Research on rural social enterprise is patchy, scattered and relatively undeveloped.

Scotland leads the way in much of this research but finding are not always accessible to those running social enterprises. This can result in practice and also policy that is not as evidence based as it could be.

In this section you will find:

Existing research articles and reports on rural social enterprise

  • Details of academic articles and reports that focus on different elements of rural social enterprise from Scotland and further afield.
  • Papers that have been produced as part of the work of the hub – conference presentations, briefing papers, reports produced by hub members. Please add anything you think will be of interest to other rural social enterprises.

Current research on rural social enterprise

We want to develop an up to date list of current research.

If you are involved in a project and are willing to share the details, please send an outline to

Sue Rawcliffe :

Also if you are looking for research partners you can post here.

The future research agenda for rural social enterprise.

We think that the future research agenda should be influenced by rural social enterprises themselves and will be holding on-line sessions/polls to establish future research priorities. Watch this space for further details.

Below are some of the ideas from discussions to date and the existing research:

  • The ViSENet partnership have identified succession planning, the role of social enterprise in creating employment opportunities for young people and retaining population.
  • There is also an interest in ideas of collective leadership and whether this is different in rural, as opposed to urban.
  • The importance of community-led social enterprise to rural development and the maintenance of vital local services.
  • The extent to which rural areas still retain the dense social networks and other cultural factors that create fertile ground for social enterprise development.
  • What do rural social enterprises need to survive and thrive.

What would you add to this list?

The list so far:

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