The Commission for Rural Communities is embarking on a three-month project looking at the success of rural micro-businesses in a time of recession.
The aim is to identify the critical success factors which have enabled some very small businesses in rural locations to survive and to thrive over the past four years.
"We are particularly interested in success factors with a clear, rural dimension," the commission said.
The aim is to produce a short report show-casing good practice, illustrated with case studies.
The report would be presented to Defra and other government departments.
It would make recommendations where there is a case for government or other decision-makers to do more to help micro-businesses grow.
"In order to take this forward, we are looking to speak to micro-businesses (typically with five employees or fewer), and organisations which represent them."
Small rural businesses which have experienced growth over the past few years should contact the commission if they would like to participate in the study.
The CRC is a non-departmental public body, funded by Defra and with a remit to understand issues of rural disadvantage and to make recommendations to ministers.
The commission can be contacfted via its website here.