Designing a Model for Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Growth in the Context of Agricultural Higher Education System
Article Type:
Research/Original Article (دارای رتبه معتبر)
Introduction and Objective

Nowadays, the significance of launching startups in the field of agriculture is more evident than ever. In order to achieve this important purpose, it is essential to provide an entrepreneurial ecosystem. Therefore, given the lack of experience in Iran’s agriculture sector of Iran for creating such ecosystems, it is necessary to build on the experiences of pioneering entrepreneurial sectors and identify the components of agricultural startup ecosystems. The present research was conducted with the purpose of designing a model for entrepreneurial ecosystem growth for Iran’s agricultural higher education system.

Materials and Methods

This study is considered a field research in terms of data collection, non-experimental research in terms of variable control, applied research in terms of purpose, and exploratory sequential mixed method research (in-depth interviews along with surveys) in terms of methodology. In the qualitative part of the study, we identified the constructs of the six components of Isenberg’s entrepreneurial ecosystem model, utilizing semi-structured interviews with 15 startup activists in Iran. In the quantitative part, these constructs were monitored. The statistical population of the quantitative part of the study consisted of 1800 startup experts in Iran. Using the Cochran formula, the sample size was determined to comprise 286 individuals. In order to assess the validity of the research tool (questionnaire), the divergent validity method was used, the value of which for the research constructs was above 0.5 ≤ AVE and acceptable. To determine reliability, the composite reliability method was utilized, the value of which for the research constructs was above 0.6 ≤ CR and acceptable. In order to process the data, we used the principal component analysis method and hierarchical component models, utilizing the Smart-PLS software.


According to the findings, five factors were identified for the policy component which are: strengthening the private sector, appointing a trustee for the ecosystem, supporting productive entrepreneurship, balanced development in the country, and government investment in the ecosystem. For the culture component, the factors of attention to entrepreneurial success stories, developing entrepreneurial culture and promoting entrepreneurial thinking were identified. For the component of support, the factors of attention to the role of advisors, providing the physical space, providing the legal infrastructure, and the role of professional organizations supporting entrepreneurship were identified. For the market component, the factors of networking, providing a competitive platform, and attention to the political status of the country’s market were identified. For the human capital component, the factors of business skills training ecosystem, reviewing the higher education structure, manpower training, encouraging the professors to become entrepreneurs, and target-based budgeting in universities were identified. For the financial capital component, the factors of access to financial resources and timely financial injections were identified. Moreover, the ranking of entrepreneurial ecosystem growth components in the context of agricultural higher education system in Iran were as follows: the component of human capital was in the first place, followed by the components of culture, support, market, policy, and financial capital.


  From the perspective of startup activists in Iran, the human capital factor has the highest level of importance in entrepreneurial ecosystem growth in agricultural higher education system of the country; therefore, it is recommended that Iran’s agricultural higher education system should fulfill this essential role through development of a strategic planning committee responsible for creating and revising the syllabi for university courses and adopting practice-based learning techniques in higher education institutions to further promote the human capital factor.

Journal of Entrepreneurship and Agriculture, Volume:9 Issue: 18, 2023
8 to 21  
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