Interrogating the meaning of a rural business through a rural capitals framework

Bosworth, Gary and Turner, Roger (2018) Interrogating the meaning of a rural business through a rural capitals framework. Journal of Rural Studies, 60 . pp. 1-10. ISSN 0743-0167

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Abstract

This paper explores the ways in which businesses use and create diverse forms of rural capital, as an attempt to better
understand the distinctive characteristics of “rural businesses”. We present three cases to explore the features that
might lead us to describe them as being distinctively “rural businesses”. This adds to the debate about whether
location alone is a sufficient parameter for defining rural-ness. The business cases were each established in rural
areas of northern/central England. The cases were selected to fit an existing categorisation of rural businesses based
on personal knowledge about the companies. Data was gathered through a combination of interviews and secondary
materials. Our findings indicate that the employment of forms of rural capital is a key dimension along with the
locations of firms and their markets, in distinguishing “rural businesses” from others. A clearer understanding of
specifically “rural” characteristics of businesses can guide policy towards approaches that deal with rural challenges
and support for businesses to harness characteristics and opportunities connected to rural places. We assert that such
approaches would be better tailored to local conditions than broad-brush spatial policies. They also aid understanding
of the dynamics of change in rural communities driven by local business development.

Keywords:Community Capital Framework, Rural Business, Rural Entrepreneurship, Rural Economy
Subjects:N Business and Administrative studies > N100 Business studies
L Social studies > L700 Human and Social Geography
Divisions:College of Science > School of Geography
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ID Code:31253
Deposited On:07 Mar 2018 17:30

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