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Entrepreneurial characteristics amongst university students: Some insights for entrepreneurship education and training in Turkey

Yonca Gürol (Business Department, Yildiz Technical University, Besiktas Kampuso Barboros, Bulvari/Besiktas, Istanbul, Turkey)
Nuray Atsan (Akdeniz University, Işletme Bölümü, Antalya, Turkey)

Education + Training

ISSN: 0040-0912

Article publication date: 1 January 2006




The purpose of this research is to explore the entrepreneurship profile of Turkish university students and to make an evaluation for their entrepreneurship orientation by comparing them with non‐entrepreneurially inclined students.


In this study, six traits, namely need for achievement, locus of control, risk taking propensity, tolerance for ambiguity, innovativeness and self‐confidence, are used to define the entrepreneurial profile of students. The study is conducted on a random sample of fourth year university students (n = 400) from two Turkish universities. The question “what are you planning to do after graduation?” was asked to students in order to discriminate between those who are entrepreneurially inclined and those who are not. Respondents who have a response saying that “I'm planning to form my own business venture” are accepted as potential entrepreneurs. Then, the entrepreneurial traits of these students are subjected to a comparative analysis with other students who do not plan to start their own businesses, and thus are not included in the group of potential entrepreneurs. In short, a 40‐item questionnaire is administered to students, with questions related to demographic variables, entrepreneurial inclination, and six entrepreneurial traits above cited (with Likert type items).


The results of the t‐tests showed that, except for tolerance for ambiguity and self‐confidence, all entrepreneurial traits are found to be higher in entrepreneurially inclined students, as compared to entrepreneurially non‐inclined students. That is, these students are found to have higher risk taking propensity, internal locus of control, higher need for achievement and higher innovativeness.

Research limitations/implications

The study comprises fourth year students only, and the percentage of students in the sample who wish to be entrepreneurs is quite low (18 per cent). Also, there are only two universities included in the sample. Further study can be conducted on a wider basis to lead to more general conclusions.

Practical implications

This study provides insight into entrepreneurship education, as to which entrepreneurial characteristics can be developed to raise good entrepreneurs.


This study contributes to understanding the differences between characteristics of entrepreneurially inclined and non‐inclined students at the edge of graduation.



Gürol, Y. and Atsan, N. (2006), "Entrepreneurial characteristics amongst university students: Some insights for entrepreneurship education and training in Turkey", Education + Training, Vol. 48 No. 1, pp. 25-38.



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