Rural Entrepreneurship

Increasing the levels of entrepreneurship in rural communities is one key strategy for reducing the out migration of young people.

Typically, start-up enterprises require more support in rural areas due to the unique challenges they face, and so specialist programs tailored to these regions is required.


One example of an initiative to cultivate more rural entrepreneurship is GrowBiz.

This project aims to provide a comprehensive support service for new and existing enterprises in rural Perthshire in Scotland, leading to increased employment, improved skills and a stronger local economy.

GrowBiz and the Enterprising Rural Perthshire project, provide community-based enterprise support in rural Perth & Kinross, through a combination of one-to-one support, peer learning & support sessions, a mentoring programme and networking events. It has worked with more than 500 individuals who were starting or growing businesses and social enterprises in a rural area in the period from October 2016 to November 2018. The project promoter is the SME Growbiz.

Project results:

  • Over 400 rural businesses and 500 individuals have taken advantage of the support provided by Growbiz.
  • 2500 attendees across 200+ learning and networking events.
  • 45 trained mentors with a particular interest in small businesses.
  • 3 new women’s enterprise networks were set up and now meet every month.
  • Created more than 100 new businesses and over 200 jobs in the Eastern and Highland areas of Perthshire.

Silta – a bridge for youth entrepreneurship

How to specifically provide support for young people is exemplified through the Silta project, providing a bridge for youth entrepreneurship.

Today, young people have plenty of opportunities to trial their business ideas in various practical experimental business programmes. However, after the end of these programmes, young entrepreneurs did not have support and advice to continue growing their businesses. A bridge (“SILTA”) has been missing.

For this reason, the SILTA project developed an education model, this is based on cooperative entrepreneurship. As members of a cooperative called Versosto, young entrepreneurs can run a business alone or in groups, get mentoring and training, develop their businesses and encourage each other.