Ballyhoura Development & The RurInno Project

Ballyhoura Development are partnering with two research institutes and four social enterprises to strengthen the innovative skills of social entrepreneurs. The project, ‘RurInno’ acknowledges social enterprises as promising, but often neglected drivers of social innovations in structurally weak rural regions that tackle social problems, and stabilise and improve the living conditions in these regions. Reports show that social entrepreneurs still lack specialised training and education, a supporting infrastructure and recognition.

The project goal is to facilitate the social entrepreneurial ‘business’ of ‘doing social innovations’ and to identify hurdles and find ways of overcoming these more successfully. An opportunity exists for staff members to contribute to the evolution of the project through participation in secondments.

RurInno aims to:

1) strengthen the skills and the innovative capacity of social entrepreneurs operating in rural regions
2) improve the knowledge of how social innovations are implemented in rural regions and
3) raise awareness of social entrepreneurship in rural regions in order to foster enabling environments for their activities

These will be achieved through:

1) Strengthening the innovative skills of social entrepreneurs with a structured training programme, enabled during innovation secondments at the research institutes.

2) Enhancing the knowledge about the innovative capacity of social enterprises in rural regions by undertaking field research in the four participating social enterprises and their respective rural regions. In effect it moves the perspective from doing research on social entrepreneurs to doing research with social entrepreneurs.

Ballyhoura Developments role in RurInno

Ballyhoura Developments role in the project is three fold:

1) Participate in the project management
2) Host and facilitate researchers during their stay in Ballyhoura and link them with local social enterprises and
3) Participate in three 8-week overseas secondments to the research institutes.

The project offers Ballyhoura Development the opportunity to participate and learn as the project progresses, particularly though linking with the researchers during secondments and in open sessions and workshops. It will also strengthen links with local social enterprises.

For more information about RurInno visit