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Unbounding entrepreneurial intents of university students: a multidisciplinary perspective

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  • Aurora A.C. Teixeira

    ()
    (CEF.UP, Faculdade de Economia, Universidade do Porto; INESC Porto)

  • Rosa Portela Forte

    ()
    (CEF.UP, Faculdade de Economia, Universidade do Porto)

Abstract

Entrepreneurial activities are seen as key drivers of innovation, job creation, and economic growth. Recent efforts are being pursued by several entities, including governments to promote entrepreneurial skills amongst the youngest. However, to design effective programs, policy makers have to uncover the determinants of entrepreneurship. To avoid that such efforts would be fruitless we argue that a multidisciplinary account of entrepreneurial intents among students is mandatory, circumventing past biased analysis towards business and engineering areas. Thus, in this paper we present the results of a survey to all final year university students of the largest Portuguese university. It encompasses a sample of 2431 students enrolled in 60 different undergraduate courses of 14 schools/faculties. Results evidence that the average entrepreneurial intents reaches a reasonable (by international standards) figure of 27%, with students enrolled in non-traditionally entrepreneurial focused areas – Humanities, Sports, Health and Sciences – and courses - Pharmacy, Veterinary, Law, Languages, History, History of the Arts and Archaeology, Sports, Biology and Chemistry, Dentistry - revealing higher entrepreneurial intents. Based on logit estimations, we further found that psychological factors, such as risk propensity, leadership profile, and creativeness, are the most important (positive) determinants of students’ entrepreneurial intents. Contextual factors (e.g., family background and professional experience) failed to emerge as critical factors in explaining students’ entrepreneurial intents - only business context emerged as important. Despite such results might at a first glance convey the idea that education policy for promoting entrepreneurship has limited application, we argue that it is not the case. What is required is different policy measures targeting students’ attitudes and behaviors in both business and non business areas, avoiding the long-established mistake of confining entrepreneurial education related programs within business schools.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Universidade do Porto, Faculdade de Economia do Porto in its series FEP Working Papers with number 322.

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Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:por:fepwps:322

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Keywords: Entrepreneurship; Intents; Students; Higher Education; Multidisciplinary; Portugal;

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References

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  1. Hartog, Joop & van Praag, Mirjam & van der Sluis, Justin, 2008. "If You Are So Smart, Why Aren't You an Entrepreneur? Returns to Cognitive and Social Ability: Entrepreneurs versus Employees," IZA Discussion Papers 3648, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Kuhn, Peter J. & Weinberger, Catherine, 2002. "Leadership Skills and Wages," IZA Discussion Papers 482, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Ron A. Boschma & Michael Fritsch, 2007. "Creative Class and Regional Growth - Empirical Evidence from Eight European Countries," Jena Economic Research Papers 2007-066, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics.
  4. Chen, Chao C. & Greene, Patricia Gene & Crick, Ann, 1998. "Does entrepreneurial self-efficacy distinguish entrepreneurs from managers?," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 295-316, July.
  5. Souitaris, Vangelis & Zerbinati, Stefania & Al-Laham, Andreas, 2007. "Do entrepreneurship programmes raise entrepreneurial intention of science and engineering students? The effect of learning, inspiration and resources," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 566-591, July.
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Cited by:
  1. Oliveira, Belkis & Moriano, Juan & Soares, Vasco, 2012. "Estudo exploratório das diferenças na Intenção Empreendedora entre Homens e Mulheres em Portugal: o Caso dos Jovens Universitários do Norte de Portugal," Working Papers 24/2012, Universidade Portucalense, Centro de Investigação em Gestão e Economia (CIGE).

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