The central research questions which the paper aims to answer are: What are the entrepreneurial intentions of university students in different European regions? What are the factors that most contribute to entrepreneurial intentions and the potential differences between the regions?
This cross‐sectional study explores the prospective career paths of 988 university students from eastern and western Germany as well as from central Portugal. In exploring the “regional dimension” it uses a wide range of variables such as demographic profile, social background, motives for occupational choice and participation in entrepreneurship education.
Just a small fraction of students is disposed to step into self‐employment, and the vast majority has not yet made the decision. When characterizing the potential “founders”, the findings reveal a non or weak influence of demographic profile, social background and participation in entrepreneurship education, but the underlying motives for occupational choice as well as the “regional dimension” are highly relevant.
Since only data from three universities have been analyzed, a simple generalization should be made cautiously. For this reason, it is suggested that further research be conducted to detect regional differences. In addition, students were asked about their entrepreneurial intentions in some cases years before their occupational choices were made. As their perception may alter in the future, longitudinal studies could compensate for this restriction.
The paper finds several motives predominantly related to the intention to enter an entrepreneurial career, all of them of a non‐economic nature. Furthermore, it uncovered the existence of a “regional dimension”, which is the incising element for molding entrepreneurial individuals. When universities intend to fulfill their mission in fostering entrepreneurship, the importance of entrepreneurship education should not be overestimated.
Franco, M., Haase, H. and Lautenschläger, A. (2010), "Students' entrepreneurial intentions: an inter‐regional comparison", Education + Training, Vol. 52 No. 4, pp. 260-275. https://doi.org/10.1108/00400911011050945Download as .RIS
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