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From Norfolk RCC
Norfolk RCC is able to provide support and advice to community and social enterprises. In addition, we provide consultancy based support services to private sector businesses.
We have experience of providing support to a wide range of enterprises, from business growth and start-up coaching through our Communities in Business Project to long-term community enterprise and shop support.
We recognise the differing needs of rural and lifestyle business and work flexibly to find the solutions that meet the challenges you and your community face. Please call to find out more.
Rural areas are the hidden story of the New Anglia economy. Look a little further than the country cottages and you will find everything from high-tech manufacturing and creative consultancies to ICT start-up’s and artisan local producers.
Rural areas account for over half of all VAT registered businesses in the New Anglia area. There are far higher levels of micro-business than urban areas, with 88% of all businesses employing less than 10 people. Rural enterprises are often built on solid foundations accounting for a greater proportion of businesses trading for over 10 years. Collectively, these enterprises provide significant value and employment to the regions economy.
Rural residents account for 48% of the areas workforce. Often contrary to expectations the largest employment sectors are property, manufacturing and the public sector. Rural residents account for 60% of all home workers. This combined with a higher proportion of self-employment and large numbers of lifestyle businesses can mean support needs and motivation are different from the mainstream.
Rural areas are not without their challenges. A lack of affordable housing can make it difficult for people to live and work locally providing a recruitment challenge to some industries. Infrastructure is often poor. Broadband coverage, a must for every business, is patchy. In addition a poor road network and transport links can add additional costs or create supply chain problems. However, some challenges, such as an aging population, can create new business opportunities to meet the needs of a growing market.
On balance rural areas are excellent places to live and work and in a predominantly rural area, rural enterprise cannot be overlooked as we build a strong prosperous economy.
See our report on the New Anglia Rural Economy for more details.
Rural Community Enterprise
When local businesses die in rural communities, the effect on that community's survival is dramatic. Community (and social) enterprises are an important part of the way to stem the decline in these areas. The stronger the enterprise then the greater the effect on the population.
What is a Community Enterprise?
It is an organisation / company/ business that is at the heart of the community and provides an invaluable service which ultimately strengthens the social bond. All income / profits generated are re-invested into the enterprise, to strengthen the operation, or invest in other community projects.
It can be as basic as the Village Hall or as complex as a local co-operative marketing, community shop or community supported agriculture project. Norfolk RCC is able to provides support to rural community enterprises, please contact us with your ideas.