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Exploring innovation and digital innovation

Exploring innovation and digital innovation

24 May 2021

Urban-rural profile of micro-businesses

Research by the National Innovation Centre for Rural Enterprise (NICRE) has explored the levels of innovation and digital innovation in rural and urban micro-businesses.

Using data on more than 5,000 micro-businesses – firms with up to nine employees – in England and Wales, Ambition, innovation and digital innovation in rural and urban micro-businesses has four key findings:

  • Rural micro-businesses are less likely to be innovating than similar firms in urban locations
  • There is no difference between levels of digital innovation among rural and urban micro-businesses
  • There are strong positive associations between micro-firms’ business ambitions and both innovation and digital innovation.
  • There is a strong positive association between digital innovation and innovation related to products and processes.
Innovation, digital innovation, micro-businesses

Combination of factors

The research, authored by Dr Serdal Ozusaglam and Professor Stephen Roper, from NICRE founding university partners the Enterprise Research Centre, suggests that levels of innovation reflect a combination of where firms are located and owner-managers’ aspirations for growth or stability.

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