Project: FLIARA – Female-Led Innovation in Agriculture and Rural Areas

FLIARA is a Horizon2020 project with 15 partners across Europe. In our project, we will elevate innovative women, as well as increase understanding and knowledge about innovations for a more sustainable future.

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Project information

Project manager
Annie Roos
Other project members
Anna Alexandersson, Mathias Karlsson, Malin Tillmar and Viktorija Kalonaityte
Participating organizations
Linnaeus University
European Union’s Horizon Europe – grant agreement No 101084234
1 Jan 2023 – 31 Dec 2025
Entrepreneurship (Department of Management, School of Business and Economics)

More about the project

Despite the widespread acknowledgment today of the need for gender inclusivity, men have historically dominated agriculture and many rural enterprises. Training, funding, and policy tend to be directed towards the inclusion and involvement of males. As such, female innovation and entrepreneurial potential have become an under-exploited source of rural economic growth. In agriculture, for example, 96% of EU farms are family-run, but women manage only 29% of them. Women make up 50% of the EU’s population, and 34.4% of the EU’s workforce being self-employed, although a rural breakdown of these figures is unavailable, academia suggests that a considerable number of rural-based women engage in innovative enterprises.

Education, gender stereotyping, lack of confidence, difficulties in reconciling work and family obligations, and problems accessing resources (e.g. land, finance, and business networks) along with patriarchal inheritance practices are the key barriers for women-led agriculture and enterprise. There is accordingly a pressing need to improve understanding and recognition of women’s role in farming and rural areas and in particular challenge the gender norms, relations, and stereotypes that fail to recognize the contribution women are currently making and can make into the future in leading agriculture and rural innovation.

The FLIARA (Female-led Innovation in Agriculture and Rural Areas) project aims to create a European-wide ecosystem that supports women-led innovative practices in farming and rural areas. This includes different types of rural women, inclusive of age, class, culture, race, and ethnicity who are leading or attempting to engage in rural and farming innovations. The core objective of FLIARA is to ensure that women are embedded in, and supported by, a more effective innovation ecosystem which spotlights their achievements; provides them with a source of inspiration and knowledge; networks them with key actors engaged in innovation; heightens their visibility within national and international institutional decision-making contexts; increases capacity and improves skills to empower them to continue leading or start leading innovative practices in farming and rural areas.

The project will increase understanding of the needs and challenges facing women leading innovative environmental and rural development practices in EU farming and rural areas. It will create a Community of Practice supporting innovative ecosystems and smart solutions endorsing and encouraging future female innovations and entrepreneurship until such practice becomes more the norm than the exception. By implementing a gender-inclusive approach, the FLIARA project will empower people who can contribute innovative ideas and smart solutions to many.