IMG_3295The sixth Entrepreneur Program for Tobacco Growers awards 10,000 euros to the two best business plans

Justo Urbano Antón, José Ramón Luengo and José Ángel Cisneros, on behalf of the Vegacreme project, and Javier Paniagua, Juan Pablo Miguel Villanueva and Segundo Rodríguez, on behalf of the Secadoex project, are the winners of the two Entrepreneur Program awards worth €10,000, together with six months’ expert advice for the implementation of their business projects, linked to rural Extremadura.

The sixth Entrepreneur Program for Tobacco Growers, organized by the University of Extremadura in partnership with Philip Morris and the European Academy of Yuste Foundation, has held the Entrepreneur Program Awards for the second consecutive year. The presentation of the business plans took place in Cáceres before a jury made up of prominent figures from the business and institutional worlds of Extremadura, with the broad participation of students, former students, professors and mentors. The projects submitted were complementary to their tobacco growing activity and focussed on different subjects, ranging from the production of biomass and paprika to the export and breeding of Araucanian hens, as well as the creation of a product certifier and the manufacture of vegetable pâtés and natural products.

“Vegacreme produces 100% vegetable pâtés based on traditional flavours like typical Extremadura black pudding and made with olive oil”, explained Justo Urbano, a member of the group, who added that the Entrepreneur Program has given them the opportunity “to learn economics, finance and logo design and to implement our own initiatives to create a company in our area”.

Pablo Villanueva, from the Secadoex company, explained that this project will launch a “pilot scheme to dry pepper, introducing an automated curing control system similar to that used for Virginia tobacco”.

The students have displayed a firm commitment to rural entrepreneurship in the region, applying their knowledge to tobacco growing and the great natural resources of Extremadura. The participants this year have all emphasized that this experience has allowed them to broaden their vision as growers and to get a better understanding of their role within the value chain in a highly complex environment.

The presentation of the projects brings to an end the academic year, conducted since December on the premises of the European Academy of Yuste Foundation.

Entrepreneur Program

The Entrepreneur Program for Tobacco Growers is an academic project with a high level of training, conducted by Philip Morris Spain in partnership with the University of Extremadura, the European Academy of Yuste Foundation and the University-Company Foundation, aimed at professionals linked to tobacco growing in Extremadura.

The main purpose of this project is to promote entrepreneurial and leadership skills among the above professionals and to place them at the forefront of innovation in business management, in such a way that their leadership vision has an impact on the development of their community.