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Iran’s entrepreneurship scene and startup ecosystem have been booming over the past few years. To gauge the latest developments in the sector the emrc and a business school affiliated with Iran’s Chamber of Commerce and Amirkabir University of Technology have launched a joint project.

Through the project led by the emrc, a member of the dnaunion family, the latest developments in the sector were studied, and solutions for addressing the needs of Iranian entrepreneurs and startup owners were proposed.

The business school is a joint project between Amirkabir University of Technology and Chamber of Commerce. The school’s dean Mohammad Taghi Banki says, “We are quite delighted with the outcomes of the collaboration. We now know that we are moving in the right direction; that our plans are aligned with ambitions of the current and future students of the business school.”

He added, “We feel like we are on the right track and with help from our partners and students, we’d be able to contribute to the expansion of Iran startups ecosystem.  We regularly consult our students and try to improve our work based on their input. Potential students of the school are also regularly surveyed. We greatly value their thoughts and insights.”

According to Banki, online education is not an option anymore; it is a necessity. The required infrastructure for online education has been created and bettered over the past few years through government investment.

Following the Covid-19 outbreak, the Iranian government heavily relied on online training for moving ahead with school and university curriculums. Banki says, “The smooth and swift transition from in-person education to online courses after the coronavirus pandemic happened thanks to required infrastructure already being in place.”

He is of the opinion that in times of rapid change, some people resist change while others readily adapt to new conditions. “But Change is inevitable. Universities and educational centers must adapt to new conditions because gathering students from all over the country in one place is no longer a viable option. Universities must cooperate with science parks to develop effective solutions,” Banki said regarding discussions of holding the classes online.

Ali Zuashkiani, the business school’s deputy director explained, “The transition was challenging for us at first, as to what was the most beneficial solution that we could implement. There are many schools and centers in the field of entrepreneurship that teach and create content. So we had to offer something that others lacked in order for our work to stand out.”

He says, “All of our founders have been working in the field of entrepreneurship for years, and they are aware of the latest market trends. But to stand out, we needed to carefully inspect and study the needs of the market, so meetings were held with leading experts in the field of education and Business.”

“Through the first meeting nothing unexpected came out, our ideas and plans were reaffirmed, but on the second meeting, we came across opinions and data from the participants that really put things into perspective and gave us an idea of what was truly needed. So, in the end, the meetings were constructive about the work that we wanted to do and to guide us in accomplishing our goals,” Zuashkiani concluded.

Neda Salehi, executive deputy of the business school, says, “We’ve tried to study a diverse group of people. This diversity helped us to better understand the needs of today’s market. We want to help current and future business owners to prosper. And in order to do that, we need to listen to their views.”

Saeid Nabavian, senior deputy of qualitative studies at the emrc, says, “Although many schools are working in the field of entrepreneurship, there are still many needs to be met in this field. In each of these meetings, participants expressed their views and expectations of the business school. The expertise of the participants contributed significantly to the outcome of the meetings held since every and each of them are among the top executives and entrepreneurs in the country.”