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Hamdollah Sojasi Qeidari, Hamid Shayan, Zahra Nurbakhsh Razmi,
Volume 4, Issue 12 (9-2015)

Rural areas face various challenges in Iran; one of the most important challenges isb economic weakness. Since entrepreneurship can remove many major challenges (such as unemployment, low level of income, lack of economic diversification) in rural areas and it can affect other aspects of rural life positively, entrepreneurship and job creation are the most important plans and strategies for rural improvement to resolve economic challenges. Entrepreneurship in village leads to job creation, increase in income, wealth creation, improvement of quality of life and it is also helpful for local people participating in economic activities. The agriculture section in most third world countries cannot provide enough job opportunities and income to meet the needs of rural areas with high population density as a result of low level of productivity of land and labor, so non-farm entrepreneurship is considered as the suitable strategy to improve job creation and increase rural income. Promoting diversification of economic activities in rural areas especially in non-farm section leads to a profound impact on the creation of entrepreneurial thinking in rural areas; Since for landless people or those who own a small size of land, earning farming income and this amount of income does not meet their needs, non-farm entrepreneurship and as a result diversification of non-farm economy (or related to farm economy) can create job and income for them. Undoubtedly, job creation in non-farm section prevents labor force as the major economic capital from exiting the villages which is the main reason of rural-to-urban migration growth and many socio-economic problems. Based on this fact, this study aims to analyze the importance of non-farm entrepreneurshipb in improving the quality of life in villages of Shandiz area and also to determine that in which dimensions and aspects of rural life considered by entrepreneurs in their plans, the farm based entrepreneurship activities have the most impacts. The research questions include "how much farm based entrepreneurship activities could improve the quality of life in the villages in economic, social and environmental dimensions?" and "in which dimensions do entrepreneurship activities have the most impacts?"
According to its aim, this is a practical and developmental study and regarding its methodology it is descriptive-analytic one. For theoretical modeling, descriptive and documentary methods have been used by reviewing theoretical literature related to rural development, quality of life, entrepreneurship and non-farm entrepreneurship studies. So, the criteria and indicators have been chosen according to theoretical frameworks and works done by other researches and also on the basis of its aim. The analytic unit in this study is the non-farmer householder who participates in creative non-farming activities in studied villages. Residents of villages in Shandiz area, Binaloud County, including Shandiz and Abardeh villages with population of 19667 in 1390 are the study population. According to the conducted field study, among 18 villages which their populations are more than 20 households, 6 villages with the population of 13217 are considered as study samples and in these villages non-farm entrepreneurship activities have been done more than other villages. To study the impacts of non-farm entrepreneurship activities in the studied area, samples should be chosen according to the number of households in the region; regarding the total number of households, sample households in the sample villages are 3776 households and as a result, according to Cochran Formula (using 0.06 margin of error) 249 households have been chosen to complete the questionnaires regarding the householder's point of view. The first level of sample selection among householders in the studied area is according to an analogy between villages and the second level is random selection. Eventually, information extracted from the questionnaires has been analyzed using statistical methods (Pearson, Spearman and Chi-square correlation tests to the case with independent group and step by step regression analysis) performed in SPSS.
Discussion and Conclusion
It was found that, non-farm activities have various impacts on economic, social and environmental dimensions. Chi-square test to the case with independent group was performed to analyze villager's point of view regarding non-farm entrepreneurship activities; for most indicators, a meaningful level of significance less than 0.05 and the relationship has been proven. For assessment of economic impacts of entrepreneurship on quality of life, indicators such as income, employment status and economic justice have been used. The relative distribution for answering question suggests that the average value of economic changes is 3.46. This average is defined in the range from 1 to 5 and it shows that the economic status is higher than the average level. For assessment of social impacts, indicators such as social capital, social participation, population stability, satisfaction of access and personal welfare have been used. The average of social changes is 3.06 and it shows that social status is higher than the average level. The average value of environmental changes is 3.38 and it shows that the environmental status is higher than the average level. It has to be mentioned that for assessment of non-farm entrepreneurship activities, some indicators have been used including good job opportunities, government investment, product quality, education, availability and changeability of land use. The average value of non-farm entrepreneurship activities is 3.41 which show this status is higher than the average. In conclusion, it can be said that non-farm entrepreneurship activities improve the quality of life in economic, social and environmental dimensions.

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