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This free course, Rural entrepreneurship in Scotland, is an introduction to rural enterprise in Scotland. It is principally designed for those developing their own enterprises and also as a resource for people supporting enterprises in rural areas. It has been developed specifically for a Scottish context, linking to Scottish support websites, but it would also be suitable as a resource for enterprising people in any context. It is a series of resources that you can draw on and use as when you need them something to support you on your journey to running your own business.
After studying this course, you should be able to:
- understand the importance of how living rurally influences your business or social enterprise objectives
- explore the feasibility of a business idea
- plan a strategy for the development of your company
- state the likely resources and capabilities required for your new business and understand where the gaps are likely to occur.
- Current section: Introduction
- Learning outcomes
- Course structure
- 1 Setting the scene for rural business
- 2 Exploring the business idea
- 2.1 The business idea
- 2.2 Sources of innovative business ideas
- 2.3 Steps to success
- 2.4 Company structure
- 2.5 Environmental scan
- 2.6 Stakeholders
- 2.7 Competitive advantage
- 2.8 What is a strategy?
- 2.9 Formulating strategy
- 2.10 Summary
- 3 Customers, markets, competition and pricing
- 3.1 What is a customer?
- 3.2 The purchasing pathway
- 3.3 Market research – segmentation
- 3.4 Marketing mix
- 3.5 Social marketing
- 3.6 Summary
- 4 Capabilities and resources
- 5 Finance and information
- 5.1 Financing your business
- 5.2 Essential accounts
- 5.3 Financial management tools
- 5.4 Summary
- 6 What next?
- Keep on learning
Study this free course
Enrol to access the full course, get recognition for the skills you learn, track your progress and on completion gain a statement of participation to demonstrate your learning to others. Make your learning visible!
Rural entrepreneurship in Scotland
This course considers the issues that are important when starting up or running a small business in a rural environment.
Traditional business models apply to running a business in any location. This course will introduce you to some concepts that will help you work out what you want to do with your business idea. It will also ask you to consider the impact of living in a rural location on your business and to consider what is important to you.
Here are some characters who will be with us throughout the course. They each have a different business idea and are thinking about how to make their business successful in a rural environment.
Donald works on his family’s farm and wants to develop more income by diversifying outside of traditional farming activities.
Gwyneth is a keen cook and has had her hours reduced at the café where she works in town. To supplement her family income, she wants to sell her homemade jams, chutneys and preserves at farmers’ markets and food fairs.
Julia lives in a remote area where the Post Office and village store are threatened with closure. She wants to lead local residents in a bid to take over the Post Office and store and run them as a community shop.
Rajesh is a photographer with a love of the outdoors who wants to set up a second business in photography tourism, working alongside his wife.
David is a joiner who enjoys working on bespoke products. He is keen to have more control over the creative side of his work and to focus on one specific area of joinery.
Whatever your motivation for tackling this course of study, it will take you on a journey looking at the challenges posed when you live in a rural environment and start you thinking about how you can use this knowledge to run a successful business of your choice.
This OpenLearn course is an adapted extract from the Open University course.
Copyright & revisions
Originally published: Monday, 8th February 2016
Last updated on: Monday, 8th February 2016
- Creative-Commons: The Open University is proud to release this free course under a Creative Commons licence. However, any third-party materials featured within it are used with permission and are not ours to give away. These materials are not subject to the Creative Commons licence. See terms and conditions. Full details can be found in the Acknowledgements and our FAQs section.
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