African Journal of
Business Management

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Bus. Manage.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1993-8233
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJBM
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 4062

Full Length Research Paper

Role of entrepreneurship education on students’ intention and mediating effect of self-efficacy

Nosheena Yasir
  • Nosheena Yasir
  • Department of Business, School of Economics and Management, Northwest University, Xi’an, 710127 Shaanxi, P. R. China.
  • Google Scholar
An Liren
  • An Liren
  • Department of Business, School of Economics and Management, Northwest University, Xi’an, 710127 Shaanxi, P. R. China.
  • Google Scholar
Nasir Mahmood
  • Nasir Mahmood
  • Department of Management Sciences and Engineering, School of Management Sciences, Northwestern Polytechnical University, Xi’an, 710072 Shaanxi, P. R. China.
  • Google Scholar


  •  Received: 18 October 2018
  •  Accepted: 11 December 2018
  •  Published: 14 January 2019

 ABSTRACT

Entrepreneurship education trend is increasing rapidly worldwide. This increase was driven through entrepreneurship promise like a catalyst to promote economic revival and growth. It is anticipated entrepreneurship education provides the basis of entrepreneurship notions, forming attitude, behavior, and mind set of the entrepreneurs. Several programs regarding entrepreneurial education established in universities have significantly increased worldwide. The objective of the study is to assess the role of entrepreneurship education on students’ intention and the mediating effect of self-efficacy. It is a cross-sectional descriptive study in which 500 respondents participated. Replies of respondents on the basis of 5 points Likert scale regarding entrepreneurial intention, attitude, subjective norms, such as normative beliefs, perceived behavior control, self-efficacy, and education were noted. Chi-square test was applied to know the association between different variables.  Among the 500 respondents, 56.0% were 26-30 years old, 70.0% males and 88.0% had done their Masters. Out of these participants who strongly agreed, 82.0% preferred to become entrepreneur rather than employee, 80.0% said they can earn much money if they establish their own business, 77.0% believed that people who are important to them think they should start a career as entrepreneur, 80.0% said if they start their business, success chances would be much high, 63.0% said they can mostly handle whatever comes their way and 70.0% said that entrepreneurship course boosts their understanding regarding financial preparation of entrepreneurial ventures. Study concluded that entrepreneurship education has a positive role on students’ intention and the mediating effect of self-efficacy.

 

Key words: Entrepreneurship education, intention, attitude, subjective norms, self-efficacy.


 INTRODUCTION

Entrepreneurship education trend is increasing rapidly worldwide (Fretschner and Weber, 2013). This increase was driven through entrepreneurship promise like a catalyst to promote economic revival and growth (Nabi et al., 2018). The purpose of this study is to access the impact of entrepreneurship education on students’/ entrepreneurial intention with the help of interrelated role of self-efficacy. It is anticipated that entrepreneurship education will provide the basis of entrepreneurship notions, forming attitude, behavior, and mind set of entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurship education is the only way to create business thinking and enhances self-efficacy of the university students owing to unemployment situation of country. Entrepreneurship education has two dimensions namely venture start-ups and venture growth having its own objects the potential to generate productive activities (Mahendra et al., 2017). Several programs regarding entrepreneurial education establish in the universities have significantly increased worldwide (Janssen, 2016). During the last two decades, a substantial growth has been observed in most developed countries (Sultan et al., 2016). Entrepreneurship education helps to train our university graduates so that they will cope with their future challenges and especially the unemployment condition of the country.
 
Entrepreneurship education role on entrepreneurial intentions
 
People’s performance is directly influenced by education (Popescu et al., 2016). Furthermore, entrepreneurship education is a vehicle for young people to develop their entrepreneurial intentions (Raposo and Do Paço, 2011; Bae et al., 2014; Fayolle and Gailly, 2015; Popescu et al., 2016). The entrepreneurial intention is described as a biased attitude of the potential entrepreneurs, involved or not involved in trade activities, and a broad description of people with consumerist traits, quality, and capability. This is a type of mental state which leads people to be prepared to dedicate most of their energy, time and action to get a chance or to attain a goal (Peng et al., 2015).
 
Numerous researchers have been carried out regarding entrepreneurship education. This is a study which stimulates students’ intentions and helps them to set up new businesses. Study findings (Kuttim et al., 2014; Kim-Sun et al., 2016) demonstrated that entrepreneurship education has a significant effect on entrepreneurial intentions of students. A significant association is observed between entrepreneurship education and entrepreneurial intention (Hussain, 2015; Hattab, 2015; Ibrahim et al., 2015), by students’ participation in permanent existential and experiential learning practices (Robinson et al., 2016) and by developing the meaning of reflection, experience and action (Hagg and Kurczewska, 2016). Also, entrepreneurship education aims to improve students’ achievement orientation, self-esteem and personal control (Basardien et al., 2016; Mahendra et al., 2017).
 
Attitudes towards Behavior
 
Attitudes are people’s feelings regarding an idea (object of attitude), that could be an individual, an ideology, a brand or any other thing about which people can attach feeling (Mohammed et al., 2017). Krueger et al. (2000) described this antecedent like the ambition of a person to generate new value in the existing organization by carrying out entrepreneurial behavior (Mohammed et al., 2017). Generally, a more positive attitude towards behavior, the stronger persons have the intention to carry out behavior (Saraih et al., 2018). For instance, Rudhumbu et al. (2016) demonstrated that the positive attitude of students about entrepreneurship education proves to become entrepreneurs when they accomplish their studies. Likewise, Remeikiene et al. (2013) verified that in Lithuania, students’ attitude towards entrepreneurship was the leading factor of their entrepreneurial intention. In addition, Ferreira et al. (2012) indicated that in Portugal, the personal attitude of secondary students affected their entrepreneurial intention. It is also substantiated that entrepreneurial attitude is considerably associated with intention among college students in China (Peng et al., 2012).
 
Subjective norms
 
The subjective norm is described as professed social pressure to carry out or not the behavior (Saraih et al., 2018). Subjective norms demonstrate social factors which influence a person (Mohammed et al., 2017). Regarding subjective norms, the normative beliefs form their fundamental determinants. Normative beliefs are associated with the possibility that major referent groups or individuals approve/disapprove of carrying out a certain behavior (Veciana et al., 2005; Mohammed et al., 2017). The processed social pressure to perform/ does not perform entrepreneurial behavior could be stimulated from friends, family, and teachers etc. For instance, a study done by Peng et al. (2012) discovered that in China subjective norm of students is notably associated with entrepreneurial intention. Likewise, Krithika and Venkatachalam (2014) asserted that in Bangalore subjective norm plays a key role and influences the entrepreneurial intention of business students. Furthermore, the findings of the study done by Rudhumbu et al. (2016) showed that entrepreneurship education inspired subjective norm of students and intentions towards entrepreneurship (Saraih et al., 2018).
 
Perceived behavioral control
 
Entrepreneurial self-efficacy, creativity, perseverance, and control of entrepreneurship business after graduation depend on the opinion to get involved in self-employed jobs (Muhammad et al., 2015). This is affected by the perception of access to essential skills, capital, and chances to carry out behavior. If an individual has such situational factors, he/she can develop the intention to carry out subscription behavior. On the contrary, if a person is unable to control the situation, he/she could not have the intention of carrying out specific behavior (Innan and Moustaghfir, 2012). The perceived behavioral control is related to self-efficacy concept which focuses on a person’s perception towards a behavior simplicity/ complexity. It is referred to control people beliefs towards various factors associated with the issues that could ease them or not (Yean et al., 2015). Pupils depend on professed behavioral control in a manner that it is students’ requirement to control their professed behavior either through what they have studied during entrepreneurial education or through their intuitions (Sultan et al., 2016).
 
Role of entrepreneurship education on mediating effect of self-efficacy
 
Entrepreneurial self-efficacy is defined as beliefs among persons’ capabilities to effectively carry out the tasks necessary to start and manage a new venture and their prospects toward the outcomes of starting a new business (Pihie and Bagheri, 2013). Entrepreneurship education has a relationship with entrepreneurial self-efficacy due to the impact of formal learning variable on one’s beliefs that he/she has the capabilities to carry out entrepreneurial jobs (Zhao et al., 2005). Mainly, this educational training can enhance significantly entrepreneurial self-efficacy by its 4 main components such as vicarious experience, enactive mastery, emotional arousal, and verbal persuasion. Malebana and Swanepoel (2014) explored entrepreneurial self-efficacy score in pupils exposed to three dissimilar levels of exposure to entrepreneurship program: zero exposure, six months and three years. The outcomes demonstrated that researchers with 3 years exposure to the entrepreneurship education have better entrepreneurial self-efficacy when compared with 2 other groups (Janssen, 2016). The study indicated that the effects of the perceived learning from the entrepreneurship-related courses, risk propensity on the entrepreneurial intentions and prior entrepreneurial experience were completely mediated by the entrepreneurial self-efficacy (Zhao et al., 2005).


 MATERIALS AND METHODS

It is a cross-sectional descriptive study in which 500 respondents residing in different areas of Lahore were included. Data were collected for this study from all the public and private universities of Lahore. It was taken from three major departments of all the universities: Engineering Science, and technical departments. Simple random sampling technique was used. Replies of respondents on the basis of 5 point's Likert scale (1-strongly agree to 5-strongly disagree) regarding entrepreneurial intention, attitude, subjective norms, such as normative believes, perceived behavior control, self-efficacy, and education were noted. Data collected through questionnaire were analyzed using the “Statistical Product and Service Solutions” (Hejase and Hejase, 2013) SPSS version 20 software. Descriptive statistics in the form of frequencies and percentages were calculated and data were presented in tables and graphs. Chi-square test was applied to know the association between different variables. Confidentiality of data was also ensured.


 RESULTS

Table 1 depicts that among 500 respondents, 150 (30.0%) were 20 to 25 years old, 280 (56.0%) were 26-30 years, 50 (10.0%) were 31-35 years and 15 (3.0%) were 36 to 40 years while only 5 (1.0%) respondents were above 40 years old. Out of these respondents, 350 (70.0%) were males and 150 (30.0%) were females. Among the 500 respondents, 180 (36.0%) were Punjabi, 220 (44.0%) Sindhi, 40 (8.0%) Balochi, 55 (11.0%) Pathan and 5 (1.0%) respondents belonged to other ethnic group. Most of the respondents 495 (99.0%) were Pakistani while 5 (1.0%) had other nationalities. As far as religion is concerned, 440 (88.0%) respondents were Muslim, 50 (10.0%) Christian, 2 (0.4%) Hindu and 8 (1.6%) respondents were from other religions. Likewise, 80 (16.0%) respondents were residing in cities, 280 (56.0%) in villages, 120 (24.0%) in towns and 20 (4.0%) in other areas. Among the 500 respondents, 10 (2.0%) had Ph.D. degrees, majority 440 (88.0%) had done their Masters, 30 (6.0%) had Diploma and 15 (3.0%) had certificates while 5(1.0%) had other qualifications. The result shows that 140 (28.0%) respondents area of study was Engineering, 180 (36.0%) Technical, 120 (24.0%) Science, 55 (11.0%) skilled work and 5(1.0%) respondents had another area of study. The table indicates that parents’ profession of 20 (4.0%) respondents were business, 280 (56.0%) salaried workers, 100 (20.0%) clerks, 90 (18.0%) were skilled works and 10 (2.0%) parents had other professions.
 
 
Table 2 indicates the entrepreneurial intention among respondents and found that 425 (85.0%) agreed that idea is appealing of one day starting their own business, 350 (70.0%) strongly agreed they will choose a career as an entrepreneur, 410 (82.0%) strongly agreed that they prefer to be an entrepreneur rather than an employee, 375 (75.0%) agreed that they want freedom to express themselves in their own business but 250 (50.0%) respondents strongly disagreed that they would be their own boss than have a secure job and 400 (80.0%) strongly agreed that they can only make big money if they are self-employed. Results related to entrepreneurial attitude showed that among these respondents, 400 (80.0%) strongly agreed that they have always worked hard so as to be among best in their field, 370 (74.0%) strongly agreed and believed concrete outcomes are essential in order to judge the business success, 350 (70.0%) agreed that they mostly sacrifice personal comfort so as to take benefit of business opportunities, 175 (35.0%) disagreed that they would rather be their own boss than have a secure job, 400 (80.0%) strongly agreed that they can earn much money only if they establish their own business and 325 (65.0%) agreed that they feel active while working with co-workers in a lively business environment.
 
 
Table 2 exhibits that 200 (40.0%) respondents were neutral that their closest family thinks that they should follow a career like an entrepreneur, and 285 (57.0%) agreed while 385 (77.0%) strongly agreed. Among the respondents, 400 (80.0%) strongly agreed that if they start their own business, success chances would be much high, 150(30.0%) agreed they have sufficient knowledge and skills to launch a business, 250 (50.0%) agreed they are able to develop/handle entrepreneurial project, 200 (40.0%) disagreed that entrepreneurs have good image in society and 250 (50.0%) respondents agreed that they have awareness about start-up support. Likewise, 250 (50.0%) respondents strongly agreed that they always can solve difficult issues if they try hard enough, 150 (30.0%) agreed that they are confident that they could handle unforeseen events efficiently, 250 (50.0%) agreed that they can solve various problems if they invest necessary effort, 200 (40.0%) strongly agreed that when they confronted with any problem, they can mostly find numerous solutions, 200 (40.0%) also strongly agreed that if they are in trouble, they can mostly think about a solution, 315 (63.0%) strongly agreed that they can mostly manage whatever comes their way and 240 (48.0%) agreed and said thanks to their resourcefulness, they understand how to manage unexpected situations.
 
Table 2 further demonstrates that 245 (49.0%) respondents strongly agreed that entrepreneurship course boosts their understanding regarding entrepreneurs’ attitudes, 200 (40.0%) strongly agreed that entrepreneurship course boosts their knowledge to both individuals and society, 250 (50.0%) respondents strongly agreed that entrepreneurship course boosts their knowledge of generating novel ideas, 350 (70.0%) strongly agreed that course boosts their knowledge regarding financial preparation for entrepreneurial project, 210 (42.0%) strongly agreed that course boosts their knowledge about planning a business, 275 (55.0%) agreed that entrepreneurship course boosts their skills to handle uncertainties and risks, 240 (48.0%) agreed that successful stories of local entrepreneurs motivate their entre-preneurial mind and 245 (49.0%) respondents strongly agreed and believed entrepreneurial skills are obtained through training.
 
Table 3 depicts the correlation between the role of entrepreneurship education and age. Significant results (P<0.05) were obtained regarding participants will choose a career as an entrepreneur, can earn much money if they establish their own business, their closest family think they should pursue career like entrepreneur, success chances much high if they start their business, can deal with unexpected events efficiently and entrepreneurship course boosts their understanding regarding generating novel ideas. Table 4 shows a correlation between the role of entrepreneurship education and gender. Significant results were found for all the above variables (Table 3) except participants will choose a career as an entrepreneur and entrepreneurship course boosts their understanding regarding generating novel ideas.
 
 
 
Like developed countries, the aptitude of students in Pakistan is also increasing toward entrepreneurship education. Keeping in mind its significance current study was conducted among 500 respondents to obtain appropriate outcomes. The current study is also consistent with finding from past studies in other countries. Attitude, social norms and social behavior are impacting our thinking; the results of this study vary in our setting. The study revealed that most of the participants (86.0%) were up to 30 years old and only 14.0% were above 30 years old, indicating that the majority have an ideal age in which people are more ambitious to start a business. But the findings of a study conducted by Mbuqe (2016) exhibited different scenario that only 13.1% respondents were up to 30 years old and the majority (86.9%) were above 30 years old. The study disclosed that the majority of the respondents (70.0%) were males and only 30.0% were females. Other major difference is that majority of the respondents, 70% were males and 30% were females due to our religious and social norms as compared to the other countries’ research. This is in contrast with the findings of a recent study carried out by Popescu et al. (2016) who reported that more than half (59.3%) of respondents were females and 40.7% were males.
 
A similar study conducted by Fayolle and Gailly (2015) reported education that focuses on entrepreneurship is considered a catalyst to develop entrepreneurial intentions among students. It was very encouraging to know that significant majority of respondents had an idea to start their own business due to entrepreneurial education, wanted to become an entrepreneur rather than an employee and can earn big money through self-employment.
 
Remeikiene et al. (2013) indicated in their study that students’ entrepreneurial attitude is the main factor that motivates them to start a successful business. The findings of our study showed that major proportion of participants believed that concrete outcomes are essential for business success, they work hard and sacrifice to get benefit about business opportunities and can earn big money if they establish their own business. In a study, Krithika and Venkatachalam (2014) elucidated that subjective norm plays a leading role to influence the entrepreneurial intention among business students. It is significant to mention that majority of respondents believed their closest friends and people that are important to them desire they should pursue a career like an entrepreneur except for their closest family. As far as perceived behavior control is concerned, the mainstream of respondents had the desire to start their own business due to high chance of success as they have ample knowledge and expertise to establish a business and in society entrepreneurs have a good image.
 
Janssen (2016) demonstrated in his study that students of entrepreneurial education have better self-efficacy when compared with other groups. It is worth-mentioning here that a massive portion of respondents believed that they can always solve problems if they try hard, can efficiently deal with unforeseen events and if facing any problem can find numerous solutions through necessary efforts. With the passage of time entrepreneurship education is getting more importance worldwide. Sultan et al. (2016) asserted that during the last two decades a significant growth has been observed about entrepreneurship education in the majority of developed countries. In this association, a major proportion of participants showed interest and agreed that entrepreneurship course boosts their understanding about attitudes of entrepreneurs, about society and individuals, generating innovative ideas, planning a business and to deal with risk and uncertainties while there is need to acquire entrepreneurial skills through training. 
 
 

 


 CONCLUSION

Role of entrepreneurship education cannot be underestimated as it provides individuals with better opportunities to establish their own business. The idea behind this study is “The Theory of The Planned Behavior”. This theory has been described in descriptive forms not in hypothesis form. Through the help of the planned behavior theory it is proved that the role of entrepreneurship education has a positive impact on students’ intention. Actually entrepreneurship is a plan about establishing a new business, that is, why the antecedents of the theory of planned behavior are very supportive of the enhancements of the students’ intention. The study concluded that entrepreneurship education has a positive role on students’ intention and the mediating effect of self-efficacy. Further studies are required to be conducted on a vast level to assess the role of entrepreneurship education on students’ intention to provide them with better opportunities.

 


 CONFLICT OF INTERESTS

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

 



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