2Pueblo, a youth-led social enterprise project promoting Spanish rural culture in the UK
Despite the crisis that has hit Spain particularly hard, with high unemployment rates, there is a growing interest in the country for social business.
2Pueblo, a Spanish social enterprise initiative that drew inspiration from UK-based social entrepreneurship, is a proof of this trend. The project works with youths of a village of Castilla, the region of Don Quixote, supporting them to market their local traditional food products in London.
How was the idea born? In 2011, before the project the project took shape , the village of Fuente-Álamo, like many other rural areas across Spain and Europe, was experiencing high youth unemployment (50%) and political disillusionment. Yet today, differently from the past, youths are connected to the developments outside the town and country and are also well educated and web-savvy. Hence Christina Rebel, social enterprise researcher and founder of 2Pueblo, decided to start a social enterprise involving youth from Fuente-Álamo. She started thinking how to best leverage the youth's skills in order to create economic activity and employment. The answer was the town’s traditional food specialties: extra virgin olive oil, cheese and wine. These products, which characteristics have been described as : organic, heritage, rural, family-run are much more adapted to the UK market than to Spain.
There were some barriers in the social business, like high barriers of entry in the wine trade. The best solution turned out to be to hold wine-tastings. In doing so, 2Pueblo promotes the wine, cheese and olive oil and engages young people in social enterprise. At present the distribution strategy is focused on small events and selling online.
2Pueblo’s mission is to involve youth in social enterprise, promote artisanal products - these products can provide solutions to sustainable production- and celebrate the diversity of Spanish culture. The venture also also drives the exchange of best practice to rural contexts, starting with the rural town of Fuente Álamo.