Rural Exchange


Rural Scotland is home to roughly 27% of Scotland’s businesses (compared to 17% of its population). Rural Scotland is therefore often regarded as being entrepreneurial although we lack information about whether these businesses are started through choice or necessity.

The vast majority of rural and island businesses are very small micro-businesses with less than 10 employees, and many are sole traders. This means that they may face particular challenges in accessing mainstream public sector business support services. Nevertheless, many of these businesses offer vital lifeline services to their communities thereby helping to maintain local population levels and keep communities resilient. To thrive, these businesses need reliable and fast digital connectivity, good transport infrastructure and a supply of affordable housing for their workforce.

Further Reading

More within the Businesses project


Accommodation Sector Insights

Scotland’s accommodation sector – A qualitative case study of business experiences

This research explored recent, current and future challenges and opportunities facing accommodation businesses, a sector which has a vital role...[more]


Rural Enterprise Hubs

Policy Spotlight - Supporting Scottish Businesses through Rural Enterprise Hubs and Coworking Spaces

Rural Enterprise Hubs are important locations for giving rural businesses a home to grow, network, collaborate and attain...[more]

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