Rural Businesses

‘Rural Businesses’ is the current sub-theme of ENRD thematic work on ‘Smart and Competitive Rural Areas’.

A Thematic Group (TG) will be working on this topic from September 2016 to July 2017. The focus of the TG is on how to promote competitive and economically resilient clusters of rural businesses, which build on rural assets and create jobs.

The 1st TG meeting (13 October 2016) identified key topics to be covered within the sub-theme: new trends and ‘wild ideas’ for rural businesses; smart business support; digitisation, the use of ICT and access to broadband (see meeting summary).

The 2nd TG meeting (30 November 2016) discussed Rural Development Programme Measures and National Rural Networks’ practices in support of innovative rural businesses (see meeting summary).

The 3rd TG meeting (23-24 January 2017) explored the links between rural businesses and the wider rural community and included field visits to creative entrepreneurs in the Netherlands (see meeting summary).

The Seminar on ‘Revitalising Rural Areas through Business Innovation’ (30 March 2017) explored how rural businesses – both farm and non-farm – can innovate in ways that “create the conditions for future prosperity and vitality” as articulated in the Cork 2.0 Declaration (see seminar highlights).

The 4th TG meeting (18-19 May 2017) discussed the final outputs, including case studies, RDP analysis, and the upcoming dedicated edition of the EU Rural Review.


Find out more about the work of the Thematic Group in the following documents:


Thematic Group briefing documents