Historic Preservation, Denver, Colorado. l Cobweb Information Ltd Thanks also to those who reviewed this guide and provided feedback: Niall Evans, Oatridge College, Ecclesmachan, Scotland. Joe Meilak, Innovaxin International Ltd, Malta. Monica Muresan, Chamber of Commerce and Industry Bistrita-Nassaud, Romania. Kostas Katsogiannos, Athens, Greece. Jim Bradley, Belfast Hills Partnership.
Foreword Sustainable tourism that exploits resources in rural regions generates increasing benefits to rural areas in terms of rural productivity, employment, improved distribution of wealth, conservation of the rural environment and culture, local peopleâ€™s involvement and a suitable way of adapting traditional beliefs and values to modern times. Improvements in transport, increased wealth and free time have enabled urban dwellers to frequently visit the countryside. This has lead to a higher valuation of rural issues, as well as a higher interest in the necessity to preserve the environment. People look for open spaces where they can enjoy recreational sport and cultural activities. The modern travellers want holidays to be an experience where they interact with local culture, hence there is an increasing demand for heritage related tourist attractions and personal experiences of local culture and historical activities. They want to view the wildlife that still runs freely in rural areas. They are looking for local, fresh, organically or naturally grown products. This opens the door to opportunities for rural entrepreneurs to provide unique and authentic experiences in nature based attractions, adventure attractions, culture attractions as well as to provide support services for these activities. However, often those who have always lived in a rural environment, particularly in the new accession countries, do not fully appreciate the potential of their rural heritage as a source of tourist interest. In general, itâ€™s hard for those who live in rural areas to believe what they have has value, that everyday activities in a rural community are events that tourists are willing to pay to participate in. The question which has led to this guide is how can people who live in rural areas learn to evaluate and best exploit the potential of their built and natural heritage to set up an alternative or agritourism business exploiting while at the same time protecting their natural and heritage resources.
EU rural development policies encourage the protection and conservation of rural heritage by restoration of cultural buildings or monuments to facilitate social and cultural activities, and to improve the attractiveness of the area and thus encourage tourism, thereby revitalising rural areas and maintaining local populations. The potential range of occupations adaptable to the rural situations is extensive, some of which can be conducted on-farm, such as agritourism, while such as those relating to leisure and culture may not be related to the agricultural sector. Since the Seventies, rural areas have become a place for the implantation of second homes, for leisure and for new adventure sports. Rural development policies have included European programs such as PRODER and LEADER which have co financed projects related to rural tourism. The basic motor of this kind of tourism is the appearance of new demand created by people who look for open spaces where they can enjoy the natural environment and the pursuit of leisure activities. This implies a higher valuation of rural issues, as well as a higher interest in the necessity to preserve the environment. To reinforce this tendency Europe’s rural areas must exploit fully their potential in creating jobs, growth and sustainability. However, often those who have always lived in a rural environment, particularly in the new accession countries, do not fully appreciate the potential of their rural heritage as a source of tourist interest.
Please indicate your age
36 – 50
25 – 35
Please state your gender
Situation analysis The initial step in the Panorama project was to carry out an assessment of the situation in Northern Ireland, Spain and Lithuania to confirm the existence and clarify the nature of needs that were perceived. A survey was carried out using a structured questionnaire with relevant questions. Data was collected from sixty stakeholders from all partner countries and the information was compiled using SPSS software.
Please state your educational background
20 15 10 5 0
No formal education
The Impact of Rural Tourism on Rural Areas
The rural environment across Europe is suffering an intense transformation, due to generational changes and European policies in Rural Development. The European Union ‘s rural areas are a vital part of its physical make-up and its identity. Over 56 % of the population in the 27 Member States live in rural areas, which cover 91 % of the territory. Particular challenges faced in rural areas include lower levels of income, high unemployment rates a deficit of skills and human capital compared with urban areas and a lack of opportunities for women and young people. Rural development is, therefore, a vitally important area in EU policy. Land use and the management of natural resources in the EU’s rural areas and unlocking their potential, remain crucial for economic diversification in rural communities. The EU’s rural development policy is all about meeting the challenges faced by our rural areas. It is focused on: l Improving the competitiveness of the agricultural and forestry sector. l Improving the environment and the countryside. l Improving the quality of life in rural areas and encouraging diversification of the rural economy. The EU Rural development programme strongly encourages the implementation of measures to exploit the opportunities for growth and employment that exist in rural areas which can boost development and diversification. In recent years there has been a “counterurbanisation” flow out of urban areas into accessible rural areas made possible by new transport and ICT infrastructure. Better access of rural areas to the Internet can bring benefits to farms and companies in rural areas, especially small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). It makes them less isolated and more competitive through access to international markets and faster and more efficient ways of doing business. The European Commission has implemented support programmes to boost Internet networks and services to achieve ‘broadband for all’ in rural areas.
The first set of questions referred to the interest in using local, natural resources to operate a rural business. l The segment interviewed was made up of stakeholders of both genders from different educational backgrounds and ages. l 100 % of the interviewees were interested in and saw the potential of natural and cultural resources in their areas as a means to generate additional income.
SITUATION anaLysis l
A significant number believed that they could count on the support of their local community. Response Percent
l The participants considered the history, traditions and culture of where they live unique, and distinguished their area from any other place on earth.
FESTIVALS, please specify HISTORIC BUILDINGS & MONUMENTS, please specify TRADITIONS, please specify TYPICAL LOCAL FOODS, please specify
An assessment of the resources available and their potential to generate income produced the following results:
WOODS & FORESTS
Buildings & Monuments
Please mark the resources and activities which have potential as a business.
Please mark the resources and activities which have potential as a business.
ANIMALS & WILDLIFE
10 Market gardening
20 Blueberry cultivation
Please mark the resources and activities which have potential as a business.
Goats for milk & cheese
Free-range poultry & eggs
20 Gamebird stocking
Please mark the resources and activities which have potential as a business.
STREAMS, RIVERS & PONDS
25 20 15 10 5 0
Please mark the resources and activities which have potential as a business.
A further analysis provided a breakdown of the resources and activities which were considered to have a potential as a business: Please mark the resources and activities which have potential as a business.
Water & wetlands
Buildings & Monuments
Water & wetlands
Assess the potential of the folowing resources:
Please mark the resources available that you believe could generate income in your area
SITUATION anaLysis To complement the survey a SWOT analysis was carried out in each of the partner countries which produced the following results:
Existence of a wide network of rural tourism associations. l Public authorities encourage rural tourism quality strategies such as Q for Quality, EMAS, etc. l Legislation support s examples of good practice in the rehabilitation of buildings for Rural Tourism and the concept of sustainability. l Natural environment of great value, protected natural parks, diversity and quality of the countryside. l Development of promoter knowledge and skills on heritage and resources l Institutional support for business development. l Simple, sustainable management l Establishments with quality systems implanted, managed personally by the owner who is proud of his/her product or house. l Direct marketing thanks to Internet in the home. l Acceptable increase in local complementary income with possible growth. l The local population views rural tourism as “responsible tourism” and becomes more involved in welcoming tourists.
l Abundant recreation resources (lakes, rivers, forest, coastline). l Little urbanized countryside. l Abundant cultural and historical resources. l Culture, architecture, museums, old cities. l A well developed system of national parks. l A relatively new tourist region. l Low(er) prices of tourism services (meals, transport). l A rather dense road network. l A strong national legal basis of tourism. l Rural areas contain landscape and wildlife of great ecological and scientific value (bio-diversity).
Lack of an integral rural tourism development plan oriented towards environment management and product quality. l Rural Tourism is seen mainly as “stays” not as an integral product. l There is no national quality standard, legislation is at autonomous level. l Agriculture and cattle farming as a complement is disappearing. l There is a lack of strategies to make full use of all the potential of rural resources. l An ageing rural population l Problems relating to waste management persist. l The growth in supply is greater than in demand. l Occupation and prices are negatively affected by a high rate of irregular supply. l The lack of quality control. l There is little capacity for innovation. l Unit costs of introducing quality and environment management are very high. l The lack of business training. l
Low quality of passenger railroad services. l Undeveloped river transport and infrastructure of small ports and quays. l Undeveloped camping system with cycling roads. l Infrastructure. l
Quality orientation is lacking. The sector lacks professionalism.
l Availability of LEADER/PRODER grants and subsidies for Rural Tourism product qualification and consolidation. l Growing appreciation of the natural environment on the part of tourists and society as a whole. l Social demand for more responsible environment development, which respects natural resources. l Increasing popularity of Quality systems such as” Q”, Biosphere House, EMAS . l Associations help meet the challenges. l Growing use of ITC, improvement in management training and awareness of eco-labels. l Growing complementary supply with its own demand ( local museums, active tourism businesses, etc) which is included in Rural Tourism supply and creates employment. l Improvements in the rural environment create new opportunities: wine route, ecological farming, handicrafts, etc.
l Insufficient diversity of pastime and entertainment activities. l Intensive farming using fertilisers, pesticides and chemicals will cause substantial environmental damage, e.g. soil and water pollution through erosion, and contamination with heavy metals.
l Possibility to use EU structural funds in implementation of various tourism services. l Development of resort tourism. l Development of interregional tourist roads. l Promotion of small and medium businesses in rural tourism. l Demand of specific tourism products that expand the range of activities (conferences, cruise, rural tourism, ecotourism, active relaxation, cultural–cognitive tourism.
Irrational use of investments in tourism. Loss of attractiveness of cultural–historical and natural heritage objects. l Competition between proximate tourism markets and Lithuanian tourism product. l Increasing youth migration abroad due to unemployment and national economy decline. l l
l Demand for products with greater added value: ecotourism, enotourism, trails... l Channels in the web for information, interaction, segmentation and customer fidelity. l Involvement in rural tourism impulses the need to implicate oneself in quality and sustainability. l Manual and catalogue implementation of “good practices” (environmental, training, etc.)
l Public bodies more interested in quantitative than qualitative growth. l Standard systems excessively buarocratic and complex. l Poor image of Rural Tourism. l Urban pressure on many rural areas which deteriorate the environment. l Excessive uncontrolled growth of supply out of step with demand. l Ageing promoter with no generational continuity. l Little attention paid to level of services in accommodation. l Tourist pressure on certain resources.
SITUATION anaLysis l Quality systems attach more importance to standards than ensuring measures to make each stay an authentic and unforgettable experiences. l Regulations and norms attending certain activities such as quads. l Lack of common legislation between Autonomous Regions on Rural Tourism l Difficulty in determining and anticipating tendencies in demand due to shortage of research. l Unattended need for a common shared code of ethics and self regulation in rural tourism. l Second homes create a risk for rural tourism.
Northern Ireland Strengths l Many officials believe that rural communities play a vital and significant role in the economic, social and environmental life of the whole region of Northern Ireland. l The preferred development is continuous and collaborative relationships between local communities and those responsible for local development, regional planning and service delivery l Tourism is likely to become one of the main growth areas of the economy in the near future with the continuation of the peace process and the normalisation of the image of Northern Ireland internationally. l Many farmers, rural communities and countryside dwellers have used the uniqueness of their location or circumstances to inspire and drive forward successful businesses including holiday cottages and campsites to inspire tourism, pick your own fruit and vegetables and farm shops and farmers markets for tourists to watch or an attraction for young children. l Rural entrepreneurs have successfully diversified into or started new businesses in markets as diverse as agri-food, agri tourism, crafts, recycling, leisure and health.
l Many farms went out of business in 2003. Over the past decade 99,000 people or 16% of the workforce left the farming industry. l N.I is rapidly losing the skills to produce its own food. l The UK is becoming a dependent food nation – 42% of food is imported l The decline in the number of family run farms across the country. A large number of
family farms maintain the cultural diversity of food production, they provide rural employment and the starting point for regional food differentiation, and they also maintain farming bio diversity. l The physical distance between customers and farmers has widened. l Fewer people work in agriculture today. l Increasing mechanisation has led to this huge reduction. l Local shops selling local products have been replaced by the large supermarkets l Northern Ireland’s rural economy and farmers in particular, are facing an unpredictable future, with an increasingly competitive global market affecting returns on food production. While agriculture remains essential to rural economies, its position in the overall economy is changing. l Childcare has been a major barrier for rural women in Northern Ireland, the development of a childcare strategy would make a real and lasting difference to the lives of rural women.
l Organic food, recent research has shown that 97% of people in the UK are against GM food being sold in supermarkets. Food scares and farming crises, such as 2005’s avian flu pandemic and the foot and mouth outbreak in 2001 have contributed to widespread perception that organic meat is safer, and many customers are willing to pay premium prices for this reassurance. l Northern Ireland’s rural development plan aims to focus on vocational training, farm modernisation and supply chain movements, diversification of rural
economy, cultural heritage and promotion of tourism, to be supported by local communities through a bottom up approach. l Greater economic opportunities in rural areas of Northern Ireland can be achieved through the development of innovative products & services, encouraging farm households to diversify into non-agricultural activities to increase their incomes, encourage the development of activity tourism, sustainable development of the natural and built environment and greater usage of ICT (Information Communications Technology) and broadband.
It is vitally important that farmers in Northern Ireland establish an alternative source of income in the current climate where their basic income is decreasing. l Recent adverse weather conditions such as heavy rain has forced many farmers to write off some of their crops. Foot and Mouth and BSE are also a constant threat. l Prices being paid for milk and meats purchased by the supermarket chains to be sold as bottled milk and packaged meat are very low. The supermarkets continue to make considerable profits with their retail mark up and increasing demand for their products. Many farmers are quitting because of this resulting in a loss of output and job losses throughout the industry. l Most of foods can be produced much more cheaply in other areas of the EU. l Widespread concerns over the impact that intensive farming has on the environment.
Conclusion The environment, landscape, traditional architecture, cultures and traditions can play a fundamental role in the creation and maintenance of employment in rural areas by complementing income from agricultural, as well as providing opportunities to service the rural tourism sector. Those who wish to continue living in or desire to return to the countryside understand that the conservation of natural resources and a basic understanding of how the interaction of soil, water, animals, plants, air, and human resources, provide opportunities for the development of alternative enterprises and agritourism. The survey shows that there is interest in the creation of new alternative enterprises through the harmonious use of natural, historical and cultural resources with family, and community support. What they have in common - be they traditional or providing recreational or educational facilities - is that they all wish to use their natural resources and heritage to provide a livelihood which allows them to continue living in a rural area. It also indicates that alternative enterprises and agritourism would be a viable partner in most rural community development programs.
evaLuating your resources
Before you startâ€Ś If you decide to start an alternative enterprise or rural tourism business you will find many organizations ready to support you. But the decision is yours. You need to be informed and consider all the factors before you make your decision.
Evaluate Your Resources and assets. Assessing your resources will help you avoid setting up enterprises where resources are lacking or over utilized. It will help you base your decisions on what really is, not what you think it is.
Before you get involved some factors need to be taken into consideration:
Keep it legal. It is important to keep informed about the legal
Motivation. It is important to measure your reasons for
obligations and regulations concerning your enterprise and the environment you work in.
considering starting an alternative enterprise to measure it for success. Is your idea realistic? Is it to provide employment for your family or is it to make money.
Give some thought to what type of enterprise is most appropriate for you and your family. Are you sure it is right for you?
Chose something you enjoy doing and know about. Make a personal inventory. Define what you can do, your skills and interests. Make a list of options or do a SWOT analyses. It is important to think through all the factors involved and make informed decisions about whether and how to go into the business.
Invest in quality. Quality is the single most important element that will differentiate your enterprise from other alternatives. Make your product or service unique. Remember people expect to be active, entertained and informed. They want in some way to experience the satisfactions of rural life.
The pathway to success Identify the potential of your landâ€™s and local resources for possible enterprises l
Examine the capabilities and limits of your and your familyâ€™s resources l
Be sure you have the support of the whole family and the community and involve them as much as you can. The more people you involve the more support you get. Look for ways to work with other businesses in your community. Build mutually beneficial relationships with the right people in the community.
Preserve and protect your resources
Develop a good business plan
Market your brand
Learn about laws, regulations and liabilities regarding your choice of enterprises l
Learn about opportunities for financial or technical assistance l
evaLuating your resources
Personal Inventory – Assess your personal skills First and foremost there are certain questions you need to ask yourself to assess your personal skills.
n My family supports me, and can make the necessary changes in their lives. n My community is
n I enjoy performing
n I handle
n I communicate
n I have the skills
well on the phone.
supportive; they will accept visitors in the locality.
n I’m persistent.
n I’m highly organized
and manage my time well.
n I’m good at bookkeeping
n I’m good at taking
n I consider myself n I’m OK with providing personal service to strangers.
n I consider myself flexible.
care of details.
n I can deal with criticism.
n I’m willing to do physical work and put in the long hours.
n I need a steady income,
n I work well
or can I live with uncertainty.
n I have a good
emergencies well. to maintain and operate necessary equipment.
n I’ve got the budget for investments.
n I know the natural history of my area.
If you have answered more than 8 questions with “No” then maybe a rural enterprise is not the correct business for you and you should consider another type of business.
n I like this kind of work well enough to do it day in and day out for years. n I will enjoy doing this as a business. n I’m self-motivated and a self-starter. n I find it easy to get along with most people. n I enjoy meeting and talking to people. n I’m tolerant and patient. n I can handle conflict without alienation.
evaLuating your resources
T O eet h s k SalyW r sis wo
Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats. Take some time to complete the following SWOT analysis worksheet. It will help you decide whether your business idea is realistic, what you have going for you, and what major obstacles youâ€™ll have to overcome.
What useful connections do you have?
What resources do you lack?
What equipment or facilities do you have?
What skills do you need to get?
What do you do well?
What donâ€™t you do well?
What good opportunities do you see?
What is the competition?
What trends are improving things for you?
What trends are working against you?
How is your situation improving?
What challenges are you facing?
evaLuating your resources
to making the most of your resources
1 2 3 4 5
Evaluate your assets
Assess your community
Assess cultural heritage
Set your objectives
Check for sustainability
Identify the potential of your landâ€™s resources for possible enterprises The rural environment and its natural, cultural and human resources provide great opportunities for alternative enterprises. Evaluating these resources will show the potential use, benefits and limitations for new enterprises. Before deciding what type of enterprise is most appropriate for you and your family, from the outset it is indispensable to have some basic knowledge of the resources available to you, either on your property or in the community. An inventory will provide valuable information on its potential, and help you to clarify your objectives. This will ensure that decisions made based on short-term conditions will not produce long-term, undesirable consequences. Moreover a good inventory will help you complete a good business plan. The resource assessment should also be used to determine if any regulatory constraints will apply to practices on the property, for example, threatened or endangered species habitat. Addressing these will help you avoid problems or litigation in the future.
evaLuating your resources
Evaluate your assetsâ€Ś property & resources
Take a look at the natural resources on your property and consider the following:
Farm Animalsâ€”Livestock and Poultry
The amount of land you own or have access to. l The use is it currently being put to. l What areas on your land are only used seasonally. l The areas that can be used for agritourism for a few months of the year. l Its suitability for recreational use. l What your land looks like. l The features on your land such as scenic views, mountains, valleys, rolling hills or interesting features like caves or cliffs. These features, can be marketed as the perfect setting for a number of agritourism enterprises.
Alternative livestock or poultry enterprise can provide many opportunities and are limited only by what your natural resources will support. Also, livestock and poultry enterprises can supply many forms of entertainment, education, and other services to the public.
Land Location The access to your property. The land or premises is well signposted. l Location in relation to your neighbours. l The distance to the nearest town or city. l l
Soil Type l The quality and characteristics of the soil in each area of your property and what is it best suited for. l Soil quality can affect the level and diversity opportunities. l Soil types determine what farm management and conservation practices are necessary to sustain production.
Wildlife Abundant wildlife could support recreation such as hunting, fishing, bird watching or photo safaris. Wildlife habitat determines the kinds of wildlife that are available on your property and in the surrounding area. An alternative enterprise or agritourism that uses or highlights wildlife should focus on enhancing the habitats that maintain them. Creating habitats to attract other wildlife species may be easy and should be considered.
Water resources have many uses beyond basic agricultural production. They can provide many alternative enterprise opportunities. l Wetlands provide habitat for many birds and other animals. Wetland areas can be used for outdoor classrooms and other practices. l Ponds, lakes, rivers and streams can be used for recreational purposes (fee-fishing, canoeing, paddle boating) or production purposes (crops, livestock, poultry, vegetables, or fish).
l Historic buildings or other historic features on your property that might serve as tourist attractions. l Is your farmhouse suited for a bed and breakfast business.
Opportunities for Collaboration
Farm buildings are a part of the landscape that is very important to preserve and is appreciated by rural and urban people alike. Buildings can be put to many uses, or can be an attraction, in an alternative enterprise or agritourism business.
Forming partnerships and networking with local/regional organizations or businesses can make a big difference in marketing your business successfully.
Other activities, lodging and dining facilities in your community could complement the activities you are planning.
Plants Plants provide an endless number of alternative enterprises and agritourism opportunities. Plants can provide products for niche markets; produce preserves, and bread; feed livestock, poultry, and exotic animals. They provide food and cover for wildlife; or enhance the aesthetics of the landscape. All of these uses can improve an on-farm agricultural experience.
evaLuating your resources
Assess yourâ€Ś community
The support of the local community is important for the success of your enterprise. It is important to enlist the support of local officials and agencies that can provide technical assistance where necessary. Local customers are good sounding boards for new ideas. They are readily available for testing new products and services, and market the business by word-of-mouth.
What makes your community unique?
A: the character of your community Community character is defined by the unique characteristics of a place and its inhabitants. l The physical environment such things as buildings, places, l The social environment may include shared traditions, lifestyles, activities, events, etc.
What are the localityâ€™s most unique or important cultural or historic structure?
What are the special places?
What are the communityâ€™s most unique or important landscapes, features, areas, or sites?
Which famous or important people have lived in the community?
What events bring people in your community together?
How could these events contribute to your business?
Comm u Inventonity ry w
How have they influenced the community?
evaLuating your resources
Is there community spirit among residents?
What kinds of businesses are needed in the community?
What infrastructure do you have â€“ or do you need, to serve businesses, and residents?
What does the community value?
How can local products, traditions and institutions contribute to your business?
What skills, strengths, interests, financial support, and connections do individuals and organizations in your community have?
What ordinances does the community have for preserving and adapting historic buildings to present needs?
What tools are there to address the protection of natural resources?
B: FAMILY CONSIDERATIONS Alternative enterprises tend to be relatively small, with family members making up the labor force in most cases. The whole family is often required to be involved in the business. Hence family cooperation is the key to the success of the business. A strong social framework within the family, and especially intergenerational support, is required if it is going to be a success. The type of family input, hopes, expectations, preferences, needs and concerns regarding the future of the business and willingness to have a role in it as well as types of enterprises that are preferred, must necessarily be discussed by all the family members to develop the new business.
evaLuating your resources
C: ASSESS YOUR COMMUNITY RESOURCES
It’s important to take into account the community’s infrastructure and available resources as the community does have an integral role in the development of entrepreneurial businesses.
Music & Dance
C: ASSess your COMMUNITY RESOURCES
Power, Roads, Water, Sewage
evaLuating your resources
Assess… Cultural Heritage
T O eet h s k SalyW r sis wo
We have taken the word ‘heritage’ to mean everything that is of historic, cultural and /or environmental interest. Assess the Potential
Begin by assessing your attractions, current and potential. Assess what historic or cultural resources your area has to offer. To assess historic or archaeological resources, find out if your community or region has already been surveyed and which of your area’s historic sites are already listed. Make a list of the sites that are currently open to the public or that add to the story of your area. To assess the importance of an unlisted heritage item you will need to collect information about your site and the heritage on your site. Do some simple investigation: l Go for a walk / ride / drive on the site l Take lots of photographs. l Produce a map of the existing features that allows plenty of information to be added to it. l Use a video camcorder to record interviews with people.
The heritage assessment procedure
Seek information about the site or feature in relation to: l
Gaining permission from the landowner for access. Cycle routes & bridleways, footpaths etc. l Statutory protection, for example Site of Importance for Nature Conservation etc. l
Conflicting interests on site, for example, use of footpaths by motorcyclists and horse riders. l Issues such litter, vandalism, etc. l The nearest facilities such as tourist and visitor information, toilets, refreshments. l Water, gas, electricity, communications and IT supply. l Transport links and facilities and car parks.
To encourage cultural heritage visitors to your community, look at all the existing resources you have to offer – historic, cultural and natural. l Consider cultural resources such as museums, theaters, or local cuisine, crafts, songs and dances. l Check out parks, sports facilities, and recreational facilities that already attract visitors. l Do a thorough job of site assessment: Is a site a destination in its own right or part of the itinerary when the tourist plans a trip. l What untapped resources could play a role in heritage tourism if it were rehabilitated, developed, or interpreted? Now, prioritize your resources. Not all sites will draw visitors.
Analyse the information you’ve collected by doing a SWOT analysis…
Strengths eg: heritage features
Opportunities eg: restoration of heritage features for new use
Weaknesses eg: visually unattractive features
Threats eg: conflicts of interests, lack of funding for conservation & interpretation
evaLuating your resources Cultural Resources checklist Explore traditions, indigenous & artistic products:
Farming, commercial fishing
Other entertainers, like singers and storytellers
Special events â€“ like festivals, and craft fairs
Other traditional lifestyles
Natural Resources checklist Look at resources that could attract visitors if they were properly developed.
Roads, canals, abandoned railroad corridors or other transportation facilities with unique historic, scenic or recreational significance
evaLuating your resources Historical & Archaeological Resources checklist Are there any of these historic resources in your area?
Historic neighbourhood, districts
Bridges, battlefields & parks
Historic listed properties
Other buildings that have historic significance
Fountains, sculptures and monuments
evaLuating your resources
evaLuating your resources Visitor Services Checklist Keep in mind the need for service and quality. Now take a look at other aspects of visitor services: lodging, restaurants, shops and infrastructure. Keep your goal in mind – to record the variety of resources available and the levels of service they provide.
Accommodation Facilities & Décor
Design-fits with existing buildings
Wide variety of products
Design-fits with existing buildings
Selection of indigenous or locally made products
Connection to major population centers
Good access from airports, railroads, bus lines
Information center open every day for visitors
Parking available for cars buses, RV’s and vans
Attractions well sign posted
Are there public toilets?
Do banks offer currency exchange?
evaLuating your resources
Set your objectives based on the evaluation results
Make a statement of your goals and objectives. It is important to set down exactly what you want out of your resources. An objective is a desired outcome for your property. Your objectives should reflect your true desires and must be compatible with the resources available to you. Based on this statement of desired outcomes and an assessment of your resources, more specific objectives can be outlined for each resource. Your objectives should meet the S.M.A.R.T. criteria: l Specific l Measurable l Attainable l Relevant l Time bound
Establishing Your Objectives If you do not yet have specific objectives for your resources, the following questions may help you to determine the things on which you may want to focus as you develop a management plan.
Objective FeasIbility What is your ownership/ family situation What is your property used for: residence, weekend retreat, agriculture, recreation, timber investment, future development, etc How many hectares are in crops or pasture? What other uses is it put to? What types of recreational activities could you enjoy on your land? Bird watching, biking, hiking, fishing, hunting, camping, horseback riding, boating, nature walks, wildlife observation, etc. What are your wildlife management goals? Recreational, hunting opportunities, non-game species, protection, observation, etc What wildlife species would you like to feature on your land? Deer, fox, squirrel, bear, rabbit, quail, waterfowl, songbirds, birds of prey, other game or non-game species What are your management constraints? Limited capital, lack of equipment, distance from property, need financial assistance, need technical assistance, other Are there outstanding or unique features requiring special protection or management?
Checklist Do your records show that you have improved your rural business over time?
Do you have set periods to review your records?
Check for Sustainability
Sustainability requires that we safeguard and enhance our countryside, improve our competitiveness and the sustainability of our rural businesses, and help communities to thrive. The sustainability of a rural business depends on many factors involving management, use of resources, and quality of life. The questions in this check list are intended to identify areas of strength as well as areas in your rural business management that might be improved.
Checklist Do you have a plan that ensures you are using your resources in the most efficient manner possible? Are you making full use of your resources? Do you take measures promptly when you notice that something is not quite right? Are you satisfied with the performance of your current business practices? Are you selling your products/services for the best possible price?
n n n n n n n n n n n n
Are you making a good profit after your costs are paid?
Are you timing your activities to make the best use of your resources and to maximize your profit?
Have you identified the weaknesses of your business?
n n n n
Does your alternate enterprise bring benefits to your farm as a whole?
Are your products of consistently high quality? Are you in compliance with all regulations? Do you keep adequate records? (paper or software) Are records recorded and updated frequently?
Do you know how much time is invested in your product?
Are you keeping thorough records of all expenses, including mileage for vehicles?
Do you do regular maintenance to keep equipment in good repair? Are all your equipment expenses justifiable? Do you have a good tax accountant?
If you hired outside labour in the past year, was the expense a justified cost?
n n n n
n n n n
Does the daily routine run smoothly and easily?
n n n n
Are the tasks assigned to the person best suited for the job?
Is there one person who takes responsibility for the marketing?
Is there one person who does most of the management? Is your market share increasing? Do you know the farm labor laws in your country?
n n n n
n n n n
List here any aspects of management, marketing, resource conservation, or enjoyment of life that need to be improved. Rank them in order of importanceâ€Ś
List here any ideas regarding your business that you would like to improve or upgrade.
If you have a farm does your enterprise complement the farm activities?
Do you have objective ways to evaluate the quality of your services and products?
Could you increase profitability?
Do you have a good liability policy?
n n n n n n n n
Do you put a cost on labour when you use family?
Do you use records for management decisions and future planning?
Are you being compensated for the extra time you are investing in the business?
Can you identify ways to reduce your biggest expenses?
n n n n n
n n n n n
What can be changed to streamline your work and make it as efficient as possible?
What can be done to increase the sustainability of your rural enterprise?
conservation & management of resources
General overview on conservation of your resources Biodiversity loss is one of the worldâ€™s most pressing crises and there is growing global concern about the status of the biological resources on which so much of human life depends. It has been estimated that the current species extinction rate is more than a 1,000 times higher than it would naturally be. Nature Conservation is the management of the use of the biosphere by humans so that it may provide the greatest sustainable benefit to present generations, whilst maintaining its potential to meet the needs and aspirations of future generations.
Nature Conservation is Concerned with: l
Prevention of decay, waste, or loss of natural resources. Maintenance, restoration, improvement and sustainable use of flora and fauna. l Preservation of wildlife populations and of the habitats or ecosystems on which they depend. l The careful use of a natural resource in order to prevent depletion. l To preserve and protect open spaces and historically important land areas for public outdoor recreation or education. l
land? (i.e. deer, fox, squirrel, bear, rabbit, , waterfowl, etc.) l Are there outstanding features which require special protection?
Property Description Understanding the connection between agriculture and wildlife clearly , will allow you to make better management decisions to protect the regionâ€™s wildlife in the future. Your management plan should include a description of your land and resources which will give you appropriate information on soils, water bodies, historical feature, wildlife uses and recreational opportunities. Develop a map of your property. You can use it to plan the locations of your management practices. Tony Buzan decision making method is an excellent tool for developing a map of your property. See the links below: http://www.buzanworld.com/Mind_Maps.htm http://www.thinkbuzan.com/uk/support/tutorials/ how_to_create_mindmaps
Financial Resource Assessment l
How many hectares are there? What is your property used for? (recreation, country house, etc:) l Are there crops or pasture or forest? l Are there financial constraints? (limited capital , need of financial support) l Are the management goals to generate immediate or periodic income? l
It is important to be aware of how to manage specific habitats: grasslands, shrub lands, forests, woodlands, wetlands, coastal habitats, arable land, and gardens in urban areas. The first step for conservation and protection of your resources is to develop an appropriate, clear management plan. The information in your management plan should be simple, but with enough detail to be useful.
Human Resources Assessment l
Your plan should include: l l l l l
Your objectives Property description Resource assessment Management recommendations An activity schedule
Establish Your Objectives
The management plan should start with the objectives. The objectives should reflect your true desires and must be compatible with the resources available to you. To establish your objectives you need to have some basic knowledge of the resources on your property. It is advisable to ask yourself some questions, like: What are your priorities? (wildlife management, recreation, etc.) l What types of recreational activities do you enjoy on your land? (bird watching, biking, hiking, fishing, camping, horseback riding, nature walks, wildlife observation, etc). l What wildlife species would you like to encourage on your l
What is your ownership/family situation? How many and who could be involved in activities of protection l Are there active people in your community, who are willing to work together with you to protect your resources? l Is it possible to recruit educated and qualified coworkers in your community? l
Information Resource Assessment l Make a list of contacts, people or agencies than can give advice or provide you with the information you need. l Find out what your communityâ€™s plans and resources are for protecting resourses. l Consult conservation and agricultural agencies who can guide you in developing appropriate land management practices. l Find out who is responsible for the protection of flora and fauna in your community/region. l Consult local, national and European Union agencies on environment protection legislation. l Consider how to apply animal and plant protection legislation to your business. l Consider how enforcement can influence your life and business.
conservation & management of resources
Management Recommendations Based on the resource assessment and your own specific objectives, you should be able to establish a general set of treatments or operations over a long term and outline the expected results. You should bear in mind: l What your management constraints are. (limited capital, lack of equipment, need technical assistance, etc.) l How to identify and define operational goals that will help measure success. l What actions can be taken to efficiently achieve these goals.
Activity Schedule An activity schedule sets out a time table for each recommended treatment. Detailed records of the dates, times, places, expenses,
Factors to be considered
and income associated with each activity should be kept. ( i.e types of seedlings/herbicides, weather conditions, etc. ) in order to: l determine your successes, l plan additional activities l update the management plan This record will be helpful for reporting the costs and revenues.
Supplemental Information It is a good idea to include a list of contacts or agencies that can give you advise in case you need further assistance.
Identify prote in your cted resources commu nity
Location â€“ where? Legislations, laws â€“ How? Who?
Plants: (trees, flowers, herbs, mushrooms)
Water resources: (lakes, rivers, springs)
Forests, reservations, parks
Roads, canals, abandoned railroad corridors or other transportation facilities with unique historic, scenic or recreational significance Cultural heritage
conservation & management of resources
Best Practice Management Guidelines Whether you own a hectare or a large farm your property has the potential to provide quality habitat for wildlife.
Burning Burning aids in establishing new vegetation that is nutritious and palatable to livestock and wildlife. Prescribed burns require permits and are generally regulated at both the local and state levels.
Wildlife have four basic requirements: food, cover, water and space. These requirements differ to some degree
Hedgerows and Tree Lines
with each wildlife species. What is good for one species is not necessarily good for the other. However there is overlap in many habitat requirements. The following practices can be applied to provide a better habitat for a variety of wildlife species.
Field edges provide a source of cover and safeguard small wildlife species. Hedgerows between fields can provide useful wildlife habitat for nesting, foraging, and escape for many birds, mammals, and butterflies. Tree lines provide mammal dens and nest cavities for birds.
Wildlife Habitat Management
Providing Nest Boxes
Planting areas with grasses, wildflowers or planting food plots is an effective way to provide suitable habitat for farmland wildlife. It provides nesting habitat for a variety birds as well as some small mammals.
Mowing Safe mowing practices to lower wildlife mortality, mowing after the end of the breeding season or keeping small patches unmowed can benefit small mammals, ground-nesting birds and can prevent destroying nests and young.
Grazing Grazing should also be considered as this is often the most effective management technique for grasslands and heathlands, although appropriate species, breeds and stocking levels need to be understood.
Providing nest boxes on your urban property can provide nesting sites for native wildlife. You can buy ready-made nest boxes. At the end of the breeding season, clean out boxes to deter mice and other rodents from overtaking the space.
Soil and Water Conservation strategies Fresh, clean water is an essential habitat feature for all wildlife. Ponds and wetlands provide excellent habitat for fish and attract birds, amphibians, reptiles, and insects. Wetland habitats can also provide landowners with recreation possibilities, including wildlife viewing, hunting, fishing, and boating. The need for soil and water resources management is an inevitable requirement of an advanced society that enjoys a high standard of living. Protecting streams, wetlands, ponds, lakes, reservoirs and floodplains is not only the Governmentâ€™s business, it is every persons responsibility to save natural water recourses. Education is the key to understanding the environment saving philosophy. The development and implementation of soil and water resources conservation practices and strategies should be encouraged and facilitated through the promotion of sound soil and water resources conservation techniques and natural resources stewardship through public formal or nonformal education.
Integrated Pest Management Pest management using an ecological approach employing an assortment of complementary methods such as natural predators and parasites, pest-resistant crop varieties and biological controls can significantly reduce or eliminate the use of pesticides .It is an important issue for the quality of farmland habitat.
Use of Herbicides The application of herbicides is a widely used management technique due to their effectiveness and ease of application in killing plants. But because little is known about their inherent
conservation & management of resources
effects on fragile ecosystems, the use of herbicides should be discouraged unless they are applied in a manner that limits their effects on non-target organisms.
Wildlife Damage Control Before selecting a control method, first properly identify the species and know the type of damage caused by it, so as to correctly identify suitable control methods. Before undertaking any method that may cause harm to the species in question, contact local authorities to ensure the practice is legal and to determine whether the species is protected by law.
Plant Protection Plants are universally recognized as an essential part of biological diversity and a vital resource. Over 8,000 plant species worldwide are threatened with extinction and that number grows daily. Researchers have recently estimated that between 22 and 47% of the world’s flora is in serious decline.
l Check what plant protection products are being used to protect crops before and after harvest. Harmful insects, weeds and fungi are killed by chemicals, such as pesticides which can have severe undesirable effects if they are not strictly controlled. l It is essential to ensure that pesticide residues are not found in food or feed at levels presenting an unacceptable risk to humans and/or the environment. Maximum residue levels are set by European environmental protection legislation. See links below: http://ec.europa.eu/food/plant/protection/pesticides/ legislation_en.htm http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/food/viewtols.htm l When deciding always remember law and ethics: solving the problem has a big impact on you yourself, your family, your community. It is important to decide on your position on sustainability. l Evaluate the economic and environmental aspects of plant problems – caused by disease, insects, weeds, and conservation.
Invasive Plant Management Invasive plants are one of the greatest threats to native park lands. There are several methods of controlling the spread of these plants…
Hand pulling Hand pulling is an effective method for removing small populations of weed. Plants can be pulled during most of the year.
Cutting Cutting is effective for medium to large-sized populations depending on available time and labor resources.
Prescribed Burning Early spring-prescribed burning can be an effective mean of killing pests and invasive plants.
Herbicides Glyphosate based herbicides are very effective. Spray will stop expansion of invasive plants, especially winders and bulrush.
Black Plastic This technique works best when the treated area is in direct sunlight.
Pesticides in General In some countries – such as the UK, you may be required to hold a certificate of competence to apply chemical treatments.
All these methods are effective but can be dangerous – be careful!
Land of historic interest Land of historic interest includes areas such as Civil War battlefields, land in a registered historic district, and land next to a property listed in the National Trust (National Registrar of Historic Places) where the features of the land contribute to the historic or cultural integrity of the property. Historic preservation can be an important component of any effort to promote sustainable development. The conservation and improvement of existing built resources, including the re-use of historic and older buildings, is crucial to sustainability. Nature conservation and natural resource conservation will allow future generations to enjoy wildlife, forests and beautiful landscapes. So before starting your business pose this question to yourself about nature, wildlife and heritage…
Agencies in each country that can give advice There are several agencies that can help you manage your property. These organizations are resources for information on funding opportunities to assist you with your management implementations. Local conservation groups can be enlisted to determine the wildlife species nesting or foraging on your property. Contacting community groups as well as agricultural or conservation agencies in your area can help you develop a conservation management plan for your property.
See Appendix 2 for a list of key agencies and organizations that can provide guidance and assistance in developing your habitat projects.
PLANNING & ORGANISING
Planning your Rural Business Having assessed the opportunities available and subsequently decided on pursuing a particular business idea, it will be necessary to undertake some market research and prepare a business plan. Many new businesses fail to undertake adequate market research thus increasing the likelihood of failure. Market Research involves finding out detailed information about your business proposal and the various aspects of the market sector (e.g. rural industry) in which you hope to operate: l Customers â€“ Who are they? Where are they? How much will they spend? When do they spend? What level of service will they expect? l Competitors â€“ Which businesses already cater to this market in your area? How much do they charge their customers? How do they promote themselves? What are their strengths and weaknesses? l Suppliers l
Levels of demand Trends & likely future developments l The viability of your business idea l Relevant Legislation l PESTLE factors l
Sources of support There are many different sources of relevant information which you can access from informal conversations with your contacts (networking) to hiring a specialist to undertake a market research report.
Finding information on your customers It is essential to accurately define as much detail as possible about who will buy your product or service, so that you can target your marketing efforts precisely towards your target audience. For example age, gender, socio-economic status, profession, location, buying habits, ethnic background, interests etc.
Using your local library for research Your local public library or a college or university library will usually contain business information resources such as market reports, company information, statistics and trade magazines. In addition they will usually have publications that will help you find information elsewhere, for example, research indices, trade directories or abstracting publications containing short summaries of articles. You can then go to the original source to look at the information in more detail.
Using the Internet and online resources to find free information You can carry out your own research using Internet search engines and online directories. l The Internet can help you identify economic trends; assess regional demographics, research consumer types and a whole range of other factors. l Using search engines such as Google (www.google.co.uk) can help you find free articles, reports and blogs that can give you an insight into a marketâ€™s size and trends. l Social Networking sites such as Facebook (www.facebook. com) and Twitter (www.twitter.com) can help you identify hot topics within a particular market or sector and enable you to promote your business cost effectively. l Online discussion forums and blogs are useful places for monitoring news about your sector and networking with potential partners and affiliates. l Trade bodies or professional associations often provide market information for their members. They may also be able to provide guidance on finding further data and interpreting your results. l Networking with other businesses through online business networking organisations can be a very useful way of finding information, keeping up with new developments and identifying potential partners.
Several Government departments also publish sectorspecific statistical information. If you are planning to sell to business customers your local council will usually have one or more directories of businesses operating in the area.
Business support organisations and advice services, such as your local enterprise agency or Chamber of Commerce will have information about businesses operating in your area. They will also be able to tell you about upcoming networking events that could help you to make new contacts. Trade magazines Almost every sector will have some sort of dedicated publication covering relevant news and events. You will probably need to take out a subscription; however, many trade publications have dedicated websites that may be free to access.
Primary research After your â€˜desk-basedâ€™ research using the Internet, library, books and magazines to research the information sources described above, you may need to get more specific information through your own original - or primary - research. You would usually gather this information by conducting a survey or through focus groups. In planning your primary research, you need to consider: l How to identify and select a representative sample group. l What is the best way of getting the opinions of the selected group (for instance, by phone, e-mail or a personal visit). l The best way of choosing and phrasing the questions. l How you will analyse and interpret the results.
Hints and tips Your market research will form a major part of your business and marketing plans, so keep your research to refer back to when you are reviewing or developing your plans in the future.
Make time to do your research properly; getting the right information now will help avoid problems later. Be realistic with your findings, and be sensible with your assumptions and predictions.
Finding information on your competitors You should use as many sources as possible to build an accurate picture of what your competitors are up to, how much they charge, how well they are doing and where they are based. Directories listing contact details and sometimes financial information on companies are widely available in libraries. There are also likely to be numerous commercial online information sources (which have to be paid for) available in your country. You may be able to access this information at little or no cost via your local library or enterprise agency.
Specialist market reports There are likely to be a number of organizations in your country that produce market reports for various sectors. Market reports tend to be expensive, it is worthwhile checking if you can get hold of the information via your Local Enterprise Agency or European Information Centre. Market reports vary in detail, ranging from general industry information on broad sectors such as the leisure industry, to more in-depth data about individual products or services. Market reports will usually cover: l The structure of the market, including details of its size, segmentation and growth rate. l Major businesses operating in the sector, and details of any recent consolidation or big mergers and acquisitions. l Details of the major consumer groups, with information about demographics, purchasing patterns and disposable income levels. l How specific products are marketed and distributed. l Trends and future developments in the industry.
PLANNING & ORGANISING
Writing a Business Plan Writing a business plan will help you define your business idea, set objectives, assess costs, forecast sales, plan for the future, prepare your marketing strategy and verify that your idea for a business is viable. It should be reviewed regularly to help you monitor and measure the performance of your business. How to approach the plan
angel or funding body that the business can be successful. This means they will want to see evidence to back up any claims you make, and the plan will need to show that, at least in the medium term, the business will be able to support you and any borrowing requirements you may have.
Business description and purpose What exactly will your business do? Be as specific as possible about the type of business you are starting. If you are going to open a restaurant, for example, will it be a family restaurant serving good-quality, local food at competitive prices in a family-friendly environment? Or will it be more upmarket, serving gourmet dishes to discerning customers in an intimate setting? l How will your products and services differ from those offered by your competitors? Why should customers want to come to you and how will you differentiate your business to make it successful? When describing your business, write a mission statement. This statement should give a clear summary of the purpose of your business, and should be easily understood by you, your staff, your customers and whoever is financing you. If you cannot describe l
You may need to finance your business idea or perhaps you intend to apply for funding. If you are hoping to use your business plan for this purpose, it is crucial to understand their objectives and address them in the plan so you can be certain of meeting their particular lending criteria. It is important to make your plan stand out from the crowd, so make it easy to read, comprehensive yet concise and ensure there is no contradiction. For instance, check that the figures you include in the plan for expenditure on equipment are the same amounts as you put in your financial forecasts - all too often these just donâ€™t tie up and so the business plan loses credibility. Be honest, clear and believable. Remember that the plan needs to be realistic and still convince your bank manager , business
What should be included in the plan?
Every business and situation will be different, but the headings below are useful â€˜stepping stonesâ€™ to include in any business plan and will ensure you address the most important issues that a funding body may have. Table of contents Include a table of contents listing the main sections and page numbers in the plan. If it is difficult to find key information among a mass of text that has no logical index the person assessing the business plan will be frustrated, and so less likely to consider the plan positively.
Executive summary This should be a brief summary of the rest of your plan and should be no more than two pages long. It is the first thing that will be read and so it must be well written, should excite the reader and ideally should stand out from the many other business plans the funding body will receive. There are four key ingredients that the bank manager or funding body will be looking for in your executive summary: 1 What it is that makes your business idea, product, service or approach to your market unique or original, and gives you an edge over similar businesses and products?
2 What experience you and your team have in your target market, or in this line of business, that will make them confident that you are capable of making it succeed. 3 How you have demonstrated, or at least illustrated, that your business is going to work out financially, and will be viable and profitable. 4 How and when the bank will get their money back, or in the case of a business angel, your plans to ensure that he will achieve an attractive return when you eventually sell the business or buy back his shares. You should also include in the executive summary: l Details of the business name, its owners and address. l Details of the products and services you are going to sell. l A summary of your target market and competition. l The amount of finance needed, for what purpose and over what term.
l The amount of money you and your business partners are investing. l Aims, objectives and vision l For most people, the aim of starting up in business is to provide a degree of independence and the opportunity to generate a reasonable income.
However, it will be important to show what really motivates you. You might consider the following types of questions: l Why are you going into business and what do you want out of it? l Will the business supplement your main income or replace it? l Are you starting the business as an investment, to sell as soon as you can? l Will your business provide jobs for family members? Defining your business vision will help you identify clear and challenging objectives, and determine how you will go about achieving these goals as your venture evolves.
PLANNING & ORGANISING
your business in these specific terms, you should rethink your business idea, focusing on your businessâ€™ core purpose, target audience and mission.
Legal status and licences What legal status will your business have? Are you intending to be a sole trader, a partnership or a limited company? These decisions will determine when you will pay tax, and hence will have an impact on your cash flow. You need to be sure that you have chosen the most appropriate legal status to meet your future needs.
Do you need any licences before you can start trading? If so, you need to demonstrate you are aware of what you need to apply for and that you have taken steps to do so. Food businesses, childcare businesses and businesses that involve animals, among others, may need to obtain licences from their local authority. If you intend to work from home, you may need to obtain planning permission or building regulations approval, and evidence that you have obtained the necessary approvals should be provided in the plan.
Management Processes How will you manage your business? Getting organised will make your business more efficient and ultimately enjoyable. Even if you are the only person involved, it is still worth looking at your key skills, responsibilities and management processes at this stage. Your plan will need to consider the following key areas: Marketing and sales. l Finance. l Recruitment and staffing. l Product development or product sourcing. l General management. l Administration. l You will also need to set out how you plan to monitor your businessâ€™ performance against objectives and targets, and to co-ordinate the roles of any key staff. l
Marketing strategy To succeed in any business you will need to have a thorough understanding of your target market, including its size and the share you hope you can realistically achieve. Once you have developed a clear understanding of your market in terms of size, location, groups of potential customers and their profiles, potential competitors, trends and influencing factors, itâ€™s easier to define your overall marketing strategy clearly. You can break this down into objectives and targets relating to the volume and share of the market or market segments you hope to achieve and when you intend to achieve them. l How will you carry out your marketing? Once you have a clear marketing strategy, you need to be clear about how you are going to make it happen. A detailed marketing plan should explain how you will go about achieving each of your marketing targets and objectives (as defined in your marketing strategy above) either by particular target segment, by type of marketing activity, or both. It will also be important to identify how you will manage the
overall marketing plan, including aspects such as ensuring that the entire budget is not spent too early, monitoring results, adjusting the plan and introducing new tactics as you go along.
Sales targets and objectives Your marketing plan, when implemented, needs to be converted into perhaps the most important business goal of all: your sales revenue target. You should set out your sales forecasts in terms of: l Sales of different product or service types by volume and value. l Sales from different customer groups or territories. l Sales from different distribution or advertising channels.
PLANNING & ORGANISING
Financial Requirements & financial forecasts How much money do you need now and for what purpose? Your business plan should include a breakdown of your financial requirements, the sources of finance you have available to you and any additional finance you may need. This should include: The cost of starting your business l
Your personal budget. Details about your own finance that you intend to invest. l Details about any additional finance you have secured. l A table showing what you plan to spend the finance on, provide details of each piece of equipment or service you are buying and its cost. l A break-even analysis and timing calculation to help you understand how much of your product or service you need to sell at a given price to cover all your costs and contribute towards your profit, and when this break-even point will be reached. l A detailed cash flow forecast that will help you to estimate how much available cash you will have in any particular month. l A profit-and-loss forecast to help you estimate when your business will start to make a profit, which will be essential to your longer term success. l A balance sheet forecast to identify what your business will owe, what it will own and how financially strong it will be at a particular point in the future. l
Operational requirements What do you need to do to turn your operational plans into action?
In other words, how will you make everything happen in your business? Details about your operational requirements will be essential when preparing your financial forecasts, while other information will be needed for basic operational planning. Outline your plans for the following aspects of your business and estimate the respective costs involved: l Premises - provide details of the premises and a sketch plan of the layout. l Equipment - list what you will need to buy and show prices you have identified. l Staff - indicate what roles you will need to fill and provide job descriptions. l Suppliers - give details of various suppliers and the credit terms they will offer. l Compliance - show how you intend to meet the regulations regarding health and safety at work, and anything specific to your sector. l Licensing - provide details of any licences you need to trade in your line of business. l Insurance - ensure you have the correct cover and include details of policies. l Training needs. Include details of any relevant training courses you have attended and also any training needs that you or your employees have or are going to have. This will help to identify any skills gaps, and help you to seek information on training providers and funding needed. It will also assist in budgeting for training costs in your cash flow forecast.
Business risks What could go wrong, and what will you do if the worst happens? Your plan should include an honest assessment of the risks involved in your business, as well as how you will minimise them.
Consider which of the following risks are relevant to your business: l Lack of management experience. Address this risk by getting advice or mentoring from your business adviser, accountant or solicitor. l Little trading history. This will make it difficult to borrow money or receive credit, so you might need to make other plans to finance the business initially. l Economic uncertainties. If you are borrowing money and paying interest, for instance, make contingencies for interest rate increases. l
Over-reliance on key staff.
Over-reliance on a few suppliers.
Over-reliance on a small customer base.
Customer bad debts leading to cash flow problems.
A sudden increase in competition.
Failure to meet your sales targets.
Lack of resources at key stages of development.
processes. At the same time, it enables you to look at the external opportunities and threats that impact on your business, such as market and consumer trends, competitor activities, changes in technology, legislation and financial issues. A SWOT grid, can be completed quite quickly and provides a useful graphical addition to the plan. It will help you focus on your business strategy and the issues facing you.
Appendices This should include all the documents that support the plan, for example: l Your CV and those of your business partners and/or key employees. l Certificates for any qualifications or relevant training courses. l Copies of the lease for any business premises you will be renting. l Market research data. l Financial information. l Details of any professional advisers, key suppliers or insurance providers you have engaged with, if applicable. The first page of the appendix should list all the documents it contains so they can be found easily by anyone reading the plan. The documents and their location in the appendix should also be referenced in the main body of the business plan. You may find it easier to index and number each document and file them in a logical order in a ring-binder file.
Hints and tips
PESTLE is an acronym for political, economic, social, technological, legal and environmental and a PESTLE analysis provides a framework for reviewing your business in the light of external factors that may affect it in the future. By remaining aware of trends and impending advances in the outside world, your business can gain a competitive edge. By carrying out a PESTLE analysis you can demonstrate that you have considered the ‘bigger picture’ when writing your business plan. The process may inspire you by generating new ideas or alert you to forthcoming dangers to be aware of in the marketplace.
Software packages are available to help ‘walk you through’ writing a business plan; some banks offer their own business planning software free of charge to customers who are planning to start up in business. They tend to focus on the finance side of things, however, and usually offer very little space in which to set out the written parts of your plan. Talk about your plan with an adviser at a local enterprise agency, an independent business adviser or accountant. Remember that presentation counts. A front cover with your contact details clearly shown will make the plan look professional, and by using white space, illustrations and short sentences in the plan you will make the content much easier to read. Ask someone who has not been involved in writing the plan to proof read it to check for grammatical errors, spelling mistakes and other inconsistencies.
SWOT analysis The strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) process helps you focus on the internal strengths and weaknesses of you, your staff, your product/service and
What is Marketing? Marketing is defined as identifying and satisfying customers needs profitably. There are two main areas in the marketing process, market research and market planning. Researching exactly what your potential customers want from your product or service will allow you to satisfy these needs and become customer orientated. Having undertaken your market research you will fully understand who your customers are and their needs and wants. You will have identified competitors strengths and weaknesses
and appreciate market trends and you will be able to effectively adapt a suitable marketing strategy and marketing plan for your rural enterprise. This section of the guide will focus on the marketing strategy which will set aims and objectives for your rural business and the marketing plan which will include all of the actions and tactics you plan to use to achieve these strategic goals.
The benefits of marketing your rural product or service include: Undertaking extensive market research, developing a marketing strategy and a marketing plan will lead to long term success, increased sales, lower business costs, tailored promotional activities, brand building and customer loyalty.
The Marketing Strategy A marketing strategy involves setting a realistic, measurable and ambitious marketing goal which you feel your rural business can achieve. A large amount of businesses tend to copy their competitors marketing using static websites and simple information about what their business does. The business owners understand their product and service benefits and often assume that the customer will automatically understand also. The key is to differentiate your business from other rural businesses and find your unique selling point which will give you a competitive edge. Every business will have different aims and objectives. Whether you are aiming to double your turnover in year two or increase your market share after six months you will improve the chances of achieving these goals by implementing a well thought out marketing strategy. Your marketing goals should be firmly focused on the needs of your target market. It is essential that you are aiming your rural business at the right customer group, no matter how good your product or service is or how good your advertising is you will fail if you have not selected the right target audience. In current market conditions change happens more quickly due to technology, fashions and media influences, as well as customersâ€™ tastes. The only way to survive in this situation is to choose the correct target market and then focus everything the business does on providing unique value and benefits to meet the needs and wants of this target customer better than any of the competition in the market. The key to a dynamic marketing strategy is to keep updating it with new and innovative ways to add value to your customers and keep what you do unique and ahead of any other business in your sector. The implementation of your marketing strategy will allow you to test what works and what does not work and to make adjustments. This means that as the proprietor you must keep up to date with market trends. If you do not do this, competitors will identify opportunities before you and you will lose your unique selling point.
EXAMPLE MARKETING STRATEGY
â€˜MY RURAL BUSINESSâ€™ Our Vision l
To offer families and groups of adults a relaxing holiday in an un-rivalled rural environment.
Our Mission l
To offer top quality self-catering accommodation which is tailored to the needs and interests of our customers.
Our Marketing Strategy l
Our most important customer group today is families and groups who come to Asturias from other areas of Spain, mostly Madrid and Pais Vasco. l We plan to differentiate My Rural Business from competitors and further appeal to our existing customer base by promoting the following: Wireless broadband Internet and telephone Walking routes and maps l Welcome food and drink basket featuring local produce l Games and indoor activities for children l Food festival package l Special offers and packages for off-peak bookings / long stays l l
We will develop these aspects of our service and promote them on our website and all our marketing materials. l We will also investigate other ways to promote these aspects of our product offering. For example food and drink websites and magazines, walking magazines and other organisations that could provide partnership opportunities. l We will create a database of previous customers and send them a newsletter with news from the area and special offers, for example refer a friend offers and repeat booking discounts. By using these and other promotional tools, we hope to generate more bookings during off-peak periods this year. l We will ensure that the My Rural Business brand is consistent across all marketing activities and that we make full use of the Internet to promote our business. l We will start to collect customer feedback by providing an in-room survey for customers to complete, and asking customers to sign the guest book before they leave. l I will review this strategy on a monthly basis to assess whether we are making progress with the objectives and actions identified. l As a follow-up to this marketing strategy, we will develop a marketing plan with details of specific activities, dates and costs.
The Marketing Plan Your rural business must ensure that marketing activities focus on getting lots of new customers coming in, lots of customers coming back and all of your current customers purchasing more. An effective marketing plan will drive your business to achieve these objectives. The marketing plan will detail how you will achieve your sales and marketing targets. Most small businesses do not have a marketing plan but by creating and implementing one your rural business will
Who are they?
Where do they come from?
gain a unique opportunity to stand out above the competition. Use the following sections to begin a marketing plan for your rural business:
Describing your target market l Who are your customers today? l Do you see any opportunities to market your product to new
customer groups in the future?
Why do they come here?
What are their specific needs?
Group 1 Group 2
(Feel free to extend the table and add as many customer groups as you wish)
Your strengths and weaknesses List all the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats you can think of for your business in the following table:
Analysing your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Once you have listed all the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats facing your business, think about which are the most important and how you will tackle them:
How will you exploit them?
How you overcome them?
How will you exploit them?
How can you avoid them?
Describing your competition l
l Who are your main competitors? l What do they offer and how much do they charge? What are their strengths and weaknesses in comparison to your own business?
(Feel free to extend the table and add as many competitors as you wish)
The Marketing Plan Your competitorâ€™s promotional activities l
How do your competitors position themselves in the market?
l What promotional methods do they use?
Do they have a website? Rate their website 1-5 (1 = very poor, 5 = excellent) Do they appear on search engines? Where / how else do they promote their business? How do they position themselves?
Developing your brand Taking into account the work you have done above on your most important customer groups and competitors, take some time to think about the following questions. Which customer groups will you focus on?
What will you offer them?
What can you offer them that your key competitors cannot?
How do you want customers to perceive you in the marketplace? Lowest price? Best location? Highest level of service?
Developing your offer Thinking about your business as it stands today and taking into account any changes you plan to make, think about and describe your offer. Describe your current offering
Are you planning to launch any new products or services over the coming year? If so, what and when?
How will you price your offer? Is it in-line with the market price? If not, why?
How is your offering unique?
Think of ways you can differentiate your offer, keep track of your
Developing your Marketing Strategy How do you plan to promote your business to customers? What message do you want to send â€“ what are you trying to sell? It is essential that you understand the purpose of your promotional method and the message you are trying to get across to your target group. Consider the following areas: l Who is your target market l Options available - what local marketing tools are available to you â€“ local newspapers, radio etc l Effectiveness l Budget/ cost l Branding l Marketing mix l Ethical issues l Legal issues l Look at the promotional methods used by your competitors and identify best practice models l l
competitors and what they are doing and do something better, add value.
Using a strong
logo, colours and graphics will help to brand your business. This should be consistent on all promotional materials. Having a strong brand will differentiate your business and encourage brand loyalty. The business will also look bigger and more professional.
Traditional (offline) marketing List the promotional methods you plan to use to promote your business here, together with estimated costs if known:
Advertising (for example newspapers, magazines, directories)
Other (for example events, exhibitions, PR)
Promotion & Innovation Promotion is how a business creates awareness in the market place. Your customer needs to be made aware that your product or service exists.
New technologies and the internet have created opportunities for innovative promotional techniques. Social media networking should be considered a cost effective way to reach your target market. l Social media networking l Online promotion such as websites, online videos and e-flyers l Online forums, ezines and blogs l SMS marketing l M-commerce – through mobile devices such as the iphone
Methods of promotion usually fall within four broad categories: advertising, sales promotion, public relations and personal selling –
l The total global audience is now 1 billion.
These are known as the promotional mix.
l Facebook is now the 7th most popular internet property in the
l The average UK internet user spends 164 minutes online each
day compared to 148 minutes watching TV.
– used to create awareness. Some examples of advertising include business cards, company website, leaflets, newspaper / magazine adverts, radio, vehicle signage and TV. l Sales promotions such as buy one get one free – is used as an incentive to buy, competitions, discounts, free trials, loyalty cards l Personal selling – is used to demonstrate what you can do – sales meeting, telemarketing and trade shows l Public relations is used to build up a positive image and credibility about your business – awards, networking, membership of a professional body, newsletters, press releases. Of course you will need increased promotional effort in the first few months of trading, more money will be spent in this time. In the future more promotion will be done through repeat custom, word of mouth and referrals
world. 80.1% of the total UK internet audience viewed an online video in January 2009. l In March 2008 221.2 million Europeans conducted 24.6 billion searches averaging 111 searches per searcher. l Internet is challenging and surpassing all other types of media. The economic crisis is driving more traffic to websites as users want to compare prices and save money. From this information we can see that having a website is not enough – the internet needs to be seen as an integral part of your marketing strategy. Ensure that your website is seen as your shop window – include all relevant information and ensure that your content is optimised for search engines. l Use Flicker, You Tube, Twitter, Face book, blogging, photobucket. l Use high quality photographs and videos of your rural business and ensure that you use maps. Get links from other rural businesses /associations. Consider having your sites in multiple languages to attract tourists from other countries. Perhaps ask previous visitors to your rural business to post feedback or upload photographs of their experiences. l Create an email database and send regular updates with news and offers.
Internet (online) marketing If you plan to use the Internet to promote your business, list the methods you plan to use here together with estimated costs if known:
Other websites (directories,booking engines)
Search engine marketing
Other (email marketing)
MARKETING MECHANISM FOR FEEDBACK YES l E-commerce is the buying and selling of goods and services
online. There are huge opportunities here as you can improve promotional effectiveness, widen the customer base, sell online to international markets or source goods and services online. The challenge for small businesses is to establish how they can use e-commerce to its maximum advantage. If selling online the following should be considered: l Payment processing l Costs l Security l Ordering l Tracking l Delivery l Returns l Terms and conditions l Marketing l Data protection l Legal issues
n Customer opinion survey in the room n
Follow-up with customer opinion survey by post
Follow-up with customer opinion survey by email
Implement customer reviews / feedback on website Guest book
l Area of marketing Some ways to implement innovation l Target Markets New geographic markets, new customer
groups, diversification. l Products and Services New products, new services, added
If a business is to succeed it must retain customers. It costs more to attract new customers than to keep existing ones. If customers are happy they will recommend your business to others. They will come back again and again – customer loyalty. If the customer is unhappy they will complain to many other people which will damage your brand reputation.
How to measure your marketing activities – are they working and are you getting a return on your investment? l Every enquiry, phone call, email from a potential customer ask them how they heard about you. Keep a record of this and you will easily see which promotional methods are effective for your target group and which are less effective so should be stopped. l To compete in today’s marketplace businesses should aim to be innovative wherever possible
Repeat booking discount
Ask for feedback from guest on departure (verbal)
features, modifications. Ensure that the product / service meets the needs and wants of the customer. Continual research and development will encourage innovation. l Place Selling online, new channels of distribution. The overall objective when deciding on place methods is to ensure that it is both convenient for customers and cost effective for the business. l Promotion Online promotion, e- commerce, social media networking. l Price E-vouchers, pricing for different currencies, new pricing strategies A good price will cover costs, provide a profit, be acceptable to the customer and reflect the nature of the business and it positioning strategy. If a price is too high customers will go to competition who provide a similar product/ service for a lower price. At the same time the price should not be too low as this will devalue your product or service and eat into potential profit margins.
Refer a friend
Direct mail COST Don’t forget about existing customers – they can often be your most lucrative customer group as it is usually more cost effective to sell to your existing customer base than to find new customers. How do you plan to promote your business to existing customers? Write down your plans and ideas here, together with estimated costs if known(over 12 months).
LEGAL AND LIABILITY CONSIDERATIONS
Legal Procedure for Setting up a Business Setting up a land based business involves a great deal of paperwork. Therefore, before starting any new enterprise you need to research and understand the rules and regulations which may apply to your business. Knowing and understanding these are part of developing an alternative enterprise business plan. There are many local and state laws, environmental laws and taxes to be considered. These regulations, laws and taxes, which vary from one European country to another, may include: l Trading licences l Licences for equipment and transport l Permits and registrations for particular guided activities l Licenses for land use/planning permission l Requirements pertaining to employer
Health and safety Licences and inspections pertaining to storing and handling food l Liability insurance l Qualifications for some of the licenses and permits listed above. l
The type of legal requirements you need to satisfy depends on your business activity. It is not possible to list all the laws and bye-laws for each country. However, it is important for you to find out which laws apply to your business. You need to visit your local town hall and ask them which laws and bye-laws may affect the type of business you want to start, or contact your Local Enterprise Agency.
Regulations, licences & compliance Spain
In Spain, there are 17 autonomous regions, each one with its own legislation. There can be important difference between regions, so it is imperative to check the regional government legislation as well as the national legislation before buying a property, refurbishing an existing building or starting to exploit natural resources. For the entrepreneur who wishes to start a business La Ventanilla Única Empresarial (The Single Business Window) which is an advisory service located in the Chambers of Commerce attended by experts within government, can help you comply with regulations. http://www.ventanillaempresarial.org La Ventanilla Única Empresarial helps with the complexities of laws and regulations by providing advice on: l Financing l Economic viability of the project l Subsidies and grants l Taxation l Agricultural and environmental legislation l Employment legislation l Licences and permits from the Dirección General de Comercio y Turismo etc …considerably reducing the time spent at the different government offices.
In Northern Ireland the first stage in starting a business is to contact Invest Northern Ireland: http://www.investni.com. Free expert advice, training and mentoring is offered to all start up businesses including those in rural areas. It is essential to get expert advice when setting up any type of business especially in the area of legalities. Training seminars cover all aspects of legal issues applicable in Northern Ireland when starting and running a business including: l Choosing premises l Managing a business l Dealing with suppliers l Employing people l Business systems and policies l Legal status – how to register l Health and Safety l Insurance l Business names l Consumer and advertising legislation l Data protection l Environmental and health protection l Food laws and regulations l Intellectual property l Trading licences
LEGAL AND LIABILITY CONSIDERATIONS
Setting up a company in Lithuania is relatively straightforward and inexpensive, but it is advisable to have the services of a legal adviser and auditor. The types of business entity available in Lithuania are: l sole trader l partnership l limited liability partnership l private limited liability company - known as a UAB l public limited liability company The process for setting up a company in Lithuania is as follows: l The articles of association of the company are drawn up, with the act of establishment of the company if there is a single shareholder. l Form JAR-5 can be submitted to the Register of Legal Entities for temporary inclusion of the name in the Register. This is not essential, but it will prevent the name being taken before the business is registered. l The articles of association allow the business bank account to be opened. l The money for subscribed shares is paid into the bank: the minimum is 25 per cent of the share capital, which must be at least 10,000 litas. At the same time, the fee for registering the
business is paid through the bank. The bank will give you receipts for the payments, and these are sent in the registration form. l The first meeting of the company is held and directors and supervisory-board members, if there are any, are elected. l A report of the first company meeting is signed by the elected manager or chairman. l The memorandum of association, and the companyâ€™s statutes, are notarised along with the application to register the business. Following these steps allows the company to be registered with the Register of Legal Entities at the Centre of Registers, which has branch offices in each of the county headquarters. To get accurate information advising you on how to register the type of legal entity, register with the Register of Legal Entities: http://www.registrucentras.lt/jar_e-gidas_en/ The Ministry of Environment is the main managing authority which forms the countryâ€™s state policy of environmental protection, forestry, utilization of natural resources, etc. as well as coordinating its implementation. http://www.am.lt/VI/en/ l
LEGAL AND LIABILITY CONSIDERATIONS
Environmental permits & licences You may also need to acquaint yourself with environmental laws, especially concerning pesticide use, or exploiting natural resources and wildlife. These are governed by European directives, State laws and local government regulations.
For any Land based business, apart from the procedures that have to be carried out for any business, you may require authorisation, in the form of licences, permits and consent, in order to carry out certain types of activity. You must comply with any conditions that are part of the authorisation. These aim to control the impact of your activities on the environment.
Land Laws In most European countries, land use planning is an important part of social policy, ensuring that land is used efficiently for the benefit of the wider economy and population as well as to protect the environment. Land use comes under the local planning authority which orders and regulated the use land can be given in any particular area. Land use laws can be quite strict.
Animal Welfare If you are considering starting up a business that involves the breeding, sale, transport or servicing of animals, the regulations and laws concerning animal welfare should be consulted. Again these may vary from one country to another but must all comply with European directives.
Complying with the Disabilities Act If you are dealing with the public, depending on the premises, you should become familiar with the Disabilities Act and make provisions for to comply with the regulations for accessibility.
Manage your Risk & Liability Insuring yourself and your business
Insurance is a form of protection. It protects and covers you against most of the things that can go wrong for small businesses, such as man-made disasters and/or natural calamities. The law guiding insurance cover varies from one country to another, hence it is advisable to become familiar with current liability legislation. Insurance needs will vary from one business to another. Normally, if you take a loan from a bank to buy property or a vehicle you will have to take out some form of personal insurance. As soon as you start up your business you must also consider taking out insurance for: l Accidents involving members of the public and their goods, l Your employees, l Yourself and your property.
To cover risk which includes: Buildings and content cover, l Employerâ€™s liability, l Public liability, l Vehicles, l
Goods in transit, Business interruption and legal expenses, l Equipment - breakdown and loss of licence, l Machinery and tools Shop around for the best insurance company, broker or agent to get the correct business insurance cover to protect your small business at the lowest possible cost. There are a number of ways to find out who is best to deal with for insurance purposes: l Try to find an insurance company or broker who knows land based industry well and focuses on your type of business. l If you are happy with the insurance company or broker you have, contact them to find out if they offer comprehensive small business insurance packages. If they donÂ´t, ask them to recommend a broker. l Talk to other business owners who have a similar business and find out if they are happy with the insurance company they are using and contact them as well. You should look for a company with a good financial track record that offers the right policy at the right price and that can handle
and pay out claims quickly. It is important to your business not to have to wait weeks or months for your insurance company to pay a claim. Take time to read the “small print”, these are the paragraphs that the insurance company reminds you about only after they have turned down your claim.
Liability and risk management You should also consider insurance against liability for your land based business. Farm or homeowner’s insurance will not cover liability claims if a person uses personal property in any enterprise where a fee is charged. Commercial liability insurance is the only way to completely protect a business. Insurance brokers can provide guidance on specific steps to cover you adequately.
There are many different kinds of insurance to protect your business, such as: Public liability insurance: This will protect your business from losing money due to injury, death or property damage caused by your business (or one of your employees) to a client or customer, and there is a claim resulting from this. Building and property: Covers any form of damage whether by fire, vandalism or any other cause. Vehicle and passenger liability cover: If you are going to transport paying or even non-paying passengers you must think about insurance to protect your business if someone is injured or killed in an accident. Contents and Assets: Covers the loss of the contents (e.g. equipment, furniture, etc.) of your business as a result of fire, vandalism or any other cause. Burglary or theft: You need to protect your own business against theft or robbery and if you are planning to offer accommodation it is a good idea to cover your guests or clients at the same time. Business disruption or loss of income: If you are no longer able to run the business for a period of time for any reason then you will be covered for lose of earnings. Cash: You must seriously think about this cover if you handle a large amount of cash in your business Debtors: If there is a risk of debtors then it is a good idea to think about this kind of cover in case they do not pay you. Embezzlement or unlawful appropriation of goods: You can insure yourself against the loss of goods, products and money as a result of your employees stealing from you. Fire: Accommodation businesses and restaurants have a high fire risk and should be covered. Goods in transit: If you need to transport products and goods you could protect your business against any loss due to theft or accident. Personal accident and life: By taking out a life or accident insurance policy you can protect your business against the death or injury of employees, including yourself. You will also need to think about protecting your family or your partners in the business.
Risk assessment Liability is a crucial area for recreational enterprises. It is always a big concern and becomes even more critical when you begin to invite the public onto your property. It is crucial you evaluate the potential problems and risks you will incur with your business before you begin to trade. If what you offer involves physical participation it is a good idea to maintain a pro-active safety strategy with proper safety precautions. l Identify the risk involved with every activity you offer, establish rules for planned activities, and modify the activity where necessary to make it more safe. l Be sure your business structure helps protect your personal assets. i.e. a limited company l Speak to your insurance broker before you engage in the activity to find out if the activity is insurable and at what cost. l If you are producing and selling a product, make sure have you got the proper liability insurance. l Develop a specific liability waiver/release and assumption of risk form to be signed by the visitor or participant. This should be signed and filed with each visit. However, while waivers may inform participants about inherent risks, they do not protect businesses or events if they are negligent, regardless of what is written on the document signed by participants. l Establish and publicise your staff-to-guest ratio. Train your employees in safety procedures. In certain countries, depending on the product or service provided by the business, national legislation requires that operators or workers have specific qualifications or vocational training relevant to the activity. l Set a procedure for reporting incidents resulting in injury. Document and assess the cause of the Incident and keep a good record of incidents. l Monitor your safety procedure as a process to improve safety to make sure similar incidents do not reoccur and implement a plan of correction. l Develop a safety plan specific to your business. l When handling animals have a copy of all pertinent health certificates readily available.. l Provide your insurance agent with a copy of your safety plan. l Remember homeowner’s insurance will not cover liability claims if a person uses personal property in any enterprise where a fee is charged. Commercial liability insurance is the only way to completely protect a business.
‘Casa Jesusa’ Rural Accommodation Entrepreneur: Josefina Vega Suárez Casa Jesusa combines Rural Tourism accommodation with Agrotourism. Nestled in the Carreño countryside, it can accommodate 6 people. There are 3 bedrooms, a living room, and two bathrooms. One of the rooms is adapted for the disabled. l During your stay on the farm, while enjoying the presence of animals such as cows, calves, pigs, poultry and dogs, cats and squirrels, you can join in the daily activities on the farm. You can learn to make typical Asturian dishes, corn bread, jams, pancakes and biscuits too. l In 2000 Josefina wanted to start a business in rural tourism. The property she wanted to renovate and rent for her business didn’t belong to her. It belonged to her in-laws. Josefina´s husband and
in-laws thought it was a crazy idea. But she was determined to go ahead with it. Josefina used all the means at her disposal to prepare herself for her business. She spent four years attending training courses in rural tourism and ecotourism and studying the viability of her idea of integral rented accommodation. Once she had convinced her in-laws to let her use the property, Josefina applied for a subsidy from the European “Leader + Programme to finance the business. Her own family lent her 20% and the remaining came out of her savings. l Casa Jesusa opened its doors to the public in 2005. As her business began to grow Josefina has had to deal with the banks and suppliers. She found it a bit difficult as in the rural environment it was considered a “man’s world”. But she fought all the way to make a success of her business. Her business is so successful that she has ventured into a new project, a second establishment. This time she has the full support of her family.
l Casa Jesusa has a dynamic web page which shows her accommodation, prices and availability: http://www.casajesusa.com. Products from the farm can be bought in her on-line shop too. l Her business generates additional income to supplement the earnings from the farm and allows her to enjoy a positive work-life balance as she can organise her life according to her needs. She recommends using the resources around you to make your business a success. To see what you have created grow and prosper with the life style you have chosen is personally very satisfying she happily says.
Contacts Address: Casa Jesusa El Pedregal nº 2 Logrezana – CARREÑO – 33438 - Spain Telephone: +34 677 724 090 http://www.casajesusa.com E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Asturian berries Entrepreneur: Luis Fernández Before turning to the business of blueberries Luis had been employed in totally different sectors. He was employed as a baker for 15 years, then turned to catering, as a sole trader from 1985 to November 2007. A lifetime of continuous work and sacrifice. l In 2006 the family purchased the house
and farm in Tamón, as a second home in the countryside, for their personal enjoyment, and also because their son was fond of horses, and the idea of possibly starting a business in Rural Tourism with the assets, such as horse riding, or a business related to horses (their son was training as a riding instructor). l But the real reason why Luis started the Blueberries business was because of a knee injury which made working in catering impossible, as he spent practically all day on his feet. Luis had to leave and seek alternatives. At that time, he tried to apply for early retirement, but
was refused, and that is when he started to consider doing something with their farm. First he decided to contact the cooperative AsturianBerries. At that time AsturianBerries were just starting and were also looking for people in the region who would invest in this new source of income. He is still with them today. Luis´s had unconditional support in his new venture from his family. Between getting the farm ready, licenses, and collecting the harvest in July, August and September, he had to wait for months for a return on his investment and before getting any income but Luis felt supported at all times. He does most of the work himself, with the help of his father Darius, who helps with the crops and to maintain the farm in good condition. For harvesting, Luis has to hire labor, he prefers women, he argues that women have better hands when collecting blueberries. Cranberries are carefully picked one by one, and not in clusters. In the summer months, he needs to hire three women who help him with this task. l Luis, began by farming with ‘The Watchtower’, which is 5000 m2 of land and has a total of 1,300 blueberry plants. During 2010, due to the high
demand for the product, especially abroad, he has started another 9,000 m2 farm called ‘The Oak’ where he is growing a further 2525 blueberry plants. In addition, he has planted further land with 1,000 m2 of “FABAS” (Asturian beans) to sell in the market. l This business has changed his life.
Now he says that even if they offered it to him he would not take early retirement. His quality of life has increased considerably. He can do the work with his weak knees. He enjoys working outdoor every day unlike his work in catering, which had him tied down day and night in a closed space. Luis intends to continue with this business as long as his health allows, and after retirement, if his son does not want to continue with blueberries, he has the perfect resources to set up his horse riding business. He has swapped his house in Gijón (which he has kept), for a life on the Tamón farms.
Contacts Mª Dolores Muñiz Suarez Address: Finca La Atalay Barrio Cotones 3 – Tamoñ – CARREÑO – 33469 – Spain Telephone: +34 617039047
COUNTRYSIDE TOURISM ‘Kotrynos Sala’ (Catherine’s Island)
Kotryna is a Lithuanian girl’s name. This homestead was called Kotryna because that is the owner’s grandaughter´s name. l Located in the peninsula by Veisiejai Lake, the modern homestead was established in 2002 and renovated in 2007. It is a high-security estate of around 12 ha. l Three separate buildings are offered to guests. There is a big house with two halls for events and celebrations which
can accommodate up to 70 people in modern hotel rooms. There is a sauna which comfortably accommodates 10 to 15 people, and a small banquet room with a fireplace. Everywhere you can feel the spirit of the Dzūkija country. It’s your homestead to rest and relax in at any time of the year. l Activities for all seasons. There are canoes, water bikes and boats, or you can enjoy volleyball or basketball. l Guests are invited to try traditional
Lithuanian food: rye, potatoes, various meats, beet, mushrooms and fish. For festivals and celebrations all food is prepared.
Contacts Address: Lazdijai district, Paveisiejai county, Lithuania-67043 Telephone:+370 686 08634 Web page: http://www.kotrynossala.lt E-mail: email@example.com
Countryside Pub ‘Klėtis’ The Klėtis Pub is set deep in the countryside. You can feel the Lithuanian country spirit everywhere. As you arrive you see the ancient swing, the well, the fence and a storks’ nest. Inside there are wooden tables and you are welcomed by a waitress wearing Lithuanian national costume. l You can enjoy time with your children in the play park. The Klėtis countryside inn is a great place for tourists with its historical attractions, national music and Lithuanian food. The Chef of the inn prepares various salads, and hot and cold sandwiches. If you like meat there are pork and chicken dishes or various fish dishes. After dinner you can play billiards. l Most people come at weekends. Other Klėtis attractions include live music, concerts and dances. The pub is open till 3 a.m. at night.
Contacts Address: Jundeliškių kaimas, Birštono seniūnija Telephone: +370 687 91952 Web page: http://www.kletis.lt E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
‘meelmore lodge’ Glenmore farms decided to diversify due to the fact that the farm needed to support two families which was becoming increasingly difficult to do. The food produced in the farm (meat and potatoes) was proving to be unprofitable as the price to import food to Northern Ireland is still lower than producing food here. The tourism industry was seen as the biggest opportunity. l Meelmore Lodge began as a solution to the growing problem of car crime
in the existing car park nearby, which not only lacked amenities but also gave tourists an unpleasant sight of broken windscreens and flat tires on the return from a long walk. l In the year 2000, the Patterson family decided to diversify and create a secure car park, which would provide 24 hour CCTV surveillance, and basic facilities, which the local area was deprived of. l Meelmore Lodge was opened to the public in June 2001 with the project being delayed two years later due to the foot and mouth crisis. The official opening was held on 27th March 2003 and was opened by the then minister for Agriculture and Rural Development, The Right Honourable Ian Pearson MP. The Mourne Heritage Trust provided financial assistance to Meelmore Lodge, through their area based strategy program. With an average of 3,200+ people passing through the Coffee Shop each year, and even more through the Car Park, this makes the project a huge success. Due to the lack of camping facilities in the area, Meelmore Lodge has had to extend its current camping ground to accommodate all those wishing to stay in the Mournes. l Meelmore Lodge has been
appointed a Focus Farm by the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development in Tourism and Leisure section. This means that other farmers will be able to come and visit the project to see how the family has diversified into tourism. l In May 2006, building/renovation work began for new hostel-type accommodation on site. Completed in March 2007, the hostel comprises of two dormitories (one with five bunk beds and one with four), four en-suite rooms with television in each, laundry/drying room with two washing machines and two drying machines, an area to dry clothes, a fully fitted kitchen with eating area, quiet room/conference room available for meetings, seminars, etc and a communal room for guest use with soft chairs, TV/ DVD and an open fire. In addition, the main en-suite room provides stunning views of the Hare’s Gap. l Completed in March 2007, the new accommodation at Meelmore Lodge boasts a wide range of facilities suitable for those looking to stay in the Mournes, including: the hostel, campsite and coffee shop.
‘vista allotments’ Vista Allotments is a family run business located 20 minutes from Belfast City Centre in the hills above Gilnahirk, with panoramic views of Stormont, Belfast Lough, Scrabo Tower and Strangford Lough. Location has been key to the success of Vista Allotments. Vista Allotments offer would be gardeners who do not have enough space at home to grow produce or just want to get away from it all and back to nature. In 2001 Manager David Martin decided to take a stand at a local garden fair to promote the idea and one person expressed an interest in renting a plot. This showed that there was a demand and an initial 10 plots were marked out and their first allotment gardener, started in the spring of 2002.
By the end of 2003, 12 plots had been rented. Growth has continued since then with a total of 115 allotments now in use. Over 95% of people taking a plot initially are still there, the turnover of plot holders is small.
l Vista Allotments are flexible on the size of plots, but a typical plot is 100 square metres and costs £2.20 (€2.65) a square metre or £220 (€242) per year. The plots are let on license from mid-November to 31st October the following year. There is a £75 (€91) charge in the first year to cover the provision of a piped water supply and rustic fencing around the plot. Extras like stones, sand, or boards for edging beds within the plot can be supplied at extra cost. Plot holders can also pay Vista for assistance with ground preparation or other tasks if they need it. The site is open from dusk till dawn and has facilities such as water taps, toilets, BBQ facilities, onsite parking and secure storage is also available.
The allotments are an opportunity for people who do not have the rural resources or space to purchase their own plot on the landscape. Plot owners can grow fruit and vegetables or flowers on their site, many choosing the organic
Ben Vista, 54 Ballhanwood Road, Belfast BT5 7SN
option. Many plot owners use the space as an escape to some peace and quite and fresh air whilst others keep chickens.
both cases, the people benefit from working in groups at their allotment. l
Vista has a number of plots rented to community projects. One is with Newtownabbey Borough Council, who use a double plot for their “Sowing Seeds’’ project, a community services initiative designed to promote good relations. Another is taken by the Victoria Day Centre, part of the Eastern Health and Social Services Board. It is used to help people to develop their social skills. In
Vista Allotments is already planning to develop another field. There is a steady stream of enquiries from people looking to go gardening, in many instances, prompted by word of mouth recommendations from existing allotment holders.
Contacts Email: email@example.com http://www.vistaallotments.com
APPENDIX 1â€Ś ALTERNATIVE ENTERPRISE IDEAS Ideas for Alternative Enterprise and Agritourism Bear in mind that what is a daily chore for you may be new and exciting to others. With a view to identifying new enterprises using local natural and heritage resources the following list of ideas provides examples which may stoke your imagination on how to use the resources available to you while conserving natural resources . The list is not exhaustive, you can add your own ideas to the list.
Recreation l Outdoor games (laser tag, paint ball, volley ball) l Archery l Bird watching l Rock climbing/rappelling l Scenic trails (for horseback riding, cross-country skiing, hiking, or snowshoeing) l Biking (trails and competition) l Swimming, canoeing, kayaking l Race courses (pedal carts, tricycles, or motorcycles) l Miniature golf l Guided nature walks l Fishing and hunting l Fee-fishing (catch and release) l Water slides l Rock or gem gathering l Nature photography
Farm alternatives l l l l l l l
l l l l
Birthing Sheep shearing demonstrations Milking demonstrations Farm schools Herb walks Organic food production Workshops (eg: christmas wreaths, gardening) Hay making or other harvest experiences Petting farm Free-range poultry (chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys) Free-range eggs Mushroom growing Blueberry ( or other berry growing) Pick/cut your own (fruits, flowers, vegetables) Gift baskets of local foods
l l l l
l l l l
l l l l
Jam making Cheese making Breads, pies, jams, jellies, condiments Canned, dried, smoked or other preserved foods Special sauces and condiments Lectures, seminars, classes Guided tours Festivals and fairs (ethnic, harvest, music) Cultural festivals Traditional dances Winery tours Horse shows
Arts and crafts demonstrations Cooking demonstrations , (local cuisine, ethnic,) l Processing demonstrations l Cider mill demonstrations
Snail trails left by snowshoeing
l l l
Bed and breakfast Country cottage rentals Farm holidays Picnic sites Camping Hay rides Farm theme playground
l l l l l
l l l
Catered events Horse livery Dog kennels Cattery Rentals (boats, canoes, fishing rods, kayaks, camping gear, etc.) Guided hunting, fishing, birding Direct delivery of food products Internet and mail order sales
APPENDIX 2â€Ś ADDITIONAL RESOURCES AND LINKS Where to find additional information Here you will find a list of key agencies and organizations that can provide guidance and assistance in developing BUSINESS
Spain The Spanish framework for Rural Development In Spain the rural development policy is implemented through rural development programmes (RDP) established at regional level by the Autonomous Communities. There are 17 regional programmes and 2 horizontal programmes related to the national framework and the rural network. The National Framework constitutes an important overreaching instrument which contributes to the implementation of the Spanish national strategy plan. The main objectives are: l To fight against depopulation of rural areas by strengthening the competitiveness of the agriculture and forestry sector. l To improve the environment and the countryside. l To maintain and to improve quality of life, diversification of rural economy and building local capacity. http://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/ rurdev/countries/es/index_en.htm
Programme for Development and Diversification of Rural Areas (PRODER). http://www.redr.es Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Invest in Spain Setting up a business in Spain is relatively simple. The types of business entities available are in keeping with those existing in other OECD countries. This website describes the basic requirements of the different business structures for investing in Spain, as well as the key formalities that an investor must fulfill in order to set up or start up each of them. http://www.investinspain.org
Rural Tourism Association The association is a not for profit organization, made up of rural tourism
associations at regional or local level. The aims of the partnership are to coordinate activities of the members in promoting and developing rural tourism in the rural areas in each of the Autonomous Communities in Spain. http://www.ecoturismorural.com Email: email@example.com
Grants and Funding Grants and Subsidies From this page you can access information on calls for State and the Autonomous Communities aid, subsidies and grants for Environmental and Rural and Marine initiatives as well as plans and support for specific sectors. http://www.mapa.es/en/ministerio/ pags/ayudas_subvenciones/ayudas_ subvenciones.htm
Ministry of the Environment and Rural and Marine Affairs The Ministry of the Environment and Rural and Marine Affairs regulates and implements government policy in the areas of climate change, natural heritage protection, biodiversity and fisheries , water, rural development, agricultural resources, livestock and nutrition. http://www.mapa.es/en/ministerio/ ministerio.htm
The Spanish Network for Rural Development (REDR) is a non-profit making association which was founded in 1995 with the general aim or promoting a global and sustainable model of rural development. The REDR is currently made up of Regional Networks, which include over 200 Rural Development Groups throughout Spain. These Regional Groups manage Programmes and Initiatives related to Rural Development, essentially EU Initiative LEADER and the Operative
APPENDIX 2… ADDITIONAL RESOURCES AND LINKS NORTHERN IRELAND DARD The Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) aims to promote sustainable economic growth and the development of the countryside in Northern Ireland. The Department assists the competitive development of the agri-food, fishing and forestry sectors of the Northern Ireland economy, having regard for the need of the consumers, the welfare of animals and the conservation and enhancement of the environment. http://www.dardni.gov.uk Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Belfast Hills Partnership The Belfast Hills Partnership is made up representatives from local councils, government departments, community groups, nature conservation organisations and businesses. They are committed to caring for the Belfast Hills, their wildlife and people. The Partnership is managed by directors nominated from the statutory, community and local government sectors. The Belfast Hills face a wide range of ongoing problems. These include flytipping and illegal landfill, pressures for
local agriculture, access to the Hills and quality of life issues for local people. http://www.belfasthills.org Email: email@example.com
Enterprise Northern Ireland Enterprise Northern Ireland (ENI) is the organisation representing the network of Local Enterprise Agencies in Northern Ireland. Local Enterprise Agencies (LEAs) are independent, locally based not-forprofit companies set up to support small business development and to undertake economic development activity. ENI has thirty-two member agencies, with coverage across all local council areas in Northern Ireland. ENI’s vision is to contribute to the development of the Northern Ireland economy in partnership with other key economic development stakeholders through the provision of a high quality, value-added continuum of support that complements local and national government strategies for entrepreneurship, enterprise and economic development. http://www.enterpriseni.com Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Invest Northern Ireland Many farmers, rural community and countryside dwellers in Northern Ireland
have used the uniqueness of their location or circumstances to inspire and drive forward successful businesses. Rural entrepreneurs have successfully diversified into or started new businesses in markets as diverse as agri-food, crafts, recycling, leisure and health. If you have an idea for off-farm or on-farm businesses, or any agricultural or rural based business, Invest NI can help you with ongoing specialist support. We can help you make your vision a reality. We work closely with the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) and the Ulster Farmer’s Union to ensure that the wide range of support available to rural and farming communities throughout Northern Ireland is as effective as possible. Our support is particularly aimed at businesses in manufacturing and tradable services that have export potential. http://www.investni.com
Rural Network Established as part of the Northern Ireland Rural Development Programme, the Rural Network for Northern Ireland is designed to help and support the implementation and delivery of the programme across all axes. It does this by: l Identifying and sharing good practice l Working with Local Action Groups to identify their learning and training needs l Providing training l Supporting Local Action Groups to promote and assist the development of co-operation projects http://www.ruralnetworkni.org.uk Email: email@example.com
Grants and Funding Lagan Rural Lagan Rural Partnership is the delivery agent for Axis 3 of the Northern Ireland Rural Development Programme 2007 – 2013 – Rural Life. The Partnership will deliver funding for projects in eligible rural areas within Lisburn City, Castlereagh Borough and Belfast City Council areas. The Northern Ireland Rural Development Programme 2007-2013 is part financed by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) and is managed by the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. http://www.laganrural partnership.com Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
APPENDIX 2… ADDITIONAL resources AND LINKS Lithuania Lithuania Department of Agriculture The Department of Agriculture aims to promote sustainable economic growth and the development of the countryside in Lithuania. The Department assists the competitive development of the agri-food, fishing and forestry sectors of Lithuanian economy, having regard for the need of the consumers, the welfare of animals and the conservation and enhancement of the environment. http://www.zum.lt/ Email: email@example.com
National Land Service The main goal of the National Land Service is to form and ensure the implementation of the state policy in the areas of land management and administration, real property cadastre, geodesy, cartography and development of geo-referential databases. Clear and definite legislation of activities in these areas is one of the most important tasks for the National Land Service as a governmental institution. Efficient implementation of the legislation helps the state to solve economic, social, environmental, and ownership rights protection problems. http://www.nzt.lt/ Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
1 Economic and social research 2 Elaboration of suggestions on: l national policy of agrarian economics; l market regulation of agricultural and products; l regional, economic, social and environmental development in the countryside http://www.laei.lt/eng/activities.php Email: email@example.com.
Lithuanian Countryside Tourism Association
Invest in Lithuania
Goals of the Lithuanian Countryside Tourism Association are to coordinate activities of the Association members in developing rural tourism in Lithuania; to arrange workshops, conferences, fairs, methodical aids, information booklets on the issues of operation of the Association and its members; to improve the Association members’ qualifications and arrange training sessions within the country and abroad; to analyze demand for rural tourism services within the country and abroad. http://www.atostogoskaime.lt/en/ pages/view/37/lankytinos_vietos/ Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Lithuania is a country in Northern Europe, the southernmost of the three Baltic states. Situated along the southeastern shore of the Baltic Sea, it shares borders with Latvia to the north, Belarus to the southeast, Poland, and the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad to the southwest. Lithuania is a member of NATO and of the European Union. Its population is 3.5 million. Its capital and the largest city is Vilnius. In 2009 Capital of Lithuania (Vilnius) was European Capital of Culture. http://www.invest-in-lithuania.org/ en.html Email: email@example.com AND: firstname.lastname@example.org
Lithuanian Institute of Agrarian Economics
Grants and Funding Structural Funds for Lithuania
The founder of the Institute is the Ministry of Agriculture. Activities of the Institute areas follows:
The SPD established five investment priorities: development of social and economic infrastructure, human resource
development, development of productive sector, rural and fisheries development, and technical assistance. http://www.esparama.lt/en/bpd/ about_spd
Sub-projects The start of the implementation of the NGO fund in Lithuania is the 3rd of July 2007 – entrance into force of the Grant Agreements for the financing of the Block grants for enhancement of the NGOs sector in Lithuania under the EEA Financial Mechanism and Norwegian Financial Mechanism. The purpose of the NGO Fund is to support NGOs by developing their institutional capacity, with the overall objective of strengthening the democratic and civil society and reinforce the NGO sector in Lithuania. http://www.eeefondai.lt/en/subprojects
EULib The European Commission has authorised under the State aid rules a Lithuanian scheme worth LTL 10 million aimed at supporting farmers who encounter difficulties as a result of the current economic crisis. http://www.eulib.com/statecommission-temporarily-authoriseslithuania-grant-8609