Monday, 09 October 2017 12:59

Internet giant spurs rural jobs growth

Written by  Ruralcity Media
Internet giant spurs rural jobs growth

Internet giant Amazon is helping Britain's rural businesses double their revenue growth, suggests a survey.

Small and medium sized rural businesses that export forecast double the revenue growth of those that don't says and triple the jobs growth, it found.

Over the next 12 months, rural SMEs who export forecast +2.1% revenue growth and +0.9% jobs growth, according to the YouGov research.

    See also: Help unlock rural Britain's digital rural potential

The figures compare to just +1.2% revenue growth and +0.3% jobs growth for non-exporting rural SMEs.

More than 10,000 rural sellers, including small businesses and individuals, now use Amazon Marketplace to grow their business online.

The announcement coincides with news that Amazon is to hold a new rural business academy at the Rural Entrepreneur Show the Birmingham NEC on 8-9 November.

The Rural Entrepreneur Show will be attended by over 6,000 rural businesses looking to find new growth opportunities.

Over the course of two days, rural businesses attending the academy will hear from senior Amazon experts about how they can increase their online sales.

Business growth

"We’re seeing thousands of rural SMEs use Amazon to export and successfully grow their business," said Doug Gurr, Amazon's UK country manager.

One successful rural small business-owner using Amazon Marketplace is Karen Riddick, the owner of Second Nature.

Based in Dumfries, Scotland, Ms Riddick left her day job after 16 years of employment, when her FairTrade home furnishings company started to take off.

Second Nature now exports homeware products around Europe and generates roughly £350,000 annual turnover.

Ms Riddick said: “As someone who runs a successful rural based business, my message to other small businesses is that there are no geographical limits to e-commerce.

"For those who prefer rural living, I would say that it’s the perfect solution."

Ms Riddick said the internet made high growth business possible without giving up the rural quality of life.

'Huge opportunity'

"There’s huge opportunity for our rural economy, and I look forward to encouraging other small business owners in taking their first step into the digital world."

The academy will also present the separate findings of a report called Unlocking the digital potential of rural areas.

Carried out by Rural England and Scotland’s Rural College, supported by Amazon, the report looks at the challenges and opportunities faced by rural enterprises.

Rural England chairman Brian Wilson said the report would look at how rural businesses could maximise growth and participation in the digital economy.

Businesses wishing to attend the Amazon Academy and the Rural Entrepreneur Show, can register free at www.ruralentrepreneur.co.uk.

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