Document Type : Research Paper
Morteza Akbari, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Entrepreneurship, University of Tehran, Iran
Post Graduate Student, Faculty of Entrepreneurship, University of Tehran, Iran
Associate Professor, Faculty of Entrepreneurship, University of Tehran, Iran
Entrepreneurship training needs of rural youth to setup businesses in rural handicrafts
Rural development is a dynamic process that can grow in various dimensions. For the past three decades, the concept of rural development has evolved from agricultural, economic and social development of rural poor to the inclusive development. In the last few decades, rural development has been expanded in different countries, through research has indicated that only infusion of capital and technology can improve the rural poverty and other factors can play influential roles. Entrepreneurship training particularly among rural youths has been considered as a contributing factor to rural development. Entrepreneurship training provides a systematic improvement of the entrepreneurial knowledge and skills required by rural youths to establish and run a new business. Youth in rural areas of many developing countries are involved in a range of household-based and farm and off-farm activities, though; they are still encounter the challenge of unemployment due to their low incomes from the activities. Poverty coupled with the lack of voice and of job opportunities created a sense of hopelessness that discourage the rural youth from active involvement in business creation activities. Due to the lack of training opportunities and weak services in rural areas, most rural youths are engaged in traditional subsistence agriculture where the main activities are production and small-scale animal husbandry. However, youth do not regard traditional subsistence agriculture as employment and many of them desire a job in other non-agriculture-based areas with higher income possibilities. Finding and maintaining employment requires broad-based occupational and specific job-related skills. These skills can be acquired through being engaged in the job and/or training institutions. Therefore, the main purpose of the present study was assessing the entrepreneurship training needs of rural youths in order to setup businesses in handicraft in the rural area of Varamin, one of the big cities of Tehran, Iran.
In the present study an exploratory mixed research method (MRM) (qualitative-quantitative) was used. In the qualitative method phase, case study was used and the population included all the experts in the rural handicraft. A purposive sampling method was used to select the cases. After semi-structured interviews with 10 of the experts, theoretical saturation was reached. The population of the quantitative survey was the rural youths (20-35 years old) living in rural areas of Varamin city and 380 of them were selected using the simple random sampling method. The research instrument was a questionnaire which was developed based on the literature and interviews with entrepreneurs and the model of Borich. The questionnaire included items on knowledge (16 items), skills (15 items) and attitudes (12 items). The validity of questionnaire was assessed with experts and the reliability of it was calculated using Cronbach’s-alpha. More specifically, the Cronbach’s-alpha for knowledge was 0.94, for skills was 0.94 and for attitudes was 0.9. Therefore, the instrument was highly reliable. In the qualitative phase of the research, data were analyzed by using the constant comparative method and at the quantitative phase the data were analyzed using SPSS18 software.
The results showed that regarding business experience, over 72 percent of the youths in the study had the experience of setting up and/or collaborating in a business. Furthermore, the males had higher experience in setting up and/or collaborating in a business than females. Also, entrepreneurial attitudes and entrepreneurial skills at the top and then skills placed at the end of their attention respectively 4.19, 4.14, and 4.04. The results of priority setting showed that, in the knowledge area, marketing and financing needs and awareness of the law and provisions of the business and commerce. In relation to the skills, the results showed working with limited resources, ability to provide content, creativity in designing and production, and the attitude included awareness, assiduity, initial interest and being clear career path to the highest priorities first. The result of ANOVA showed that only there were significant differences between the groups in their age in the skill.
The results showed that young people in all three dimensions require training and education and therefore policymakers and planners should pay attention to the young people in the rural areas. The managers should also assess not only the young people, but also all beneficiaries. Studies showed that entrepreneurship can be taught, however the first important step in the educational planning process is identifying the desired goals. We think this result is not only true for Varamin, Tehran, Iran, but also can be a case in the globe. In addition, this result can be extended for all industry.