Business and Economy
Micro businesses invited to be part of a research trial to help boost efficiency
Posted on: 26 September 2019
Devon County Council is looking for freelancers, sole traders and businesses with fewer than 10 employees, (micro businesses), to work with them on a research trial designed to boost Devon’s economy.
More than 90 per cent of Devon’s rural economy is made up of micro businesses, often home-based or family-run.
Government funding via Innovate UK is paying for the research, which will help inform the way that the Council supports rural micro-businesses in the future, helping them to reach their full potential.
Councillor Rufus Gilbert, the Council’s Cabinet Member with responsibility for the economy, said:
“They represent the backbone to our rural economy in Devon, and yet they are often the hardest for us to reach with business support to help them flourish. Without saying too much about the trial, otherwise the research could be compromised, we want to look at different ways of providing support to these businesses.”
The Council is inviting micro businesses, freelancers and sole traders to be part of the research trial.
They are hoping to work with more than 250 businesses in the trial group.
After 12 months of monitoring these businesses, the council will be able to understand what type of assistance might work, and that will help them tailor support to rural businesses in future.
Councillor Gilbert said:
“A lot of owners of smaller businesses want the flexibility to create a good work-life balance, whilst still maximising profits. They want to have more time to be able to do things they enjoy without having to increase work hours to keep their businesses on track. That means working efficiently during work-time, so that they’re able to have the work-life balance they’d like.”
This trial will help the council understand better what the challenges are for micro businesses, what their aspirations are, and what makes a business work well. With that evidence, future packages of support can be based on what helps businesses run more efficiently, and ultimately boost rural economies.
What sort of businesses are we looking for?
The trial will be based in settlements with a population of less than 10,000 across Devon and the Exmoor and Blackdown Hills areas of Somerset, in four over-represented sectors: Tourism (including food, accommodation and retail); Health and Social Care; Trades (such as construction, market traders and lifestyle businesses); and Manufacturers.
Businesses that would like to take part in the trial can sign up online at http://bit.ly/engagingruralmicros or request more information by emailing email@example.com before the end of December 2019.Posted in: Business and Economy | DCC Homepage