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Exploring Socio-Economic Barriers of Green Entrepreneurship in Iran and Their Interactions Using Interpretive Structural Modeling

Authors: Younis Jabarzadeh, Rahim Sarvari, Negar Ahmadi Alghalandis


Entrepreneurship at both individual and organizational level is one of the most driving forces in economic development and leads to growth and competition, job generation and social development. Especially in developing countries, the role of entrepreneurship in economic and social prosperity is more emphasized. But the effect of global economic development on the environment is undeniable, especially in negative ways, and there is a need to rethink current business models and the way entrepreneurs act to introduce new businesses to address and embed environmental issues in order to achieve sustainable development. In this paper, green or sustainable entrepreneurship is addressed in Iran to identify challenges and barriers entrepreneurs in the economic and social sectors face in developing green business solutions. Sustainable or green entrepreneurship has been gaining interest among scholars in recent years and addressing its challenges and barriers need much more attention to fill the gap in the literature and facilitate the way those entrepreneurs are pursuing. This research comprised of two main phases: qualitative and quantitative. At qualitative phase, after a thorough literature review, fuzzy Delphi method is utilized to verify those challenges and barriers by gathering a panel of experts and surveying them. In this phase, several other contextually related factors were added to the list of identified barriers and challenges mentioned in the literature. Then, at the quantitative phase, Interpretive Structural Modeling is applied to construct a network of interactions among those barriers identified at the previous phase. Again, a panel of subject matter experts comprised of academic and industry experts was surveyed. The results of this study can be used by policymakers in both the public and industry sector, to introduce more systematic solutions to eliminate those barriers and help entrepreneurs overcome challenges of sustainable entrepreneurship. It also contributes to the literature as the first research in this type which deals with the barriers of sustainable entrepreneurship and explores their interaction.

Keywords: Green entrepreneurship, barriers, Fuzzy Delphi Method, interpretive structural modeling.

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