Rural areas have higher self-employment rates, says Rural Economy Committee

Rural areas have higher self-employment rates, says Rural Economy Committee

Rural areas have higher self-employment rates than urban areas, according to Chair of the Rural Economy Committee, Julie Kapsalis.

A report by Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership showed how important the rural economy is to the growth and prosperity of South East England, with over 22% of businesses located in the area.


The report, known as the Rural Statement, showed that one in five businesses are located in rural areas and that the rural economy accounts for 27% of the region’s economic output.

While industries such as agriculture and manufacturing were found to make up many of the businesses in the area, the report found that the biggest industry is business and professional services, which accounts for nearly a fifth of rural companies.

According to Kapsalis, a Board Member of Coast to Capital, it is the people who are a “key asset” to the economy, attracting so many businesses to the area.


Kapsalis stated that rural residents “tend to be more entrepreneurial,” with large numbers of businesses that are home-based and significantly higher rates of self-employment than in urban areas.

However, she pointed out that if female self-employment rates were the same as male rates in urban areas, there would be another 17,000 jobs.

Kapsalis went on to highlight the problems faced by the rural sector, stating that there is more need for housing and employment space as businesses and resident populations grow. She said: “Poor transport connectivity, access to childcare and higher housing, inadequate broadband speeds and lack of suitable business premises are all major issues facing the rural economy and can make it difficult for some residents to access employment.” 

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