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Bahman Khosravi Pour, Maryam Tahmasebi, Maryam Ameri,
Volume 9, Issue 34 (winter 2021 2021)

The experience of pursuing development goals in many countries show that achieving the objectives depend on considering the position and role of women as part of the active labor force of society especially in rural areas, which will ultimately lead to economic and political development. In addition, due to the large number of unemployed population especially women in rural areas, small home businesses have been created by using their individual creativity and the capacities of rural communities, exploiting new opportunities, dissemination and strengthening of sustainable innovations. This is one of the important priorities of development strategies that can play a significant role in empowering local people, reducing poverty and improving the livelihood of rural households.
In the meantime, supporting local financial investments and guiding women in order to set up micro-credit funds, seems to be a fundamental and appropriate solution for business development and economic prosperity of local communities. This will create economic, social and institutional equality, and provide training and business opportunities.
Given the importance of women's participation in economic activities to accelerate and facilitate the process of rural development, this study aims to identify the factors affecting entrepreneurship development from the of members’ perspective of rural micro-credit funds, i.e. rural entrepreneurs in Abadan County. Businesses such as alfalfa and various vegetables cultivation, production and supply of indigenous chicken, etc., which are agricultural-oriented and form the basis of women's economic activities.

The present study seeks to identify the underlying factors affecting the development of rural women entrepreneurship, hence it is considered an applied research. The research design and data collection method is based on the non-experimental survey approach.  The statistical population of the study included 100 rural women members of micro-funds in Abadan who has started, managed and developed their businesses. A sample of 80 people was randomly selected for the query using Morgan table.   The research measurement tool was a researcher-made questionnaire. The content validity of the measurement tool was verified by practitioners and leading women entrepreneurs in the region. The reliability of the measurement tool was also evaluated and confirmed by calculating the Cronbach's alpha coefficient regarding the current and optimal status of the effective factors.
Discussion and conclusion
According to the findings of the study, the average age of sample was 34.3 years. More than half of them had primary and secondary education, and one tenth had university education. 2.5% were heads of households and their average economic activity was reported to be 4.5 years. The results showed that preparing households and citizens to encourage women to produce and work by government agencies has the highest score in the current situation. Also, the provision of inputs needed by women to produce goods and services, the land devotion for business development and the provision of insurance services to women entrepreneurs were at the lowest level. Also in the desired situation, the first three priorities were the establishment of entrepreneurship incubators in rural areas, providing financial assistance in the form of subsidies and easy access of entrepreneurs to the required information, knowledge and technology. These can be combined to the three priorities mentioned above. It is concluded that if specialized centers for entrepreneurship consulting and business development are established in rural areas in order to educate and empower women and identify their and train them in the mentioned centers. As a result, entrepreneurship development can use practical advice and credit and facility support, improve the business of rural women with a more appropriate approach.  Also, the factors affecting the business development of rural women were classified into 5 categories: technical, institutional-infrastructural, educational, cultural and social factors. Based on them it is suggested that in order to promote sustainable production activities in rural communities, a working group consisting of provincial and local managers , executive administration, CEOs of credit funds, financial institutions such as Omid Entrepreneurship Fund along with other business environment development actors (representative of the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Labor, Welfare and Social Security, representative of the development of deprived areas from presidential office, etc.).  Furthermore, it is needed to establish a city and provincial business office, and facilitate women’s progress while carefully analyzing their obstacles and problems. In addition, designing, and implementing a comprehensive business and entrepreneurship development projects that plans an activity to its development and stability is suggested. Establishment of entrepreneurship incubators in rural areas and arranging various educational-promotional programs by attracting the active participation and dynamism of rural women will increase the knowledge and experience of women entrepreneurship. Also, in order to increase the success rate of credit funds and present successful business plans among rural women, it is necessary to seriously pursue and implement entrepreneurial training and design programs with emphasis on regional potentials and based on creativity and innovation. So, courses on how to start a business and improve your business seems to be effective.

Leila Ghobadi, Mehdi Moameri, ,
Volume 10, Issue 36 (summer 2021 2021)

Rangelands are lands covered mostly with indigenous vegetation such as grasses, grass-like plants, forbs, or shrubs, which are managed as a natural ecosystem. They are one of the most fundamental natural ecosystems in the world, and they play an important role in protein production and the ecosystem balance. Rangelands are largely used as a feed source for livestock. However, they provide other secondary resources such as firewood, wild edibles, medicinal plants, and water.
Today, one of the most serious and recent difficulties facing development initiatives is the degradation of natural resources (rangeland ecosystems are included) and their excessive use. Reduced forage production, less plant cover, soil degradation and erosion, water loss and increased rate of runoff and flood, loss of biodiversity, decreasing small ruminant productivity, increased invasive plants, and reduction of ecotourism areas are all consequences of quantitative and qualitative rangeland degradation. In recent decades, confronting the causes of forest and rangeland degradation and attempting to restore these resources has become a fundamental and necessary step toward sustainable development. Given that the vast area of forests and rangelands, and the high labor requirement for conserving and restoring these resources, it appears that stakeholder participation is the most effective strategy to develop these resources. Namin county in Ardabil Province contains a large area of​​ rangeland, which is the most important source of income for rural communities in the region. In other words, livestock husbandry in rangelands is one of the main activities of the local people, who rely on rangeland for forage. However, in recent years, the region's rangelands have been damaged for various reasons resulting in a reduction rangelands area. As a result, it appears that the reasons of rangeland ecosystems degradation should be identified in order to support rangeland ecosystems and reduce their degradation. So, the main purpose of this research is to investigate the economic and social factors affecting the rangelands degradation in Namin County's rural areas.
The research was conducted in Namin County's rural areas (including - Saqsloo, Aghzamankandi and Tifiyeh). The county of Namin is located in mountainous areas with an average elevation of 1700 meters above sea-level.
The research method is descriptive using survey and analysis.  In the three villages of Saqsloo, Aghzamankandi, and Tifiyeh, the statistical community for this study was 1279 individuals, with 326 beneficiaries. A questionnaire was used as the research tool in this study, and 21 beneficiaries (households) were interviewed using stratified random sampling. The validity of the questionnaire was assessed based on expert opinions, and its reliability was determined using Cronbach's alpha coefficient test.
A questionnaire was created based on three indicators: social factors affecting rangeland degradation with 13 questions (S1, S2, S3, … S13), economic factors with 10 questions (E1, E2, E3, … E10) and other effective factors with 10 questions (O1, O2, O3, … O10). Furthermore, each question was graded on a five-point Likert- scale. Based on accessibility, cost and the researchers’ capacity, the total number of the questionnaire in each village was selected according to about 5 to10 percent of the total number of the households (preferably heads of households). In the target villages, questionnaires were filled out through face-to-face visits, observation, and interviews.
The sample size for each village was then determined based on the number of households. As a result, in the village of Saqsloo, Aghzamankandi, and Tifiyeh 11, 4 and 6 questionnaires were completed, respectively. Data were analyzed using SPSS software Ver.22.
Discussion and Conclusion
The results revealed that economic factors such as insufficient annual income and social factors such as a lack of essential training and extension courses, limited participation of beneficiaries in rangeland project implementation, and a lack of proper management and sense of responsibility are the most effective factors in rangeland degradation. Rangeland degradation was primarily influenced by the quantity of beneficiaries and the technique of exploitation. In addition, the number of livestock and living expenses, as well as the economic position of rangeland beneficiaries in the community are important determinants. According to the results, the level of knowledge and awareness, improving the situation, income and livelihood, the effectiveness of training courses, and the participation of stakeholders and local organizations all had an impact on rangeland degradation. Therefore, because the villagers are in need of rangelands to supply fodder for their livestock, it is possible to reduce rangeland degradation by assigning rangeland management plans and projects of improving rangelands to stakeholders by following the laws and implementing planned management. In general, Department of Natural Resources and Watershed Management of Ardabil Province can act to reduce rangeland degradation of Namin County's rural areas by devolution of the implementation of rangeland management, improvement, and development projects to beneficiaries, involving beneficiaries in planning and implementation of projects, providing loan facilities to them, holding training and promotion courses by experienced natural resources experts to increase ranchers’ knowledge.

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