22 September 2023

My exploration of rural enterprise and innovation


Joining the National Innovation Centre for Rural Enterprise (NICRE) as a communications assistant this summer stands as a milestone in my professional journey, writes Gaurav Dhoot, content development and communications assistant. My internship, although rooted in content development, gave me profound exposure to the realm of rural enterprise, particularly via NICRE's innovation portal. My passion for cycling has also always led me to explore rural landscapes, and the thrill of seeing them up close excites and motivates me to work in organisations such as NICRE that focus on rural areas.

Content development

A substantial portion of my role was dedicated to NICRE’s innovation portal - a platform hosted on the website spotlighting captivating case studies from various rural businesses, organisations and communities.  

Specifically, my input in the context of case studies for the portal was to adjust the language in submitted templates to align with our style and tone, where necessary, ensuring the original meaning and critical terminology remained untouched. Using the content management system, Umbraco, I refined my expertise in smoothly uploading content by preparing these studies to be published online. The commitment to uniformity, rigorous proofreading, and grasping the intricacies of rural enterprises and communities were critical to my professional growth.  

Modules I worked on included 'Rural enterprise hubs', which are designed to unite rural businesses in shared spaces, fostering innovation and knowledge exchange, and the forthcoming one on models of community engagement. My contributions spanned fine-tuning and refreshing the website with a new case study for Gallery Forty5, a hub for creative businesses in Felton, Northumberland, and presenting examples of several projects which showcase community engagement. These tasks entailed editing, collaborating with senior members of the team for approvals, and ensuring the studies' impeccable presentation on our platform. Having exposure to initiatives that empower businesses and communities with practical resources was genuinely invigorating.  

Collaboration and connection  

It was not merely the tasks but my engagement with the NICRE team that elevated my experience. Our joint deliberations often centred around design intricacies, linguistic subtleties, and achieving the most-effective content presentation. Being involved in collaborating with diverse organisations and refining our communication tactics was a hugely enjoyable aspect of my role. Together, our primary objective was clear: to vividly portray the spirit of, and innovation within, rural enterprise.  


Reflecting on my tenure at NICRE, I recognise it as an amalgamation of enlightenment, advancement, and deep-rooted understanding of rural business ethos. With the skills and knowledge acquired, I feel poised for further growth in my career. My aspirations include maintaining an affiliation with NICRE as I continue my studies at Newcastle University as the profound vision of championing rural enterprises deeply resonates with me.