19 May 2020 | Münsterland

The last 20th of May, the Science-to-Business Marketing Research Centre (S2BMRC), as a part of the international consortium of the "Advancing Rural Development through Entrepreneurship Education for Adults" (ARDENT) project from the European Commission, hosted an online meeting with actors from Münsterland interested in igniting the entrepreneurial spirit among citizens and integrating them into a process where they need to generate creative solutions to real-life challenges of rural communities. 

Rural entrepreneurship is much more important today than ever. The overarching idea of ARDENT is to create a momentum for more engagement in the challenges and opportunities faced by rural areas within Münsterland. Further aim driving the implementation of ARDENT is helping adult learners enhance their capabilities and entrepreneurial mindset through a two-semester training course. The course includes hands-on projects addressing societal and business challenges which would in the long run boost their employability chances and revive the economy of the rural areas. With this motivation in mind, S2BMRC invited organisations and other rural stakeholders who: 

  • have horizontal and vertical linkages to regional, national and EU actors and policy makers in entrepreneurship education and rural development (contribution to dissemination and wider sustainability);
  • are committed to approaching problem-solving through multi-stakeholder engagement and co-creation;
  • seek to boost the attractiveness of rural areas and stimulate more investment efforts into the rural entrepreneurship ventures.

The meeting brought together 13 participants who represented, S2BMRC, the Münster University of Applied Sciences, regional development agencies, supporting organisations, and entrepreneurs. The purpose of this meeting was to gather feedback from our stakeholders regarding the project and to form the rural council. We encountered a very positive response both in terms of the number and variety of participants and the experiences and expectations shared.


The participants of the meeting were:

  • Münsterland e.V.
  • Digital Hub Münsterland
  • Tamara Ameling - Entrepreneur
  • TAFH Münster
  • Entwicklungs - und Wirtschaftsförderung Gronau
  • Entwicklungs - und Wirtschaftsförderung Rheine
  • Entwicklungs - und Wirtschaftsförderung Senden
  • Stefanie Unland - Entrepreneur, Connett & Unland GbR
  • Initiativkreis Wirtschaft Oelde e.V
  • Thomas Baaken - Senior Professor FH Münster & S2BMRC
  • Iulia Stroila - ARDENT Project Manager
  • Sue Rossano - S2BMRC
  • Linn Korte - S2BMRC

Other interested stakeholders in the project:

  • Entwicklungs - und Wirtschaftsförderung Borken
  • WESt mbH
  • Frank Wältring - Mesopartner

During the meeting, it has been discussed how citizens from Münsterland can be nudged to participate in the ARDENT project; what is the content and structure of the challenge-based courses to initiate and develop entrepreneurial thinking and passion in rural areas. Other points that have been highlighted by project stakeholders is that the largest contrast lays between very small and large municipalities. Accordingly, it has been indicated that policymakers need to engage smaller municipalities in Münsterland as well to unlock the entrepreneurial potential of the region. 

The meeting concluded with a strong commitment of all participants to keep the discussion open and participate in subsequent meetings to support entrepreneurship in Münsterland.

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