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Supporting enterprise and rural economic growth

Thriving rural communities depend on a thriving rural economy and are vital to the distinctiveness and sustainability of our countryside. However, rural communities face disadvantages and a number of challenges to a sustainable future. Issues such as the provision of services, lack of affordable housing and few employment opportunities for young people all affect the viability of rural communities in the long term.

Business skills and expertise play a major role in supporting rural enterprise activity and have a direct and positive impact on rural areas. We encourage the creation and growth of enterprise, focusing on areas of greatest need, to reduce rural deprivation and stimulate economic growth.

Our response – Rural Business Connectors

We are supporting Business in the Community’s Business Connector programme because we know that facilitated connections can have a big impact, particularly in isolated rural areas. Business Connectors provide an innovative, focussed and sustainable way for business to support and develop local partnerships between business, voluntary and community sector organisations. The programme has been piloted in rural Cornwall and North Yorkshire and will be rolled out to benefit rural communities across the country.

Our ask

- For all businesses with a rural footprint to consider seconding someone to become a Rural Business Connector