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Improving Resilience in Home-Based and Local Small Businesses is Essential for Entrepreneurship Development in Small Businesses and Home-Based Enterprises:

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According to official statistics released by the Ministry of Labor, Cooperatives, and Social Welfare, home-based businesses constitute only 2.5% of the gross domestic product, and small industries and small businesses also have a very low share of the country’s economy. This means that self-employment and entrepreneurship in small businesses and home-based enterprises in the country are in the “creation” phase and have a distance from the “development” phase. However, this does not mean that the government has no plans for the development of such local small-scale activities. It should be noted that in the development literature, there is a significant difference between the terms “growth” and “development.” Growth only refers to quantitative increases in economic indicators, while “development” means the simultaneous growth of quantitative and qualitative indicators. What has been determined as the goal of government programs for small businesses and home-based enterprises in Iran so far has been the improvement of quantitative growth indicators, which official statistics show has not been achieved to a satisfactory extent. This weakness in achieving quantitative goals is due to the fact that a development-oriented approach has not been sufficiently emphasized in the structure of modern programs.

“Resilience” is a new approach that has been used by researchers and practitioners in the field of entrepreneurship development in small businesses and local enterprises and has been experienced in developed countries. According to the views of these researchers, measuring the resilience of small and local businesses is necessary for the formulation of development programs by governments. In this approach, home-based businesses and small businesses are assessed in three areas: available assets and resources, dynamic competitiveness, and organizational learning and culture. This means that government policies and implementation programs should not only focus on financial support and monetary measures such as providing bank facilities to support small businesses, but also take into account the resilience of these businesses in the face of challenges and uncertainties. Resilience-oriented policies and measures can help home-based and small businesses to better cope with challenges and uncertainties, adapt to changing circumstances, and ultimately contribute to the development of entrepreneurship in these sectors.

While there have been scattered programs related to these three areas in recent years, it can be said that there has been no comprehensive program to enhance the resilience of these small businesses, self-employment, and entrepreneurship, especially in the past two years due to the widespread outbreak of the COVID-19 disease in the country, which has posed serious challenges. Therefore, a significant portion of government programs can be dedicated to enhancing the resilience of home-based businesses and small and emerging businesses. The primary goal in this area has been to compensate for the damages and losses incurred by local economic operators during the COVID-19 period, and the ultimate goal could be to institutionalize resilience indicators in government programs and executive actions. In this regard, the proposed ideas in the three areas of resource enhancement, increasing competitiveness, and education and learning are presented as follows:

  • Innovative planning and design of processes and executive structures with the aim of changing investment patterns and creating capital flows in the market for small businesses and local home-based businesses.
  • Review and reprogramming of administrative and executive processes with the aim of facilitating the export of products produced in small home-based workshops and small and emerging businesses.
  • Creating virtual platforms for supply and financial mechanisms for innovative ideas in small and emerging businesses and home-based businesses at the national level.
  • Developing virtual platforms for distribution and sales of products and services offered by small and home-based businesses at the national level.
  • Developing executive guidelines for public and charity institutions with the aim of directing resources towards local entrepreneurship.
  • Developing facilities and services for entrepreneurship and innovation training related to common home-based businesses in cities and villages across the country.