Document Type : Research Paper


1 Department of Agricultural Extension and Education, Faculty of Agriculture, Razi University, Kermanshah, Iran

2 Department of Entrepreneurship and Rural Development, IIam University, IIam, Iran


Context: The low participation rate of women in economic activities has caused the entrepreneurship rate of women to be lower than that of men. Without the economic participation of women in starting SMEs, it will be challenging for developing countries to achieve the 2030 sustainable development goals and reach their full economic and social potential. Recent studies show that the gender difference in the rate of economic participation and entrepreneurship is not only due to the low success rate of female entrepreneurs, but the main reason is that few women are able to start a business. Therefore, try to promote entrepreneurial businesses among rural women is very important. The starting point for launching a business is opportunity recognition, and the process of identifying entrepreneurial opportunities is different for women than for men. Therefore, it is very important to carry out researches with the aim of identifying factors that influence the recognition of entrepreneurial opportunities among women. Considering that in many developing countries, women have less access to financial resources than men, so this is one of the reasons for the low level of economic participation of women. In this regard, the project of microcredit funds for financial support of women in order to start entrepreneurial businesses has been implemented in different countries, including Iran.
Object: Now, after many years have passed since the establishment of these funds in Kermanshah province with the aim of financing the rural women of this region to start entrepreneurial businesses, the present study was conducted with the main aim of analyzing factors influencing the recognition of entrepreneurial opportunities among rural women members of microcredit funds in Kermanshah.
Research Method: This paper in terms of the paradigm, purpose and method of data collection is quantitative research, applied research and field research study. The study population in this study were all women members of microcredit funds in Kermanshah (N = 626) that according to the table of Bartlett et al., 201 of them using stratified random sampling method with proportional assignment Were selected as research samples. The main data collection tool was a questionnaire whose validity and reliability were confirmed using content validity and convergent validity and combined reliability and Cronbach's alpha. SPSS and Smart PLS software were used to analyze the collected data.
Findings: Findings of the study showed that entrepreneurship education, social capital and entrepreneurial skills were the effective factors on entrepreneurial opportunities among rural women members of microcredit funds in Kermanshah. According the results About the trainings provided by the microcredit fund, most of the respondents (34.3%) stated that they participated in these trainings once or twice. Also, 35.3% of them stated that they have participated in the training provided by the agricultural extension between 1 and 2 times. In relation to receiving informal entrepreneurial training, as the results of the distribution of respondents in terms of the index of standard deviation distance from the mean show, the majority of respondents (91%) were in the lower and weak middle class. The average opportunity recognition ability of the respondents is 3.41 with a standard deviation of 0.60. Among the dimensions of the ability to recognize the opportunity, creating innovative solutions from the opportunity had a higher average (3.51) than other dimensions. Also, the findings of the study indicated that the average entrepreneurial skills of rural women members of the fund are 3.15 with a standard deviation of 0.63. As the findings, more than half of the respondents (56.7 percent) were in the lower middle class in terms of entrepreneurial skills. Overall the results of the study showed that rural women members of microcredit funds in Kermanshah are at an average level in terms of the ability to recognize entrepreneurial opportunities. Also findings of the study showed that entrepreneurship education, social capital and entrepreneurial skills were the effective factors on entrepreneurial opportunities among rural women members of microcredit funds in Kermanshah.
Conclusion: The results of the present study indicated that, in addition to the direct effect, entrepreneurial education has an indirect effect through social capital on the recognition of entrepreneurial opportunities by rural women who are members of microcredit funds in Kermanshah. The results of the present study indicated that entrepreneurial skills have a positive and significant effect on recognizing entrepreneurial opportunities among rural women members of microcredit funds in Kermanshah. Therefore, it can be concluded that by improving entrepreneurial skills, the ability to recognize opportunities among rural women members of microcredit funds can be improved. In fact, entrepreneurial skills such as planning and setting work goals, designing and developing a business plan, financial and accounting issues, analyzing problems and providing solutions help rural women to better address the gaps in the society and in fact to identify entrepreneurial opportunities.


Main Subjects

Abdollahi, H., & Maghsoudi, S. (2017). Identifying the effective methods in entrepreneurship education. Journal of Educational Studies, 10, 1-12. (In Persian)
Agarwal, S., & Lenka, U. (2016). An exploratory study on the development of women entrepreneurs: Indian cases. Journal of Research in Marketing and Entrepreneurship, 18(2).
Ahunov, M., & Yusupov, N. (2017). Risk attitudes and entrepreneurial motivations: Evidence from transition economies. Economics Letters, 160, 7–11.
Ardichvili, A., Cardozo, R., & Ray, S. (2003). A theory of entrepreneurial opportunity identification and development. Journal of Business Venturing, 18(3), 105-123.
Arranz, N., Ubierna, F., Arroyabe, M. F., Perez, C., & Arroyabe, F. D. (2017). The effect of curricular and extracurricular activities on university students’ entrepreneurial intention and competences. Studies in Higher Education, 42(11), 1979-2008.
Arruda, C., Nogueira, V. S., & Cozzi, A. (2015). Entrepreneurship in BRICS: Policy and Research to Support Entrepreneurs. Springer
Audretsch, D. B., Aldridge, T. T., & Sanders, M. (2011). Social capital building and new business formation: a case study in silicon valley. International Small Business Journal, 29(2), 152–169.
Bhagavatula, S., Elfring, T., Van Tilburg, A., & Van De Bunt, G. G. (2010). How social and human capital influence opportunity recognition and resource mobilization in India’s handloom industry. Journal of Business Venturing, 25(3), 245-260.
Bolino, M. C., Turnley, W. H., & Bloodgood, J. M. (2002). Citizenship behavior and the creation of social capital in organization. The Academy of Management, 27(4), 505-522.
Chin, W. W. (1998). The partial least squares approach for structural equation modeling. G. A. Marcoulides (Ed.), Modern methods for business research (pp. 295–236). London: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Corno, F., Lal, R., & Colombo, S. (2014). Entrepreneurship and new venture creation-Key elements of the entrepreneurial ecosystem facilitating the growth of ICT Entrepreneurs in Italy. European Scientific Journal, 2(September), 1857–7881.
Davidsson, P., & Honig, B. (2003). The role of social and human capital among nascent entrepreneurs. Journal of Business Venturing, 18(3), 301-331.
Dhekale, V. S. (2016). Performance of Women Entrepreneurship in India. International Journal of Management, 7(1), 123–131.
Epo, B. N. (2012). Implications of Access to Microcredit and Social Capital for Female Entrepreneurship in Cameroon. ICBE-RF Research Report No. 39/12.
Faggio, G., & Silva, O. (2014). Self-employment and entrepreneurship in urban and rural labour markets. Journal of Urban Economics, 84, 151-163.
Handayati, P., Wulandari, D., Soetjipto, B. E., Wibowo, A., & Narmaditya, B. S. (2020). Does entrepreneurship education promote vocational students’ entrepreneurial mindset? Heliyon, 6, 1-7.
Hayton, J., Chandler, G. N., & Detienne, D. R. (2011). Entrepreneurial opportunity identification and new firm development processes: a comparison of family and non-family new ventures. Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management, 13(1), 12-31.
Henseler, J., Dijkstra, T. K., Sarstedt, M., Ringle, C. M., Diamantopoulos, A., Straub, D. W., Ketchen, D. J., Hair, J. F., Hult, G. T. M., & Calantone, R. J. (2014).Common Beliefs and Reality about Partial Least Squares: Comments on Rönkkö & Evermann. Organizational Research Methods, 17(2), 182-209.
Hills, G.E. and Singh, R.P. (2004). Opportunity recognition in Gartner, W.B., Shaver, K.G., Carter, N.M. and Reynolds, P.D. (Eds), Handbook of Entrepreneurial Dynamics: The Process of Business Creation, Sage, Thousand Oaks, CA.
IFC, World Bank Group, & Govt of Japan. (2016). Improving Access to Finance for Women owned businesses in India. International Business Review, 48.
Junquera, B. (2015). Where does female entrepreneurial human capital come from? A review of the literature. Innovation Management, Policy & Practice ISSN: 9338 (September).
Liñán, F., & Chen, Y. W. (2009). Development and cross–cultural application of a specific instrument to measure entrepreneurial intentions. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 33(3), 593-617.‌
Moghimi Esfandabadi, H., Yadollahi Farsi, J., Mobaraki, M. H., & Moghimi Esfandabadi, A. R. (2016). The effect of social capital on opportunity recognition in entrepreneurs as mediated by the social network: a case of managers in the science and technology park of the University of Tehran. Arabian Journal of Business and Management Review, 6, 199-210.
Mozaffari, M. M., & Ziaee, M. S. (2017). Survey the Effects of Micro Finance Credits Fund on the Rural Women’s Managerial Empowerment (Case Study: Alamout Region). Journal of Investment Knowledge, 6(24), 231-250. (In Persian)
Nahapiet, J., & Ghoshal, S. (1998). Social capital, intellectual capital, and the organizational advantage. The Academy of Management Review, 23(2), 242–266.
Nieto, M., & Álvarez, N. G. (2016). Social capital effects on the discovery and exploitation of entrepreneurial opportunities. International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal, 12(2), 507-530.
Othman, N., & Nasrudin, N. (2016). Entrepreneurship education programs in Malaysian polytechnics. Education + Training, 58(7-8), 882–898.
Ozgen, E., & Baron, R. A. (2011). Social sources of information in opportunity recognition: Effects of mentors, industry networks, and professional forums. Journal of Business Venturing, 22, 174–192.
Puhakka, V. (2010). Versatile and flexible use of intellectual capital in entrepreneurial opportunity discovery. Journal of Management Research, 2(1), 1-26.
Radulescu, M., Fedajev, A., Sinisi, C. I., Popescu, C., & Iacob, S. E. (2018). Europe 2020 implementation as driver of economic performance and competitiveness. panel analysis of CEE countries. Sustainability, 10(2), 566.‌
Ramezanpour, S., Amiriyan, S., & MoslehShirazi, A. N. (2014). Investigation of the relationship between entrepreneurial opportunity reconition and entrepreneurial capitals. International Journal of Asian Social Science, 4(5), 598-613.
Sahin, I. (2010). Organizational social capital and perceived performance of Druhlaw Enforcement Departments: A case study in Turkey. A dissertation submitted for the degree of doctor of Philosophy in the doctoral program in public affairs in the college of health and public affairs at the University of Central Florida, Orland, Florida.
Senjem, J. C., & Reed, K. (2002). Social capital and network entrepreneurs. Frontiers of entrepreneurship research. Wellesley, MA: Babson College.
Shane, S., & Nicolaou, N. (2015). Creative personality, opportunity recognition and the tendency to start businesses: A study of their genetic predispositions. Journal of Business Venturing, 30, 407–419.
Shariati, F., Kheyrandish, M., & Mohammadi Khayareh, M. (2018). Comparative analysis of women's and men's entrepreneurship. The 4th international conference on management, entrepreneurship and economic development, Ghazvin, Iran. (In Persian)
Shekari, A., Zarei Sebahti, E., & Yazdkhasti, A. (2016). Examining the Role of Entrepreneurship Education Model (KAB) in Promoting the Trainees’ Entrepreneurial Skills )(Case Study: Isfahan Province). Journal of Theory & Practice in Curriculum, 4(7), 31-54. (In Persian)
Stone, M. (1974). Cross-Validatory Choice and Assessment of Statistical Predictions. Journal of the Royal Statistical Society, 36(2), 111-147.
Tang, J. (2010). How entrepreneurs discover opportunities in China: an institutional view. Asia Pacific Journal of Management, 27, 461-479.
The Entrepreneurship Development Foundation for Women and Youth (EDF). (2018). A Survey of the Status of Women Entrepreneurs in Iran and Suggestions for their Development. Prepared in The Entrepreneurship Development Foundation for Women and Youth (EDF), National Association of Women Entrepreneurs. (In Persian)
Tripathi, N., Seppänen, P., Boominathan, G., Oivo, M., & Liukkunen, K. (2019). Insights into startup ecosystems through exploration of multi-vocal literature. Information and Software Technology, 105, 56–77.