Purpose- To identify and prioritize factors influencing the creation of rural entrepreneurship opportunities in Iran
Design/methodology/approach- A deductive approach was adopted. In this applied research, a mixed method was employed, which consisted of a descriptive-analytical method and a survey. The main data gathering tool was questionnaire. The research population comprised of university professors specialized in the field of rural entrepreneurship, rural entrepreneurs, rural managers and rural experts (n=30). In the first step, based on a review of literature, indicators influencing the creation of entrepreneurial opportunities were identified, and then the ANP-DEMATEL was used for evaluation and prioritization of the indicators.
Findings- Based on cause-effect chart, the economic and infrastructural factors were assigned to the category of causes and individual, socio-cultural and political factors to the category of effects. On the other hand, the economic and political factors had the highest and lowest interaction with other factors, respectively. The results of the integrated analytical network process (ANP) and DEMATEL method showed that the economic factor had the greatest effect followed by infrastructural, sociocultural and individual components (with slight weight difference). The political component with the value of 0.1253 not only had the lowest importance, but was significantly different from other factors in terms of weight values.
Research limitations/implications- Measuring the effects of factors influencing the creation of entrepreneurial opportunities along with their interrelation and mutual impact using a system approach or ISM technique.
Practical implications- Given the myriad of problems affecting rural areas, such as unemployment, migration of rural labor to urban areas and diminished sense of belonging, among other things, it is essential to pay greater attention to entrepreneurship and its implementation to achieve sustainable rural development. Besides, by identifying the root causes and factors influencing rural entrepreneurship, it is possible to offer solutions for organizing entrepreneurship. If policy makers, planners, and rural managers adopt these strategies, sustainable rural development could be reinforced.
Originality/value- Providing the most important indicators influencing the creation of rural entrepreneurship opportunities, prioritizing and measuring the impact of those factors on each other using ANP-DEMATEL method. In particular, the results of this research can benefit managers and decision makers in the field of rural entrepreneurship. The results can also be beneficial to universities, higher education institutions and students.
Rural entrepreneurship opportunities, Influencing factors, ANP-DEMATEL Method, Iran
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