Gender and Entrepreneurship in Iran

Roksana Bahramitash, Hadi Salehi Esfahani

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This study documents the characteristics of a sample of enterprises in Iran, applying a survey that uses the World Bank’s Enterprise Survey questionnaire. It finds that, as in the rest of the region, female entrepreneurs are more prevalent in larger firms than in smalland medium-sized ones. They have a high presence in the service sector, especially in gender-segregated activities, but also in some new and growing industries such as electronics and information technology. In some cases women’s businesses face gender-based disadvantages, particularly in accessing telecoms services and the Internet. Yet compared to their counterparts elsewhere in MENA, women entrepreneurs expressed fewer complaints about other aspects of business such as obtaining permits and paying taxes. The authors find that economic sanctions imposed by the West pose a major obstacle, mainly because many female-owned firms are new and tend to be technology- and trade-intensive.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationWomen, Work and Welfare in the Middle East and North Africa
Subtitle of host publicationThe Role of Socio-demographics, Entrepreneurship and Public Policies
PublisherWorld Scientific Publishing Co.
Number of pages29
ISBN (Electronic)9781783267347
ISBN (Print)9781783267330
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016


  • Gender and entrepreneurship
  • Women in Iran
  • Women’s economic status
  • Women’s employment
  • Women’s entrepreneurship

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)
  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)


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