Project meeting in Iceland

Lead partners, project partners and associated partners were all represented when MERSE had its second physical project meeting in May, this time in Iceland. Just as at the first meeting in Sweden last October, the aim was to share experiences through workshops and visit local entrepreneurs.


During the trip, the project team visited several local entrepreneurs in rural Iceland: The Museum of Sorcery and Witchcraft in Hólmavík, a new co-working space for Food-Based Entrepreneurship, "Kuklið" where they met representatives from seaweed farm and food production company Fine Foods Íslandica, the beer brewery Galdur Brúgghus and Sveppasmiðan - a company producing and selling mushrooms. The project team also visited Netagerðin, an artist and handcraft co-working space, The Blue Bank supporting Icelandic and international entrepreneurs, Skriða, and Skjaldborg Cinema. Project leader Yvonne von Friedrichs was inspired by the study visits and means that meeting the entreprenuers made it even more clear that the conditions for people and companies in our rural areas in NPA regions are very challenging and that collaboration is a recipe for success.

–  Another lesson is that despite great similarities between our countries within the NPA area, there are differences in defining sparseness, says project leader Yvonne von Friedrichs. 

In addition to the study visits, the project team also worked together in a workshop. 

– The cross-border exchange of knowledge between partners within the project will provide increased opportunities for jointly developing adapted business models and a roadmap for social enterprise development in the NPA regions. Now, we are about to start a leadership training program targeted to social enterprise facilitators who are provided tools and methods to support rural social enterprises in the Nordic regions, says Yvonne von Friedrichs. 

Kick-off and Project meeting in Östersund, Sweden


MERSE Kick-off in Östersund

On October 16–17, around twenty project participants and partners from the MERSE project representing five different countries gathered at Mid Sweden University in Östersund, Sweden for a kick-off. In the project, they will study differences and similarities in social entrepreneurship in Sweden, Finland, Norway, Iceland and Ireland.