- Project Leader: Dr Paul Cowie
- Staff: Frances Rowe
- Sponsors: North East Rural Growth Network
- Partners: North East Rural Growth Network
The vast majority of businesses in rural areas are either micro-businesses or one-man-bands. This means they are often isolated and lack connectivity, both physical and social, to the key business networks they need to thrive.
These facts along with a general lack of suitable business space in rural areas also act as a barrier to growth for small rural firms.
To overcome these barriers the North East Rural Growth Network initiated a program to create a network of rural business hubs across the region. CRE acted as a critical friend and partner during the first phase of the project.
The research report investigated what rural enterprise hubs are and what they could be. The report provides a baseline of evidence highlighting the types of hubs and where they are. The report then outlined how added value could be introduced to the RGN by plugging gaps in the hub network and ensuring all rural enterprise hubs work together more effectively.