As a result of examining the key challenges shared by our participants, we have been able to make 10 key suggestions as to how rural actors could better support these enterprises - Developing rural food systems, sustainability and innovation. This project has made a valuable contribution to research, as its findings are relevant to state, private, and civil society; we hope that these recommendations may inform their actions going forward.
As a result of our report Exploring the socio-economic dynamics and innovation capacity of rural food and farming microbusinesses and the publication of a press release, we were able to share our findings live on Sky News TV and BBC Radio Gloucestershire, resulting in great coverage for our research, CCRI, NICRE and the LWA. In addition, we are now in the process of drafting a peer-reviewed publication so that the wider academic relevance of this research is fully realised.
We are pleased that we were successful in applying for NICRE funding to carry out this research and would encourage fellow academics to submit a proposal to carry out their own study into rural enterprise – up to £15,000 is available for each project.
This research was carried out by Dr Charlotte Chivers, Caitlin Hafferty, Dr Matt Reed, and Sofia Raseta of the Countryside and Community Research Institute, University of Gloucestershire.