Home based business sectors in the rural economy

Newbery, Robert and Bosworth, Gary (2010) Home based business sectors in the rural economy. Society and Business Review, 5 (2). pp. 183-197. ISSN 1746-5680

Full content URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/17465681011055596

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Purpose: The paper challenges calls for a monolithic rural home based business sector and instead proposes meaningful sub-sectors of HBB that fit within contemporary rural economic development theory. This informs business support and policy objectives.
Design/methodology/approach: Statistical analysis of a survey of rural microbusinesses in the North East of England provides comparisons between home-based and other rural microbusinesses to illustrate some of their identifying characteristics. Case study interviews are then used to test theory development and to provide greater depth of understanding about the motivations and aspirations of home based business owners.
Findings: The research demonstrates that the rural home based business sector is not homogenous. For some, the home is the business, for others it is a convenient location and for others it is not the place of work, simply the registered business address. This has significant implications for the needs of each type of business and their prospects for growth.
Research limitations/implications: This paper introduces the concept of sub-sectors of home based business but more detailed survey work is required to establish whether these are fully inclusive. With a changing economic climate since the research was carried out, further research should also be conducted to examine the resilience of these businesses in recession as well as their ability to react to growth opportunities in a period of upturn.
Originality/value: As an emergent area of study in the fields of small business and the rural economy, home-based businesses are potential vehicles for both social and economic development. With large numbers of home based businesses in rural areas, this paper illustrates the need to understand both their potential and their limitations in order to maximise their contribution to a vibrant and sustainable rural economy.

Keywords:Rural economy, home-based businesses, home-working, microbusinesses
Subjects:N Business and Administrative studies > N100 Business studies
Divisions:Lincoln International Business School
ID Code:9182
Deposited On:26 Apr 2013 14:26

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