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Barn boost to help rural enterprises thrive

Farming | Published:

We know that diversification is becoming an increasingly important part of a significant number of farming businesses.

Hannah Moule is founder of The Business Barn and Moule & Co.

Two-thirds of farmers have already diversified and one-fifth of those who haven’t yet are seriously considering it, with Brexit a big driving force behind this decision.

It’s these individuals and businesses, alongside the number of rural-based businesses operating up and down the country, who are potentially entering a new venture requiring a different set of skills, that need an element of support to help ensure they start and grow a thriving rural enterprise.

It was the lack of online rural-specific business advice that led me to create the free-to-access website The Business Barn, which was initially launched in January 2018, and the ambition for The Business Barn to be the "go-to" rural business resource that has led to the redevelopment of the entire site.

Each of the new elements has been based on feedback received from users and other businesses, how people have been using the website, and what more users could benefit from.

One of the biggest additions to the website which we are really proud of is our Rural Business Network.

Having realised that one of the biggest elements missing from the website was the chance for people to interact and do business, the network has been developed to facilitate just this.

As a free-to-access member only area, the network features a rural business forum, a bespoke webinar series covering sector and skill specific topics, online courses, and much more, all designed to stimulate conversation and aid learning and knowledge transfer.

We may be in a period of ambiguity, but at the same time there are opportunities to be realised for many sectors. The potential for rural enterprise at this moment in time is huge, and we want The Business Barn to play a big part in facilitating a thriving rural economy and the multiple changes we’ve introduced to the website all go towards helping us achieve this goal.

The first Business Barn webinar took place on June 6 and was titled "Do I need planning permission to start a glamping business?"

Hannah Moule is founder of The Business Barn and Moule & Co.

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