This Lab discussed the drivers of innovation for young entrepreneurs in the agrifood sector. It showcased business models which promote sustainability, links with research, technology development and adoption and the use of digital tools.
Young entrepreneurs’ stories from different regions in the world highlighted local employment creation, support to the green growth agenda and partnerships developed with policy, research and finance. Some of the business models presented use smart farming technologies for increased efficiency and have solid links with research allowing improved capacities for product development.
This Lab discussed the need for relevant skills and capacities amongst youth that match the demand from markets, industry and consumers and promote innovative businesses.
The session showcased various young agri-entrepreneurs’ initiatives, such as supporting farmers in reducing waste and creating added value, encouraging the consumption of local fruits and reducing waste in agriculture.
Panellists noted two needs: more support in the area of R&D to expand their initiatives and the increased use of innovative business models to supplement, and not replace, existing ones. One way to achieve this is to use agricultural by-products for industries other than food, such as cosmetics and pharmaceuticals.