Rural Economy

Rural enterprise contributes more than an estimated £36 billion to the Scottish economy each year, nearly 25% of Scotland’s overall economy, and this doesn’t include the huge and largely unquantified contribution of small and micro rural enterprises below the VAT threshold. 


The rural economy offers huge potential for economic growth, but it’s a bit different from the ‘urban’ economy. There are more small and micro-businesses, and fewer medium and large enterprises. More social enterprises and, increasingly, more businesses using digital applications in innovative ways which weren’t possible even five years ago.  

The small/micro-business sector is the only part of the economy to have consistently grown in the last decade and we believe with the right kind of investment and business support to strengthen our existing community of enterprises and grow new sustainable businesses this sector will continue to make a significant contribution to the wider Scottish economy.

The ingenuity and resilience that our clients demonstrate day-in, day-out is a testament to their creativity and tenacity and are a powerful indication of the importance of the rural economy to the national story.

"Scotland’s rural economy is bursting with talent and potential. With an abundance of natural capital, world-renowned heritage, and vibrant, diverse communities, our rural economy is not just crucial to Scotland’s national brand, it is crucial to our national prosperity.” - NCRA Report September 2018

The NCRA disbanded following delivery of their final report. The Rural Economy Action Group are taking forward the implementation of the NCRA recommendations.


Find out more about the National Council of Rural Advisors here.