Green entrepreneurship: a sustainable development driver to move towards the ecological transition

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April 16 is World Entrepreneurship Day, a date established by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) that recognizes the work and the entrepreneurial and innovative spirit of those who develop this activity.

In this sense, green entrepreneurship is a key axis and driver of sustainable development to advance towards ecological transition, mitigate the effects of climate change and fight against territorial depopulation. For this reason, entrepreneurs act as levers of change to respond to these global challenges.

In addition to these challenges, there is the challenge of advancing synergistically towards gender equality. Therefore, it is vital to promote practices that include a gender perspective in entrepreneurship. The reportWomen’s green entrepreneurship and women’s entrepreneurship in ruralareas”, published in 2023 by the Ministry for Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenge (MITECO), analyzes green entrepreneurship, rural entrepreneurship and the intersection between the two from this approach.

The data indicate that only one in ten entrepreneurs in green activities, one in three in rural entrepreneurship, and six out of every 100 in green and rural entrepreneurship are women. Even so, Spain is one of the leading countries in the European Union in women’s rural entrepreneurship (along with Lithuania, Austria, France, Greece and Poland) and in women’s green entrepreneurship (behind Italy).

Based on data from the Economically Active Population Survey (EPA), it is estimated that in 2022 there were a total of 56,692 women entrepreneurs in green activities in Spain and 534,595 men, which means that women make up 9.6% of all green entrepreneurship. Similarly, rural women entrepreneurs accounted for only one third of the total rural entrepreneurship in Spain in 2022.


MITECO’s Biodiversity Foundation promotes green entrepreneurship through the Red Emprendeverde (REV), an initiative of the Empleaverde+ Program, co-financed by the European Social Fund Plus, which has the largest community of green entrepreneurs in Spain. This network is made up of more than 11,000 people interested in promoting a more just ecological transition through new business models that bring to market products and services with a greater positive environmental and social impact. Since its inception in 2011, it has launched more than 120 actions on various topics, such as the circular economy, the demographic challenge and the energy transition, in which more than 6,000 people have participated.

The Emprendeverde Network contributes to boosting green entrepreneurship through its free training services such as Emprendeverde Itineraries, mentoring through Emprendeverde Mentoring and advice through Constituye #TuEmpresaVerde, with which, between 2021 and 2023, it has provided services to more than 1,000 people.