Handbook of Research on Asian Entrepreneurship
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Handbook of Research on Asian Entrepreneurship

Edited by Léo-Paul Dana, Mary Han, Vanessa Ratten and Isabell M. Welpe

Asia is highly regarded as one of the fastest growing regions in the world, and this unique Handbook focuses on the internationalization process and entrepreneurial dynamics of small business within the continent. Using a clear and consistent style, the Handbook examines more than 40 countries in Asia and allows researchers to compare the environment for entrepreneurship, the internationalization of entrepreneurs and the state of small business in different Asian countries. The chapters are authored by well-known scholars who provide insight into how government policies have affected the internationalization of small firms in Asia.
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Chapter 13: Iran

Babak Fooladi and Martine Spence


Babak Fooladi and Martine Spence Introduction The Islamic Republic of Iran (hereafter referred to as Iran) is the eighteenth largest country in the world in terms of area covered (1 648 195 km2). The country is in Central Eurasia, and is located on the north-eastern shore of the Persian Gulf. The country is the world’s fourth largest oil exporter and most of its economic activities are based on this sector. The main goals of the country’s present Ninth Government (2005–09) are to reduce unemployment and diversify the economy, thus decreasing Iran’s dependency on oil. Stimulation of entrepreneurship is among the policies proposed to achieve these goals. In 2006/07, Iran’s population was 70.5 million, of which 48.2 million were located in urban areas and the remainder in the rural parts of the country. According to the Labour Force Survey published by the Statistical Center of Iran (SCI), the Iranian unemployment rate stood at 12.1 percent in the winter of 2006/07, unchanged from the same period the previous year. Broken down demographically, unemployment was 13.8 percent in urban areas and 8.8 percent in rural areas. Three reasons could account for the lower unemployment rate in the rural areas: (1) the high incidence of agricultural activities; (2) a higher population of females involved in agricultural activities than in various productive activities in urban areas; and (3) the migration of villagers to urban areas. Iran’s economy has been growing for at least the last 10 years. It continued its upward trend in 2006/07....

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