Mary-Jo Hill

24 Nov 2020
Establishing my business in Norfolk sends a message that rural schools can be as relevant and dynamic as the lure of the urban.

Coaching in Norfolk is a challenge, but also a privilege.

Being a rural business is not easy. There are many challenges involved in trying to grow and develop a small business without the perks and advantages of a big urban centre. However, this does not seem to be discouraging entrepreneurs, since in 2018/219 rural businesses accounted for 23 per cent of all registered businesses in England.

This figure, that has been growing in the past few years, shows the strength of local communities. Being a rural business, most of the times means that you have an in-depth knowledge of the needs and challenges from the community you chose as the home to your investment. This usually means a more specific and personalized service.

Coaching in Norfolk

In my case, starting a coaching business in Norfolk was not an easy decision. I chose the county to base Coach for School Improvement in 2012, after some years away from home. My plan always was to offer a quality service to professional that were once my own teachers in a region that I knew and loved. Besides a client base that is mostly from Norfolk, I also had the opportunity to work with some of the best rural schools that serve our community, for example, Aylsham High School.

For me, more than wanting to contribute in a positive away to my own community, establishing my business in Norfolk sends a message that rural schools can be as relevant and dynamic as the lure of the urban and it supports the structure for teachers from all areas to connect with and learn from each other. It values them.

The results I got so far exceed my initial plans to CSI, that were quite frankly in the beginning was not that ambitious. I was trying to balance under 5s whilst continuing my career. However, achieving success made me want to expand my company to reach its full potential. As you can see, I have no plans to leave my rural base anytime soon.

Rural as rural can be

Starting and nurturing a rural business can be a difficult, and sometimes, lonely journey. However, serving your local community by offering a high-quality service or product that contemplates the regional characteristics and specificities can also be extremally rewarding. Long live to the rural business and rural entrepreneurs everywhere.