As one of the most important and fundamental issues, employment is an indicator of development and welfare in any country. Due to the rapid growth of population over the past decades in Iran, investigating unemployment and the obstacles hindering employment is of paramount importance. In this study, a questionnaire was used and a group of experts were interviewed in order to identify four groups of legal, economic, social as well as individual factors, which could improve or hinder the growth of small businesses and self-employment. In this paper, having determined the factors influencing the expansion or downsizing the small businesses, the entrepreneurs, agents supporting small businesses, and the members of employment groups in Mazandaran Province, Iran rated the four categories. Finally, the most important growth factors or challenges faced by small businesses from the three aforementioned perspectives were compared.