rural business

Rural SME Exporters Believe Revenue is on the Rise – And Amazon Want to Help

New research has revealed that rural SMEs who export are forecasting twice as much revenue growth and triple the jobs growth in the coming year as those who don’t export, while Amazon hopes to help them succeed with an Amazon Academy.


A Rural Marketplace

The new YouGov survey of over 1,000 SMEs from across the country found that over the next 12 months, rural SMEs who export forecast a +2.1% revenue growth and +0.9% jobs growth, compared to +1.2% revenue growth and +0.3% jobs growth for rural SMEs than do not export.

Amazon says that over 10,000 rural sellers, including small businesses and individuals, use Amazon Marketplace to grow their business online. To help fast track the number of rural businesses innovating, exporting and selling online, the company has announced an Academy, which will take place at the Rural Entrepreneur Show in the Birmingham NEC on 8th-9th November.

“We’re seeing thousands of rural SMEs use Amazon to export and successfully grow their business, so it’s great to see the projected export revenue and jobs growth reflected more broadly in today’s findings,” said Doug Gurr, UK Country Manager, Amazon. “With our Amazon Academy at the Rural Entrepreneurs Show we hope to help unlock the digital potential for rural businesses, and additionally hear the challenges they face and the opportunities they see to feed into Rural England’s upcoming report.”


Tips for Rural Businesses

Over the course of two days, rural businesses attending the Amazon Academy will hear from senior Amazon experts and successful rural e-commerce entrepreneurs on:

  • How to grow revenue online, manage logistics and increase their export sales through Amazon Marketplace
  • How rural artisans and craft experts can grow their business through Handmade at Amazon
  • How rural businesses and organisations can reach customers and communities through Amazon’s new cloud-based voice service, Alexa.

Amazon announced the Academy following a consultation by Rural England and Scotland’s Rural College launched earlier this year on ‘Unlocking the Digital Potential of Rural Areas’.

At the Amazon Academy, rural business owners will hear the initial findings of this consultation and have the chance to provide their own insights ahead of the report, which is supported by Amazon and due to be published later this year.

Brian Wilson, Chair of Directors at independent think tank Rural England, said: “Our upcoming report looks at rural areas and how they can maximise growth and participation in the digital economy, so we welcome the opportunity to present our initial findings at the upcoming Amazon Academy. I would like to invite all rural businesses attending to join our discussion and tell us their story, so we can build an effective roadmap for delivering the report’s ambition.”



If you own or run a rural business and wish to attend the Amazon Academy and the Rural Entrepreneur Show, you can register free at


Kara Copple
An experienced business and finance writer, sometimes moonlighting as a fiction writer and blogger.