A recent 2012 report by the federation of Small Businesses found that the entrepreneurial spirit is thriving in the UK countryside, with more businesses per head of population in most rural areas compared to the most urban areas.
This gives small businesses a huge opportunity to make a significant difference to the UK economy by relocating to rural areas. Unfortunately there are some barriers to entry, which include broadband issues and transport links.
The government has made a step in the right direction to remove these barriers by launching a £20m business training scheme to help rural entrepreneurs set up and grow their business. Last year they also introduced the £60m Rural Economy Grant scheme to enable entrepreneurs in rural areas to access funding to cover costs associated with starting a business in the countryside.
“Many of our members cite that having adequate access to broadband is an issue in a rural area,” remarks John Walker, FSB national chairman. “The government is doing a great job at putting superfast broadband across urban areas, but we feel that more could be done in getting this to rural businesses.”
It will be interesting to see how the broadband infrastructure changes over the next 12 months and what affect this has on the growth of rural businesses.
We would love to hear from you if you have a rural business – what experiences have you had so far? Are broadband and transport links a major factor for you?
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