Organisation : GIZARTEKA ELKARTEA , Spain

Berango Lab is a project that seeks to strengthen the community and commercial network in its environment through social innovation. It is a project that offers different services (coworking center, advice, access assistance and support) to all people who want to develop a project, be it professional or personal, with the key to supporting the development of the community. In addition, we energize spaces and create opportunities to connect people from different disciplines and thus be able to create new shared projects.

Agendas addressed
Public spaceSocial inclusion and integrationLocal economies and employment
Pathways followed
  • Ensure equal access to municipal services
  • Involve citizens through participatory implementation
  • Encourage local private and civic engagement
  • Promote social innovation supporting inclusion
  • Nurture a sharing economy
  • Create and close local value chains
  • Implement sustainable procurement principles
  • Accelerate sustainability and innovation through public procurement
  • Guarantee equal access to information & digital services
  • Prepare policies for socio-cultural changes due to innovation
Support for project development: Visual thinking for social transformation

Berango is a municipality located in the Uribe Kosta community (made up of 7 municipalities, most of which have very little population). It is large and has less than 10,000 inhabitants. It does not have a defined urban center. It is generally conceived as a dormitory town, its in habitants going to surrounding towns to work. Young people from the municipality have to go to the surrounding towns to study and enjoy their free time. Although it is a town with possibilities, since it has a small population it cannot count on many municipal services, so the main objective of Berango Lab is to energize the spaces and services that the town has and create a strong community and business network, creating dynamics of knowledge and contact, to reverse this situation: that people create their own projects in the same municipality, all with a perspective of community support.

In Action
 Youth project

A municipal space called Berango Lab has been created, a space that offers the following services: Coworking, training, information, assistance and support in European projects and real contracting possibilities for its users. Spaces for participation in solidarity and community support projects have also been created. The service is free for Berango Lab users.


1 - Give support to the Berango and commonwealth projects.

2 - Disseminate European projects related to the fields of work and youth.

3 - Strengthen the social and volunteer network of the commonwealth.

4 - Organize training, workshops and events for the development of projects.


1A - Know the projects of the community

1B - Promote the participation of youth in Berango Smart Lab.

2A - Know the European projects and their characteristics.

2B - Create relationships with European entities for collaborative work.

2C - Offer and share information on European projects.

3A - Create list of volunteers.

3B - Offer training on volunteering.

3C - Organize actions based on solidarity.

4A - Creation of own action agenda.

4B - Organize and develop actions


Number of users who have participated in our actions:








COWORKING: A space for Coworking, Networking, collaborations and mutual knowledge and promoting the social and labor network in our environment.


TRAINING: We offer a training search service for our users, according to the characteristics of each one, so that they do not neglect their continuous training and do not waste time searching for courses that may interest them, so that they can better focus on their projects. TRAINING OFFERED: 18

SCHOLARSHIPS, GRANTS AND EUROPEAN PROJECTS: We are in contact with different entities and administrations in order to offer our users information on European scholarships, grants and programs.

SCHOLARSHIPS AND SUBSIDIES OFFERED: 11 (BEHARGINTZA hired one of the Berango Smart Lab users in its local employment protection program)


COMMUNITY PROGRAMS Being a Berango Smart Lab user is free; instead, to give back to the community the service that is enjoyed in Berango Smart Lab, common and solidarity work is returned. To do this, we program solidarity actions in which our users work as volunteers.

ORGANIZED PROGRAMS: 2 (FAIR SATURDAY and Sustainable Christmas workshops.)

 Connection between different agents to promote the youth of the territory

In the development of the actions, the results for 2019 obtained have been the following:

We have met (and attracted) 12 different projects coming from our environment, to which we have offered our services and put them in contact with each other, in which 22 young people from the community participate (as managers). Of these 12 projects, the city council has hired 4 to procure their services, giving them a real job opportunity and with the support of the Berango Lab professional throughout the process (from carrying out the activity to contacting the administration). In this way, access to municipal services is opened to the entire population and the possibility of access to public contracting is opened to all people who want to develop a project. the total amount of the project plus external contracting is just under € 20,000, which represents a municipal expense that ends up reversed entirely in the community. In addition, 5 projects have emerged in our Lab that did not exist before.

We have carried out 4 of our own trainings in which nearly 100 people have participated, belonging to entities, companies and schools in our environment (which has had a greater impact). The trainings have been on a gender perspective in project development, volunteering and business development support

We have created a network of 37 volunteers who have participated or want to participate in different projects.

We have created a didactic unit on the use of social networks focused on the elderly.

We have established contact with 31 associations, 530 companies and we collaborate closely with 10 entities (of which 100% are non-profit).




The socioeconomic impact is as follows: There is a newly created physical space that is at the service of the commonwealth population: coworking, training, networking (which 37 people are already attending) and we have created a digital space for contact and training to which we can go to obtain support for develop any type of project (labor, social, personal). It is managing to meet the needs of the environment in different ways: it is a more flexible space than the traditional supports that the administration offers, so it caters to people who are left out of them (registration in the same municipality or pre-entrepreneurship phase) . Thus, the impact we have had in 2019 has been 290 people. In addition, the inhabitants of our area are being supported to create projects that meet the needs of the same community, taking people from our environment and not having to resort to outside resources. Municipal spending is being redirected as much as possible to the community and veninal collaboration is being fostered and the associative fabric is being strengthened.

The measurable data are those exposed in the previous section:

Promotion of 12 projects in the environment (which previously did not receive any aid), creation of 5 new projects (4 of them already contracted by the city council) and with real support throughout the process.


37 people who cannot afford a workplace, use our physical and digital space to carry out their project, in exchange they volunteer in different actions that revert to the commonwealth (FAIR SATURDAY FESTIVAL, SUSTEINABLE CHRISTMAS MARKET...)

We hope to influence neighborhood dynamics with the following projects:

creation of a council for older people, youth council. And we are preparing a contest of ideas to meet the needs of youth in the social alarm situation of the COVD-19

Challenges and lessons learned
 Support to the young community for the development of new projects and the vision of sustainability

For the project to work, it is highly recommended that the organizing facilitator of the space and activities is making contacts and has a constant presence in most of the activities in the environment (that's where you know what people do and who is involved).

It is very important to have relational and adequate expression skills to mediate neighborhood and administration relationships with the town's inhabitants, since the success of the project lies in good relationships and looking for options that satisfy everyone.


You have to think that spending is low and that everything always reverses in the same community.

Activity Report 2019


ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability
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