Invigorating the New Rural Economy

Entrepreneurship and Innovation

Authored by: Jane Atterton

Routledge International Handbook of Rural Studies

Print publication date:  May  2016
Online publication date:  May  2016

Print ISBN: 9781138804371
eBook ISBN: 9781315753041
Adobe ISBN: 9781317619864


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Fundamental restructuring has occurred in many rural economies across OECD countries. This restructuring has resulted in an increasingly diversified, interdependent and outward-looking rural economy that interacts with adjacent urban areas, as well as with other regions nationally and internationally (Copus & de Lima, 2015, p. 3). These features are the result of an important shift in the economic characteristics of rural areas, whereby there has been a decline in traditional primary sector activities, and, to a certain extent, large-scale manufacturing sector activities, and a growth in service sector activities. Some of these changes have been prompted by national drivers, such as government investment in broadband, which has led to a more diverse range of local businesses, and the ability for people to work remotely and flexibly. Others are the result of global drivers – such as in the division of labour or in trade rules – which has seen a shift in the location of major manufacturing plants, for example. The outcomes of these complex regional, national and global processes have meant fundamental changes for those living and working in rural areas, opening up new opportunities and bringing new challenges.

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