Rural family businesses and exporting behaviour

Mole, Kevin; Hill, Inge; Nguyen, Thao and Maioli, Sara (2022). Rural family businesses and exporting behaviour. In NICRE Research reports National Innovation Centre for Rural Enterprise, Newcastle University., Newcastle.



Driven by the importance of exporting for growth, this report examines the exporting behaviour of UK small firms in rural and urban locations. Analysing data from five waves of the Longitudinal Small Business Survey from 2015 to 2019, the report examines the development by firms of goods or services that are suitable for exporting and the subsequent decision to export, either consistently or intermittently. Overall, we find significant differences between rural and urban firms in terms of exporting, where firms located in sparse, dispersed areas were more likely to export, although less likely if they declared themselves as family businesses. We also find that some types of firms, BAMEowned and women-owned businesses, are much less likely to develop tradeable goods and services. We demonstrate how the role of advice seems specifically connected to the decision to develop tradeable goods and services, rather than exporting per se. The research confirms the importance of productivity and innovation on both exporting and developing tradeable goods and services. We propose a future research agenda on the exporting practices of rural family businesses and women-owned enterprise, and on the role of exporting advice.

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