Microbusinesses are powerful, cost-effective drivers of robust and stable local economic development in rural communities.

We need to know a lot more about successful models and success factors in financing rural microbusiness in Australia.  There is an urgent need for research into models of rural microbusiness financing.

In this project, a study of the best existing and potential models is being carried. This will provide a sound basis for the development of the best rural microbusiness funding model.

The outcomes of the study will be:

  1. a well-documented survey of models in Australia and overseas;
  2. recommendations on the best models under different community conditions; and
  3. a feasibility study for the first implementation of the best financing model.

The research is in four phases:

  1. A detailed review of the research and case-study literature is being undertaken of rural micro-business financing in Europe, North America, and New Zealand.  The focus of this survey is on identifying in these studies the costs and benefits of different approaches, drivers of successful outcomes, and the correlation of these to particular rural business environments.
  2. Fieldwork is being undertaken to identify financing schemes that might already be in existence. For this study rural communities in Victoria and South Australia are being targeted.  Where schemes are identified as operating, they are being researched and documented as in-depth case studies.  Based on current information, it is estimated that 6-10 such schemes will be documented.
  3. An analysis of the fieldwork findings will then be undertaken. The framework of the literature review—costs and benefits, drivers of success, and links to community and business environments—will be extended to these local schemes.  Models on the ground will be ranked by their effectiveness across a number of economic and social factors.  Attention will also be given to the networking and support structures that work best.
  4. For the top-ranked financing model emerging from this analysis a feasibility study/business plan will be developed for the first implementation of the rural microbusiness financing scheme.

The full study proposal can be accessed here:

RCA Rural Microbusiness Financing proposal