The indigenous rural enterprise: characteristics and change in the British farm sector

Sara Carter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


Despite an increasingly sophisticated literature analysing small businesses in rural locations, the farm sector has been largely excluded from this debate. The exclusion of agriculture is commonly attributed to decline in employment and establishment numbers. In this paper the author argues that agriculture decline may have been overstated within the snnall business literature and, moreover, that recent policy reform and demand side changes have had a profound influence on the nature of farm enterprises. It is argued that any new investigation of rural firms should take account of the farm sector. The inclusion of the farm sector in small business research is likely to have two benefits. First, the farm sector offers snnall business researchers a unique opportunity to analyse issues at the centre of small business debate.Second, it is argued that, in addition to the existing approaches, the approach used in small business analysis is required to capture the nature of the relationship between the dynamics of agricultural restructuring and the emergence of new businesses in rural areas.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)345-358
Number of pages13
JournalEntrepreneurship and Regional Development
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1996


  • rurality
  • agriculture
  • entrepreneurship
  • policy reform


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