17 December 2022 Mary Anne Scully

How to work alongside rural communities seeking a new future

Although rural areas contain most of the planet’s natural capital, many people who live in rural communities face the reality of significantly poorer education and health outcomes, higher unemployment rates and growing digital disadvantage.

(Source: 2021 World Social Report, published by United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs).


Accelerating opportunities for rural communities seeking a new future

Rural communities across the globe are seeking to address complex issues and create new opportunities.

The 2022 Social Enterprise World Forum Rural Gathering explored and unearthed ways to support and accelerate community-led rejuvenation approaches in rural Australia and internationally. The central theme of the Rural Gathering was ‘community-led rejuvenation through social enterprise.’ More than 120 social enterprise founders, policy makers and impact investors drawn from rural and remote Australia, Canada, Scotland, Ireland and India participated.

As co-host of the Rural Gathering, ACRE has released a report which captures core challenges for rural communities in rural Australia and across the globe. Reflections from the Rural Gathering highlights effective policies, approaches and models for supporting community-led rejuvenation, with a specific focus on

Impact investments rural style: methods, models and mechanisms

First Nations practice: sharing and learning from Traditional Owners

Network entrepreneurship: the role of intermediaries and impact networks for collective action in rural communities

Tourism-led community initiatives and buy backs: solving local issues and creating catalytic impacts in rural communities.

Download the report here

Next steps

The Rural Gathering incorporated development of a manifesto for influencing and accelerating community-led rejuvenation policies and approaches in rural communities across the globe.

In November 2022 ACRE honoured a commitment to finalise the manifesto on behalf of participants by preparing a ‘first cut’ that identifies universal principles identified during the Rural Gathering, and hosting a series of virtual conversations to invite feedback and ideas. ACRE will convene an international working group in early 2023 to finesse and release a final version of the manifesto prior to the 2023 Social Enterprise World Forum.

For more information contact:

Mary-Anne Scully, Rural Gathering Lead: