Don’t you know El Hueco yet? El Hueco is an ecosystem for entrepreneurship promotion; the start up and development of business initiatives. It is located in a well situated place in the city of Soria and it involves more than 15 social and environmental ventures.
The Momentum Project team at the ESADE Social Innovation Institute (Instituto de Innovación Social de ESADE) has moved to Soria for the second time, in order to increase its knowledge of this initiative which has become one of the best ecosystems for social entrepreneurs in Spain.
El Hueco is a space shared by enterprises which seek to improve different aspects of our surroundings, such as La Exclusiva S.L. By driving a van through different routes, La Exclusiva provides the small villages of the province with everything the inhabitants should need, from food to a laundry service, with the objective of letting the population stay in the territory, avoiding depopulation and enhancing rural development. Nowadays the 5 routes of La Exclusiva serve 120 villages.
Anillo Celtibérico, for its part, is an enterprise that offers cycle routes, adapted to every level and necessity, planning the destinations, accommodation, luggage transfer and assistance at any moment. Soria counts on the presence of routes and paths that have not been walked on for decades, and this allows the entrepreneurs of Anillo to guarantee unique routes where it is possible not to meet a vehicle for an entire weekend.
If you decide to travel along the routes by bike for only 2 days or up to 1 week, you cannot miss this opportunity.
Huertos de Soria, a participant of the Momentum Project 2014 edition, creates work placements for people who suffer from mental illnesses and fosters the small farmers of the Province’s work through ecological agriculture, by selling products with green certificates in its physical and online shop especially to restaurants and enterprises.
For its part Ciaqua is an enterprise focused on water management which carries out collection services, treatment and distribution of waste water by using a brand new technology for the troubleshooting and the fault clearance of breakdowns. To tell the truth there are many hidden ‘’breakdowns’’ in the water networks, and this involves an enormous waste of money.
Other initiatives located at El Hueco are Föra, a spin-off of the University of Valladolid, who cares for the environment and in particular for forestry management, or Megara Energía, a project for renewable energy trade which has just started.
There are many enterprises like these which are invigorating the rural development in Soria, such as the Montes de Socios project, an initiative which impressed us a lot through its commitment to seek to recuperate the forgotten and, as a consequence, eroded 150,000 hectares of mountains which form the province.
We have learnt many things from El Hueco. It is the best example of how to foster rural development and how to avoid depopulation, how to enhance the environment through technology and how innovations launched in a rural context can be the key for a sustainable development of our societies.
El Hueco is formed by young people, people from Soria with enormous skills who decided to bet on their land, who grouped to work together for the development of Soria, giving their best to create sustainable initiatives perfectly applicable to other Spanish and worldwide rural areas.
This is the reason why El Hueco conforms to supporting social impact initiatives in Soria and has just presented, along with the investment company Soria Futuro, the IMPULSO program. The program will be presented over the next few days in Madrid and Barcelona in which social entrepreneurships from all over Spain are expected to be present in order to be part of an acceleration, mentoring and financing process.
Moreover, El Hueco will welcome on the 20th and 21st May, the Social Entrepreneurship and Social Financing Forum II (II Foro de Emprendimiento Social y Finanzas Sociales) focused, in this occasion, on entrepreneurship in Europe’s sparsely populated areas.
It promises to be a success, as it was last year, since it gathers together the best social entrepreneurship experts from all over the world.