Explaining entrepreneurial orientation among university students: Evidence from italy
This paper presents one of the first studies on the entrepreneurial orientation of Italian university students. For a large sample of students from the University of Parma (Italy), we estimate the sources of entrepreneurial intent, distinguishing between the propensity to start a new business and the perceived likelihood of becoming an entrepreneur. In line with previous research in other countries, entrepreneurial intent is explained by a wide set of variables, including psychological, social and contextual factors. For Italian university students, the current economic crisis and the consequent increase in uncertainty do not seem to significantly weaken the importance of psychological variables as factors shaping entrepreneurial intent, confirming that these variables maintain primary relevance regardless of the context and the economic situation. While the perception of a lack of economic opportunities does not significantly affect the propensity to start a new venture, it does have a negative impact on the perceived likelihood of becoming an entrepreneur. This, in turn, suggests that the ongoing economic recession may indeed have a negative impact on the future entrepreneurial supply through a discouragement effect. Finally, the impact of family and business associations on stimulating entrepreneurial intent turns out not to be statistically significant. The combination of these results significantly contributes to our general understanding of entrepreneurial intent among Italian university students.
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