In Belgium, one can observe that in the last years, people have left remote villages, which have difficult access to basic goods and stores. It is therefore increasingly necessary to (1) work on maintaining the populations of these villages as well as (2) offer more prospects to local producers (other than large retailers). In other words, the offer and demand are present, and the aim of the project is to reunite both.
How could this be achieved? By setting up short-lived markets in these villages that would serve as trade centre between villagers and local producers. This way, we guarantee a constant supply of fresh and local products and a short circuit.
This project is unique in its type in Belgium. It will be set up from zero and launched at the end of the year (in succession to the project student’s work). The student team will therefore have a great impact on the project, which could be continued in the following years and extended across Europe.
The objective is to restore a proximity offer in basic goods coming from local producers. There are multiple concrete missions combined in this project:
- Establish the viability criteria for this project. Which products? When? Which legal constraints? What kind of complementary services could be proposed (online orders, home delivery)? How much financing would be needed? Etc.
- Setting up a pilot project: determine the ideal location/market, implementing the marketing plan prepared in advance, etc. The students will hence have the opportunity to work on the preparation as well as the implementation.
- Determine how the project could be duplicated in other places. Which kind of central structure is necessary?
- How to expand to other countries than Belgium?
All things considered, it is a very complete project, on which students will have to work from the beginning. It also represents a great chance for students to have their first entrepreneurial experience during their studies.
The project will be set up in collaboration with Alexis Thuysbaert. Alexis Thysbaert is a multi-entrepreneur, especially active in the technological sector. He works as a coach and project guide (Réseau entreprendre, FJE, UCL, CPME).
This project will rely on a multidisciplinary team. We are looking for students with a background in management, economics, law an social studies.