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Attitudes of Higher Education students to new venture creation: a preliminary approach to the Portuguese case

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  • Aurora A.C. Teixeira

    () (INESC Porto, CEMPRE, Faculdade de Economia, Universidade do Porto)

  • Todd Davey

    () (Muenster University of Applied Sciences)

Abstract

Institutions of higher education have an important role in the generation of high tech ‘entrepreneurial capacity’. Being entrepreneurship in Portugal an emergent phenomenon there is an urgent need to better understand and develop this area not only by analysing the ‘supply side’ (i.e., the courses taught in this field) but also the ‘demand side’, that is, the attitudes of students, future potential entrepreneurs, to new venture creation. Based on 4413 responses of students enrolled in Portuguese higher education institutions, gathered in June-July 2008, we found, using a multivariate model, that students who had already created a firm although, on average, possess larger entrepreneurial experience and knowledge, they do not reveal high risk propensity or creativity. Those students that have taken some steps to create new businesses and, to a larger extent, those foreseeing their future career as owning their business have higher risk and creative profiles. Students who live in an environment which ‘breads’ entrepreneurship have stronger desire to become entrepreneurs. This supports the contention that entrepreneurship is a learned process and that school, teachers, and other institutions and individuals may encourage entrepreneurial behaviours. ‘Role models’ seem indeed to constitute a key factor fostering entrepreneurship among Portuguese higher education students – in the Portuguese case, the entrepreneur and entrepreneurial company references are, respectively, Belmiro de Azevedo and Sonae. Although in a descriptive analysis students enrolled in non-university (e.g., polytechnics) and private higher education institutions reveal higher effective and potential entrepreneurial propensities, when we (simultaneously) control for a vast number of factors which are likely to affect entrepreneurship propensity, such differences cease to be statistically relevant. Students’ personality (risk, creativity) and demographic traits (gender and age), competencies and familiarity with entrepreneurship (entrepreneurial experience, knowledge, awareness, interest), and contextual factors (professional experience, role models) are important determinants of entrepreneurial propensity, whereas the type of higher education institutions (public vs private, non-university vs university), and, to some extent, the degree (postgraduate vs undergraduate), and the scientific area, fail to emerge as key determinants.

Suggested Citation

  • Aurora A.C. Teixeira & Todd Davey, 2008. "Attitudes of Higher Education students to new venture creation: a preliminary approach to the Portuguese case," FEP Working Papers 298, Universidade do Porto, Faculdade de Economia do Porto.
  • Handle: RePEc:por:fepwps:298
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. KruegerJR, Norris F. & Reilly, Michael D. & Carsrud, Alan L., 2000. "Competing models of entrepreneurial intentions," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 15(5-6), pages 411-432.
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    5. repec:dau:papers:123456789/2218 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Rui Baptista & Roy Thurik, 2004. "The Relationship between Entrepreneurship and Unemployment: is Portugal an Outlier?," Papers on Entrepreneurship, Growth and Public Policy 2004-40, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Entrepreneurship, Growth and Public Policy Group.
    7. Frederic Delmar & Per Davidsson, 2000. "Where do they come from? Prevalence and characteristics of nascent entrepreneurs," Entrepreneurship & Regional Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(1), pages 1-23, January.
    8. Aurora A.C. Teixeira, 2007. "Entrepreneurial potential in Business and Engineering courses … why worry now?," FEP Working Papers 256, Universidade do Porto, Faculdade de Economia do Porto.
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    Cited by:

    1. Fakhrul Anwar Zainol & Wan Norhayate Wan Daud & Nalini Arumugam & Nor Asmahani Ibrahim, 2015. "A Feasibility Study on Business Consulting Services to Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) by Public University in Malaysia," International Journal of Academic Research in Accounting, Finance and Management Sciences, Human Resource Management Academic Research Society, International Journal of Academic Research in Accounting, Finance and Management Sciences, vol. 5(2), pages 59-65, April.
    2. Yeboah Asuamah Samuel & Kumi Ernest & Jacob Baffour Awuah, 2013. "An Assessment of Entrepreneurship Intention Among Sunyani Polytechnic Marketing Students," International Review of Management and Marketing, Econjournals, vol. 3(1), pages 37-49.

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    Keywords

    students; entrepreneurship; attitudes;

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