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Great expectations or small country living? Enabling small rural creative businesses with ICT.

Anderson, Alistair R.; Wallace, Claire; Townsend, Leanne


Alistair R. Anderson

Claire Wallace

Leanne Townsend


Small businesses are prototypical rural business, but limited by distance. However, creative businesses are less constrained by space and hold great promise for rural development. Indeed, the rural is an attractive creative aesthetic milieu. Moreover, new broadband technologies seem to offer a solution to address connectivity; the social and spatial problem of being rural. Consequently, we ask how does broadband enable small rural creative firms. We sought out the practices and experiences of creative business owners, finding that broadband offered useful technical, creative, and business linking. However many were frustrated by poor technical performance. Furthermore, the accelerating pace of ICT worried respondents, who feared being left behind. Nonetheless for most-without broadband their rural location would have been impossible. We found that broadband has fostered creative rural businesses, but as new ways of making a small country living rather than stimulating a rural creative milieu. The digital promise of a creative transformation of the rural has not been realised in Scotland.


ANDERSON, A.R., WALLACE, C. and TOWNSEND, L. 2016. Great expectations or small country living? Enabling small rural creative businesses with ICT. Sociologia ruralis [online], 56(3), pages 450-468. Available from:

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jul 2, 2015
Online Publication Date Sep 2, 2015
Publication Date Jul 31, 2016
Deposit Date Sep 9, 2016
Publicly Available Date Sep 3, 2017
Journal Sociologia ruralis
Print ISSN 0038-0199
Electronic ISSN 1467-9523
Publisher Wiley Open Access
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 56
Issue 3
Pages 450-468
Keywords Small businesses; Rural business; Broadband internet; ICT
Public URL


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