Great expectations or small country living? Enabling small rural creative businesses with ICT.
Anderson, Alistair R.
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ANDERSON, A.R., WALLACE, C. and TOWNSEND, L. 2015. Great expectations or small country living? Enabling small rural creative businesses with ICT. Sociologia ruralis [online], 56(3), pages 450-468. Available from: https://dx.doi.org/10.1111/soru.12104
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.