Ruta Cece

Ruta Hacia la Cooperación Empresarial y Comercio Electrónico (Route towards Business Co-operation and E-commerce).

CLUSTER: Innovative services and organisations focusing on migrants’ employability and work integration

START DATE: January 2013



business support, collaboration, e-commerce, entrepreneurship

wherePlaza de España, 14 21700 La Palma del Condado Huelva, España.


City Councils of La Palma del Condado (Organiser), Almonte, Palos de la Frontera, Lepe and Faro. Mita ONG, Unión de Asociaciones de Trabajadores Autónomos y Emprendedores (UATAE), Confederação dos Empresários do Algarve (CEAL)

Host community and resident migrants coming mostly from Latin America and African (proximity) countries.


Development of business ideas.

It promotes cross-border entrepreneurship creating networks and collaboration between Spain and Portugal. It supports business to grow through e-commerce and provides special assistance for immigrants.

why it is

It promotes the competitiveness and employment situation of the southern regions of Spain and Portugal, providing the service mainly online and giving support by e- learning, e-commerce, and service assistance to businesses.

A total of 69 Small and Medium Enterprises have been created. So far, these have created a total of 300 direct and indirect jobs and all of them are still ongoing, either as a new version of the previous company or as a consolidated business idea after the programme.


Team and competences:
There are many businesses participating and there are 40 expert service providers that provide legal advice individually or in groups, including mediators, social mediators and experts in local development and administrative issues. There are more than 30 mentors available with different backgrounds and reachable by all users.
Legal Form:
RUTA CECE is a public company

Service Description

Main Problem Addressed / Activity Sector:
There are three main areas they provide support in: e-learning, e-commerce,
and service assistance to businesses. Additionally, there is an area on the platform where entrepreneurs are assisted by service providers to get funding for their projects.
Ruta CECE developed several events with more than 600 participants and with a total participation of more than 100 immigrants attending the meetings (75% of them from Latin America and the rest from East European countries, Morocco and sub-Saharan countries).
Solution (Project/Service):
The project consists of an online platform through which all the services are provided. The platform is also available for smartphones via two applications accessible through Google Play (Android) and the App Store (iOS). The first app consists of the services provided on the main web platform (mentoring, e-learning courses, etc.). The second app is an e-commerce platform, where people can sell/buy products and services.
There are three main key success factors for Ruta CECE, first is the network that was created of cities and associations, second is the creation of the e- platforms and the development of a wide variety of quality training material and service providers necessary for the success of entrepreneurs and third is the thorough communications campaign. The use of different platforms allowed a great number of people to get to know the project. Additionally, the creation of the two online platforms (e-learning and e-commerce) offered the entrepreneurs the possibility of taking a lower risk to set up their ideas. Thus, it allowed a large number of entrepreneurs to start their businesses without making a big investment.


Main Milestones:
One of the most important campaigns to reach the migrant communities was made through the Internet Access Points. The Internet Access Points are places supplied with computers where people can access Internet for free. These points also provided, with assistance from the local authorities, support in searching job opportunities and guidance with administrative issues.
Main difficulties/challenges:
The main challenge of the project was to engage possible entrepreneurs for the creation of the e-commerce platform. Since the platform is online, the rate of users who leave the project without starting their company or passing the training is larger than with the face-to-face projects.


The project is part of the framework of the POCTEP (Programa de cooperación transfronteriza entre España y Portugal) and financed by FEDER (European Regional Development Fund).
There is an extensive amount and quality of public workforce involved in supplying services to Ruta CECE users. The variety of topics covered by the training is vast, as there are more than 60 different training courses: tourism, caring assistance, environment, financing, informatics, management, marketing, negotiations, human resources, etc. The material has been created by experts while considering the necessities of the entrepreneurs, therefore, making it clear and understandable for everyone.
The mentors have a profile where they share their background and areas of expertise on the platform, thus mentees select their mentors according to their necessities.
Stakeholders and Partners:
The project Ruta CECE was created with the aim of promoting cross-border entrepreneurship and collaboration between Spain and Portugal, creating networks, sharing knowledge and promoting the economies of the regions involved. The partner cities are collaborating to support e-commerce entrepreneurs and also providing special assistance for immigrants.
The partner organisations, Mita and UATAE, offer a face-to-face service for participants to obtain financial aid, bank loans, and generally speed up procedures.


Main Goals/challenges:
The scheme finished in 2015, but the online platform where all the services are provided is still active.
Critical Factors to manage this challenges:
The cities involved will continue supporting the platform and organising events or activities in collaboration. At the moment, the expenditure to maintain the network and platform is assumed by municipalities with an involvement of technicians.