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Examining the influence of social capital on rural women entrepreneurship : An empirical study in Iran

Leila Nasrolahi Vosta (Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran)
Mohammad Reza Jalilvand (Faculty of New Sciences and Technologies, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran and Institute for Planning and Economic Research, Tehran, Iran)

World Journal of Entrepreneurship, Management and Sustainable Development

ISSN: 2042-5961

Article publication date: 8 July 2014




The purpose of this paper is to study the empirical assessment of the influence of social capital on women entrepreneurship in rural regions in Iran.


The study involves a questionnaire-based survey of entrepreneurial women from a number of rural regions in the Iran. A total of 265 usable questionnaires were received from rural women who were engaged in entrepreneurial activities from five rural regions. These were subjected to a series of correlational and regression analyses. The measures of the independent (the components of social capital) and dependent (the psychological traits of entrepreneurs) variables are based on literature.


The results reveal that social capital has a positive and significant influence on rural women entrepreneurship. With strong statistical significance, three social capital factors – structural, relational, and cognitive – provide an explanation for variations in psychological traits of entrepreneurs including achievement, innovation, personal control, self-esteem, opportunism, autonomy/independence, and risk/uncertainty.


Although the literature has long pointed out the importance of social capital as a determinant of entrepreneurship activity, entrepreneurship researchers have not focussed on the influence of each dimension of social capital on psychological traits of entrepreneurs. Thus, this study makes a contribution toward filling this gap.



Previous version of this paper was presented at the First International and Third National Student Conference on Entrepreneurship in University of Tehran, Iran (2014). The authors wish to express sincere thanks to the anonymous referee and the WJEMSD editors for their helpful and insightful suggestions regarding an earlier version of the paper.


Nasrolahi Vosta, L. and Reza Jalilvand, M. (2014), "Examining the influence of social capital on rural women entrepreneurship : An empirical study in Iran", World Journal of Entrepreneurship, Management and Sustainable Development, Vol. 10 No. 3, pp. 209-227.



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