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26Students attitude’ towards entrepreneurship

Attitudes of students towards entrepreneurship

Table of Contents

3Executive summary


6Objectives of the study


7Literature Review

10Pilot studies

11Variable related to attitude.

11Behavioural behaviour

12Stimulating and encouraging entrepreneurship among students


13Research design

14Dependent and independent variables

15Independent variables

15Information sources

16Data collection

16Sample selection and sampling process

17Statistical analysis techniques.

17Limitations of the study

18Results and findings

20Discussions, recommendations and conclusions


Executive summary

Fostering entrepreneurship is the most important thing in policy and economic development in the modern world. The current rate of unemployment needs urgent measure to be taken and implemented. Entrepreneurship education seems to be the best remedy in this case since most students will be taught the concepts of entrepreneurship which will equip them with skills to be able to operate their own businesses and be self-employed. Research shows that students who have a background in business management and economics have positive attitude towards entrepreneurship as compared to their counterparts undertaking technical courses like engineering and auctorial science. However, in as much as most students want to start their own businesses and be their own bosses, a number of them still want to get employed for a short time inorder to enable them raise capital. Additionally, risk taking in entrepreneurship is one trait that instill fear in most students who wish to be entrepreneurs. Research shows that of the students who want to venture into entrepreneurship, family influence play a vital role.

Inorder to foster entrepreneurship intentions among students, a lot of training and research should be done. Data will be collected through the use of questionnaires where questionnaires were distributed to 500 students. The results of the research indicate the usefulness and effectiveness of the theory of planned behaviour (Ajzen 1991) in making an explanation on entrepreneurial intentions. Further, research shows that personal willingness to take risks, students’ personality and personal traits are important in entrepreneurship Students’ participation in entrepreneurship education is another important factor that fosters attitude towards entrepreneurship. Inorder to instill the right skills and encourage students, lecturers with experience I entrepreneurship should be encouraged to encourage students participate in entrepreneurial activities in universities. These activities include attending competitions, undertaking business plans and engaging in business groups. Additionally, participating in business exhibitions is important in shaping students towards entrepreneurship.


Entrepreneurship has for long be considered one of the most significant factors for growth and development since it is a source of employment and provides a variety of goods and services from which to choose from. In the recent past however, interest has developed towards entrepreneurship in each and every country due to its benefits in terms of creation of competitiveness and innovative strategies. According to Hatten and Ruhland (1995), the increasing interest towards entrepreneurship is as a result of dynamism in the business environment which has led to development of new structures in the western nations and the need to bring down or rather downsize big companies. Besides, the rate at which market patterns change and new markets develop in developing nations has also contributed a great deal to the current shift of interest towards entrepreneurship in the recent past. In the modern business world, entrepreneurship is now being accepted by students as a field of study because it is a source of motivation, knowledge, skills and expertise, traits which are important in operating businesses. A lot of researchers believe that entrepreneurship popularity will increase and that in the twenty first century, it is believed that it will be an interesting business discipline in most countries.

However, in as much as there is predicted increase in popularity of entrepreneurship, entrepreneurship is affected by a number of factors which vary from country to country. Entrepreneurship education varies from country to country depending on different contexts, not limited to culture prevailing within a nation. However, in as much as there is shared focus of entrepreneurship in terms of the need to develop new business ideas and creation of new business opportunities and business plans, there could be variation regarding emphasis depending on a countries participants and available resources. According to Dana (2001), transitional economies are faced by many fundamental problems compared to capitalist nation.

He argues that among the most important considerations to consider in training of entrepreneurship is cultural understanding and historical understanding among others. Infact, according to him, attitude varies from person to person and therefore an Entrepreneur in Vietnam can’t be trained the same way as an entrepreneur in Singapore. Additionally, Dana makes a recommendation that different methodologies must be adopted inorder to train and teach entrepreneurs in both transitional and capitalist economies. The sentiments echoed by Dana (2001) have received a lot of support from other scholars like Lee, Chang, Lim and Li (2002) and Lee, Chang, and Lim (2005) who jointly argue that in as much as the popularity of entrepreneurship education is increasing globally, its education vary from country to country based on cultural contexts.

Budgetary security is one of the elements that will decide the attitude or rather state of mind towards entrepreneurship. The danger included may demoralize some person. The desire of salary and riches achievement does not identify with the enterprise goals as those lean toward vocation in the association hope to acquire progressively while the individuals who incline toward independent work envision accomplishing more wage and riches from independent work (Boston, Shapero and Sokol, 1982). In this manner, state of mind towards self-sufficiency can’t foresee well the aim of the understudy towards enterprise since all understudy esteem flexibility whether their inclination thoughts for authoritative business or independent work.

Objectives of the study

Owing to the contributions entrepreneurship makes in an economy, the study aims at achieving the following objectives:

  1. Determining what drives entrepreneurship intentions

  2. Understanding the concept of entrepreneurship and evaluating the attitude of entrepreneurship

  3. To develop new ways of stimulating and encouraging entrepreneurship among students

  4. Development of guidelines and recommendations on how to encourage students’ attitude towards entrepreneurship


Because Ajzen 1991 holds on the view that behaviour is directly influenced by personal intentions, the following hypotheses are then formulated:

H1- Entrepreneurship attitude is driven by intentions

H2- Subjective norms and entrepreneurial intentions are positively correlated

H3- Behavioral control strongly influences intentions

Literature Review

In the recent past, entrepreneurship has developed to be the most powerful economic force in the modern world. Entrepreneurship popularity has gained momentum and has improved globally in the recent past. In developed economies, entrepreneurship is viewed as a source of employment, a way of solving socio economic problems and a powerful drive of innovation. Additionally, in most developing nations, entrepreneurship is seen as a gent of economic growth, source of employment and source of socio economic power. According to Jain and Ali (2013), the recent crises that have been observed relating to increase of food prices, fuel price s and increase insecurity levels have led to the need to encompass entrepreneurship especially in developing nations. This is because entrepreneurs are associated with organized benefits and businesses out of expertise, knowledge, ability to risk take, developed networks and shared vision. Entrepreneurs are known to create awareness and develop abilities to exploit new emerging business opportunities.

According to LEE and WONG (2003), entrepreneurs in most nations are driven by the urge to persistently look for new emerging opportunities and the need to satisfy intrinsic motivators besides competing and the urge for achievement. Entrepreneurs act as catalysts for economic development. Development of entrepreneurship attitudes helps in making a prediction of the behaviour of future entrepreneurs where future prospective entrepreneurs will be encouraged to be self-dependent and establish their own businesses immediately they complete college studies instead of seeking foe employment. According to LEE and WONG (2003), there is a decline in the need to attain professional employment in big business organizations and an increase in student curiosity in most developing nations.

There is need to comprehend the concept of entrepreneurship and the significance of entrepreneurship as a discipline in institutions of learning. It is evident that in most learning institutions, students undertake have interest in undertaking entrepreneurship as a discipline but fail to plan to pursue entrepreneurship as a career. Most students fear undertaking entrepreneurship as a career. However, of those students who have done entrepreneurship, most of them see the need to get employed inorder to raise capital for operating their own businesses unlike perception held by those students who haven’t done entrepreneurship(Newbert, 2005). Additionally, Newbert argues that students who have done entrepreneurship as a discipline have an idea of which product to introduce, market to eye and technology to use. Entrepreneurship as a discipline equips students with positive attitude which is good in enabling them start their own businesses immediately after completion of college studies of even years later after completion.

Therefore inorder to effectively manage the attitude of students towards entrepreneurship, effective management strategies must be adopted and implemented by the nurturing or rather training institution. According to Loureiro and Kaufmann (2014), the management of training institutions should act as change agents and should help in directing students who have aspirations of undertaking entrepreneurship and other management courses. Research indicates that of all students various learning institutions, students undertaking economics as a discipline have more positive attitude compared to students undertaking technical course like engineering and actuarial science. The argument of economics students is that entrepreneurship helps them acquire necessary skills of business management.

Research studies show that most students especially business students prefer starting up their own businesses rather than being employed. However, of the students who prefer venturing into operating their own businesses and be entrepreneurs, one quarter prefer being employed first. The argument they make is that entrepreneurs face a lot of challenges ranging from difficulty in raising capital and therefore they prefer getting employed first inorder to enable that raise capital and acquire necessary expertise. Most of them hope to acquire knowledge and skills inorder to enable them turn out to be successful entrepreneurs in future.

Promoting entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial activities and acts in learning institutions is one of the methods of creating and enhancing positive attitude of students towards entrepreneurship. Similarly, besides promotion of entrepreneurship enabling students develop positive attitude towards entrepreneurship, it helps in shaping their behaviours and preparing them to be risk takers, and not only blind risk takers but people who are in a position of taking calculated risks. According to(), Students in universities and other institutions of higher learning select entrepreneurship as a career because of influence they get from entrepreneurial activities, attitude they have developed towards entrepreneurship as well as the influence they get from attending social functions. The kind of exposure in entrepreneurship environment eventually leads to development of attitude towards entrepreneurship. Therefore, inorder to develop positive attitudes and intentions towards entrepreneurship, students should be exposed to favorable environments where the need and aspirations to be successful entrepreneurs will be natured.

Pilot studies

There is need to undertake or conduct a pilot study among business management and undergraduate student’s inorder to establish the attitude students have towards entrepreneurship. The research study will be conducted based on the theory of planned behaviour and attitude. The research will not focus much on personal beliefs students hold. Inorder to effectively undertake this study, three questions will be asked which include:

  1. What are the features of self-employment which make it attractive?

  2. What are the features of self-employment which render it unattractive?

  3. Which ones outweigh the other?

Inorder to establish the control of beliefs amongst students, the following questions will be asked which are relevant towards establishing belief of students towards entrepreneurship.

  1. What makes business operations successful?

  2. What is required by an individual inorder to successful operate a business?

The answers to the questions will be utilized to make a selection of PBP variable for the study. However, in this study, there is need not to make an inclusion of subjective norms because of the belief that most of them are influenced by social factors like family relations and friendship.

Variable related to attitude.

According to Mariotti and Glackin (2015), Challenge and freedom are deemed to be positively correlated. This is as a result of beliefs. The tendency to avoid public employment and venture into self-employment, couple with financial insecurity are perceived to be negatively correlated to the attitude students have towards starting their own businesses and be self-employed. Additionally, another variable which is has relation to the accumulation of wealth is added. Most of these factors were selected because it was realized that most of these factors were mostly mentioned and considered by students in making considerations for social desires. According to Mariotti and Glackin (2015), refers to the amount of money injected by an individual inorder to start business and measures the increase in the value of the firm and its associated benefits. According to Mariotti and Glackin (2015), there is a perception that whenever one is employed by an organization, wealth accumulation is limited unlike in instance where one is self-employed because in such cases, wealth accumulation is not limited by rather infinite. Research further shows that students who tend to accord much importance to establishing techniques of how to cope with risks and challenges and further being interested in development of wealth accumulation techniques are likely to have positive attitude to establishing personal businesses and be self-employed unlike those students who accord much importance to workload.

Behavioural behaviour

According to students in learning institutions, the ability to start a business and successfully operate it is influenced by a number of factors not limited to the ability to persevere, innovativeness and ability to be creative. However, being creative and being positively determined tend to possess some positive correlation, according to the beliefs held by students. Students who belief in themselves, who are positive minded, who persevere and who are risk takers have the potential and ability to start their own businesses after completion of studies, unlike students who fear to venture into new business ideas due to the fear of risk. According to Nobre (2002), students keep on rediscovering themselves regarding the career to venture in and therefore subjective norms are important in establishing intentions and attitudes students have towards entrepreneurship and the associated challenges. Student career choice is influenced by a lot of factors but majorly influenced by opinions held by family members, parents and other close people. Therefore, students who possess subjective norms to being self-employed have positive intentions towards entrepreneurship as a career and therefore intent to start their own businesses

Stimulating and encouraging entrepreneurship among students

Inorder to effectively stimulate and encourage students towards undertaking entrepreneurship as a career, it is important, according to Shetty (2004), that a favorable environment that favors entrepreneurship if cultivated and that effective support schemes are identified. The policy of entrepreneurship has made identifications of four important purposes which include: Development of a strong enterprise culture, establishment of a legal environment which is favorable for thrive of entrepreneurship, availing finance to SMEs’ and establishing measures that ensure that most SME grow and export there products. According to Shetty (2004), activities meant to promote entrepreneurship culture are required inorder to achieve three main objectives, namely:

A number of people want to be entrepreneurs; people possess necessary knowledge and skills required to effectively and successful operate a business; positive attitude developed towards entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship (Eesti Ettevõtluspoliitika 2006). Inorder to achieve the purpose of encouraging and motivating towards entrepreneurship, the following activities are undertaken: Undertaking entrepreneurship education in schools; learning entrepreneurs; creating awareness of entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial activities in the society and lastly, developing mechanisms that enable enterprises to corporate. The governments have a role of influencing the image of entrepreneurship in a country, in universities and other institutions of learning. However, based on all the above theoretical views and standpoints, intentions, attitudes and influence on entrepreneurial behaviours are affected by a number of factors


Research design

The research design was made possible with the use of the theory of planned behaviour dues to its efficiency and consistency. The theory of planned behaviour is also use in the study because of the fact that the theory has been criticized and greatly advanced by various scholars. Identification of variables that affect intentions is important. Therefore the study ventures on the identification of additional variables like gender, experience, family influence, personality traits which are important in the overall understanding of entrepreneurial intentions. The effects and impacts of these variables are however mediated by entrepreneurship theory on intentions. For example Research reveals that parents’ experience in business have a positive influence and desirability of an individual to start a business.

According to Mariotti and Glackin (2015), opinions on entrepreneurship can vary from one individual to another and consequently from one population to another and therefore pre-selection of relevant beliefs should be done with utmost care. For example, the old and the youth could have different perceptions regarding the desirability or undesirability of factors that trigger self-employment. Therefore, application of such a technique in the project may lead to the understanding of factors that lead to desirability or undesirability to venture into entrepreneurship and being self-employed.

Students tend to favor self-employment because most of them have interest in working with people or rather individuals they know and respect besides most of them expecting high remunerations. The variables used in the study will only help in predicting career choice. With respect to the independent variable which is intention, it refers to an inner motivation of an individual to make a certain form of decision. Measurements of intentions have been developed by social psychology which signifies desires and expectation of behaviours. This is important especially with the need to determine the attitude of students towards entrepreneurship. A lot of students are still undergoing the discovery process since most of them have not decide on their careers and are still weighing options regarding which career to choose. Additionally, most students eventually change their careers due to change in personal goals.

Dependent and independent variables

The model of research is made up of three dependent variables. According to Ajzen (1991), entrepreneurial intentions form the ultimate dependent variable as well as the construct of the TPB. The TPB constructs afar, a relationship with entrepreneurial intentions has also been added to the research.

For attitude towards entrepreneurial intentions, the identification of the ultimate dependent variable is paramount. According to Autio et al., (2001), attitude refers to personal expectation and beliefs relating to personal impacts, which in this case relates to the initiation of a company. The research study will try as much as possible to give an explanation as to whether personality traits affect attitude. The other dependent variable is perception held in entrepreneurship education. Participation in entrepreneurship education influences attitude towards entrepreneurship

Independent variables

The model of research makes an integration of two forms of personality traits namely: proactive personality traits and propensity to take risks. According to Kickul and Gundry (2002), students who possess proactive forms of personality traits are in a position to act and influence environmental change. This therefore shows that personality traits enable an individual to scan the business environment, identify opportunities, take necessary actions and develop strategies to enable achieve set goals.

The most common and known personality trait which is associated with entrepreneurial intentions is the ability to take a risk, which is commonly referred to as risk taking propensity. This is the most important and interesting trait in entrepreneurship. In this research study, the two independent variables are subjective norms and perceived behavioural control. According to Ajzen (1991), perceived control behaviour is considered to critically influence intention. Additionally, subjective norms together with pressure from the environment of study adds up to the TPB model (Ajzen 1991).

Information sources

The research study will review literature on matters relating to students attitudes towards entrepreneurship in institutions of higher learning. Additionally, much focus and emphasis will be will be directed towards entrepreneurship as a career choice for students and entrepreneurship education. Therefore, the research study will review literature widely, for instance, making use of academic journals. Additionally, the research will make use of approved academic articles.

The study will make use of questionnaires where the same will be administered to students for completion and immediately returned to the researcher after completion. The method is preferred due to its ability to attain high response rates during the research. However, to ensure that students’ participation is high, the students will be given assurance that whatever information they will avail will be accorded the highest level of confidentiality. The questionnaire that will be administered will be subdivided into three sections, namely: Personal information section, attitude towards entrepreneurship section and social norms section.

Data collection

Because the research study is a case study data collection will be effectively undertaken with the use of structure questionnaire. The research will make use of both qualitative and quantitative research and will use descriptive research. Sampling will be used to collect data, where university students will be sampled. Inorder to enable the researcher get information about students’ attitude and intentions towards entrepreneurship, closed- ended questionnaires will be administered. Additionally, the research study will make use of simple random sampling inorder to enable the researcher obtain the necessary information regarding students’ attitude towards entrepreneurship. The methods of data analysis to be used will consider both qualitative and quantitative research. For the case of non-numerical data, analysis will be undertaken using descriptive methods. Data will be organized, analysed and summarized using SPSS

Sample selection and sampling process

To undertake the research study, the study will target universities found in Australia with an aim of establishing beliefs and entrepreneurial intentions and attitudes towards entrepreneurship.500 students will be sample to represent student population in four universities. According to Parker (2009), students who previously owned businesses will be exclude from sample inorder to get a clear view of students’ attitudes towards entrepreneurship. Specifically, Students in second, third and fourth years of studies will be sampled because of their proximity to course completion. The sample population will be between 22-25 years old and will be made up of a proportion of 23% females and 67% males. For purpose of convenience in terms of time and cost, non-probability method of sampling will be applied. Additionally, because most students are readily available for the research study, accidental form of research method will be applicable.

Statistical analysis techniques.

Collected data will be made meaningful through transformation into outputs like frequency tables and descriptive statistics. Both qualitative and quantitative approaches will be used whilst analyzing non-numerical data with the use of descriptive methods. For data organization, analysis and interpretation, SPSS will be used. Recommendations and conclusion will be obtained from the results

Limitations of the study

Evidence from research shows that personality traits together with participation in entrepreneurship education have an influence on student’s attitudes and intentions towards entrepreneurship and the ability of an individual to start new business ventures. However, the research is subjected to a number of limitations.

One of the limitations is the omission of variables. Traits related to personality are measured using two constructs which in reality do not fully cover a students’ personality. The limitation is from the perspective that the dependent variable will tend to lose the power of explanation since not all personality traits are considered in the research. The research only considers entrepreneurship education participation and subjective norms as independent variables and therefore a number of other factors have not been captured in the study.

The other limitation of the study is the measurements used to measure the constructs. Potential weaknesses are found in the measurement of subjective norms and measurement of the aspect of risk taking.

Results and findings

Descriptive Statistics

Std. Deviation





Std. Error



I work for

I am self employed

I am unemployed

What is your major?

Are you international or domestic student

PG or UG students

Creating a new company (being an entrepreneur).

Developing your career in a private company

Working as a civil servant for the government

Working in a Non Profit Organization

Facing new challenges

Creating new jobs.

Economic uncertainty (insure earnings).

To be creative and innovative


Obtaining high incomes


Taking calculated risks


To be my own boss (independence)


Facing new challenges.


Creating new jobs.


Economic uncertainty (insure earnings).


To be creative and innovative.


Obtaining high incomes


Taking calculated risks.


To be my own boss (independence)


My closest family members think that I should pursue a career as an entrepreneur


My closest friends think that I should pursue a career as an entrepreneur


My colleagues or class-mates think that I should pursue a career as an entrepreneur.


My closest family members


My closest friends


My colleagues or class-mates


Define your business idea and strategy of your company.


Write your business plan (do a market research, financial analysis, etc.)


Complete the necessary and administrative and bureaucratic work to create your own business


Develop and maintain favorable relationships with potential investors and banks.


Work productively under continuous stress, pressure and conflict.


See new market opportunities for new products/services.


Develop relationships with key people who are connected to capital sources.


Tolerate unexpected changes in business


Identify potential sources of funding.


Design products or services that solve current problems.


Persist in the face of adversity


I identify with the entrepreneurs.


Being an entrepreneur is an important aspect of the persona that I am.


I feel I have a strong bond with other entrepreneurs


I feel a strong solidarity with others entrepreneurs.


I positively value to be part of the entrepreneur’s group.


Do you think that in the future you will create your own company?


If you had the opportunity to choose freely the career to follow, what would you prefer?


Nevertheless, considering your actual situation and the limitations towards your options (e.g. lack of money) indicate which career is more probable to be chosen?


With what probability do you consider to create your own business from present to five year’s time?



Valid N (list wise)


Discussions, recommendations and conclusions

The objective to this research was to establish students’ attitudes towards entrepreneurship in Australia. Inorder to achieve this and make it a success, the study explored entrepreneurship intentions among students in four universities in Australia. The result of the study is in line or rather confirms previous research on entrepreneurship intentions and attitude.. For example, the findings of the research have proved right the theory of planned Behaviour by Ajzen 1991whic is relevant in explaining entrepreneurial intentions. According to Ajzen (1991), students’ attitude towards entrepreneurship coupled with students’ intentions have a positive influence towards entrepreneurial intentions. However, although the finding of the research indicated a weak relationship between entrepreneurial intentions and subjective norms with a mean of 4.56, the value is relatively higher previous research. Further research should be undertaken to determine how entrepreneurship education affects or rather influences students’ personality traits.


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Autio, E., Keeley, R.H., Klofsten, M., Parker, G.G.C., & Hay, M. (2001). Entrepreneurial intent among students in Scandinavia and in the USA. Enterprise & Innovation Management Studies, 2, (2), 145-161.

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Jain, R. and Ali, S.W. (2013) ‘Self-efficacy beliefs, marketing orientation and attitude orientation of Indian entrepreneurs’, Journal of Entrepreneurship, 22(1), pp. 71–95.

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Loureiro, S.M.C. and Kaufmann, H.R. (2014) ‘Intentions towards the sustainability of young adults: A cross-cultural comparison’, World Review of Entrepreneurship, Management and Sustainable Development, 10(2/3), p. 247.

Mariotti, S. and Glackin, C. (2015) Entrepreneurship: Starting and operating a small business, student value edition. Upper Saddle River, NJ, United States: Prentice Hall.

Newbert, S.L., 2005. New firm formation: A dynamic capability perspective. Journal of Small Business Management, 43(1), 55–77.

Nobre, A.L. (2002) ‘Entrepreneurship as an attitude: A challenge to innovative managers’, The International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, 3(1), pp. 17–25.

Shetty, P. (2004) ‘Attitude towards entrepreneurship in Organisations’, Journal of Entrepreneurship, 13(1), pp. 53–68.