The creative class doing business in the countryside

Networking to overcome the rural

Authored by: Lise Herslund

The Routledge Companion to Rural Planning

Print publication date:  January  2019
Online publication date:  January  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138104051
eBook ISBN: 9781315102375
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter explores the phenomenon of micro-businesses in rural areas started by creative class urban newcomers and discusses the applicability of creative class ideas to rural contexts. It examines the emerging networks developing between micro-businesses and their impact on the entrepreneurial potential of rural areas. The chapter argues that the same lifestyle considerations that led the creative class to move to rural areas also play a key role in them becoming self-employed and changing to more diverse activities and markets. Business networks started by creative class newcomers are essential for this adaptation as they link like-minded creative class newcomers but also connect local businesses to new knowledge and serve as a meeting place for the growing number of self-employed that fall outside the scope of traditional rural business services. Creativity is not the domain of any single sector; rather, it is a measure of the ability of individuals to overcome traditional rural obstacles like limited jobs and markets and lack of advisory services, by finding new products, customers and developing or joining self-grown business networks.

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