Women Entrepreneurship in Iran

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Women Entrepreneurship in Iran

Faculty of Management and Economy
Ferdowsi University
Mashhad, Iran

The only way to survive the volatile situation of today's economy is to utilize all the available resources and to enhance all the present capabilities. To do so, recognition of women's competence and their creative talent can help reap the benefit of this big proportion of Iran's society. In recent years women who comprise half of the country's population, have occupied more seats in universities than before, however the unemployment rate among women has risen dramatically. Studies have identified a number of barriers that prevent women from realizing their potentials as entrepreneurs. This study provides a review of the constraints to Women’s entrepreneurship in Iran and recommends some approaches that can help women and other members of the society to tackle these problems .Then the main factors affecting women's entrepreneurship and the reasons behind the low rate of women entrepreneurial prevalence in Iran has been explained. Based on this study, Governmental organizations as well as private sections have failed to incorporate this national capital. The development of women entrepreneurship seems to be the best way to tackle these problems. The Iranian government has taken many measures to support the development of women entrepreneurship, which is expected to play a crucial role in employment creation, gross domestic product growth, and non-oil development. Finally, some useful recommendations on women's entrepreneurship are made to the entrepreneurial policy makers.

Key Words
Constraints, Entrepreneurship, Iran, Small to Medium-sized Enterprises, Women

I. Introduction
There are abundant definitions for entrepreneurship. To initiate some discussion here, we cite one definition, that of (Long et al., 1996), who states that:[. . .] entrepreneurship is the creation and building of new businesses and entrepreneurs are the people who see the opportunity, create a product or a service package, put together the resources and go on to prescribe and implement plans to take advantage of the opportunity.” Another definition for women entrepreneurship by (Verheul, Stel, & Thurik, 2004) says that: "entrepreneurship is a process of creating value through a set of particular resources in order to take advantage of the opportunities. Woman around the world have settled their activities based on four basic criteria; namely," entrepreneurship capability through knowledge"," creating business opportunity in various economical sections"," providing business facilities such as financial aids", " establishing local, regional, and global networks". In many countries around the world women have a crucial role in entrepreneurial activities of their societies; they also contribute a lot in the national economy of their country. Studies have illustrated that there are lots of barriers that put off women from recognizing their potential capabilities to become entrepreneurs, while they could have important contributions to the society’s development and get socially and economically independent. It is actually because of this independence that numerous societies have denied women (Faghihi et al., 2011).Unfortunately, there are a limited number of studies regarding women entrepreneurship in Iran due to the fact that this field of study is very new also the employment of women in Iran has always been a challenging issue. Therefore, women entrepreneurs have increasingly faced with numerous problems in Iran. The purpose of this article is to address the following research questions: how important is women entrepreneurship in Iran? What are their main constraints? What is the impact of women entrepreneurship on SME development? What are some practical ways to develop women entrepreneurship in Iran? In fact women entrepreneurship process can be studied from various aspects...
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