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Cultural factors and entrepreneurial intention: The role of entrepreneurship education

Marina Solesvik (Stord/Haugesund University College, Haugesund, Norway; School of Economics and Business, University of Tromsø, Tromsø, Norway and Department for Engineering and Business Studies, Bergen University College, Bergen, Norway)
Paul Westhead (Bodø Graduate School of Business, University of Nordland, Bodø, Norway and Durham University Business School, Durham University, Durham, UK)
Harry Matlay (Business School, University of the West of Scotland, Hamilton, UK)

Education + Training

ISSN: 0040-0912

Article publication date: 4 November 2014




Universities provide entrepreneurship-specific education (ESE) to equip students with the skills required to pursue entrepreneurial careers in new firms and innovative private and public sector organizations. Building upon insights from entrepreneurial event theory, cultural values theory and human capital theory, the purpose of this paper is to explore the linkage between perceived local cultural environment, ESE investment and the intensity of entrepreneurial intention with regard to becoming an entrepreneur.


Survey information from 321 students from three universities in the Ukraine was hand collected. Hierarchical multiple ordinary least squares regression analysis and slope analysis were used to test presented hypotheses.


Analysis revealed that students who cited a perceived desirability and perceived feasibility for entrepreneurship, initiative taking culture and participation in ESE reported significantly higher intensity of entrepreneurial intention. Conversely, students who cited the capability beliefs culture factor reported significantly lower intensity of intention. ESE interactions with perceived cultural factors as well as perceived desirability and perceived feasibility for entrepreneurship were not significantly associated with higher intensity of entrepreneurial intention.

Research limitations/implications

This study was limited to three universities in the Ukraine and university students who followed business or engineering courses. The generalizability of the findings might be limited to this context. Additional quantitative and qualitative research is warranted to explore the external validity of presented findings with regard to other countries, universities and courses.

Practical implications

Practitioners in transition economies are seeking to increase the rate of new firms formation in order to encourage economic development and to reduce social and regional inequality, but they also want existing organizations to grow utilizing the skills and capabilities of talented graduates with transferable skills. This study has confirmed that it is unrealistic to assume that ESE alone can alleviate cultural barriers to an entrepreneurial intention. The authors detected that participation in ESE was associated with higher entrepreneurial intention, but failed to highlight the specific entrepreneurial skills and capabilities associated with a higher entrepreneurial intention.


The authors extend the conceptual base by exploring novel hypotheses relating to the assumed direct role ESE plays in promoting a higher intensity of entrepreneurial intention in a transition context. Notably, the authors propose that ESE will moderate the relationships between the cultural factors perceived by students and their reported intensity of entrepreneurial intention. The authors suggest that ESE can raise awareness of positive cultural values that stimulate an entrepreneurial intention. In addition, the authors suggest that ESE can foster the accumulation and mobilization of skills, capabilities and knowledge required to circumvent attitudinal and resource barriers to enterprise.



Corrigendum: It has come to the attention of the publisher that the article Solesvik, M., Westhead, P. and Matlay, H. (2014), “Cultural factors and entrepreneurial intention: the role of entrepreneurship education”, published in Education + Training, Vol. 56 No. 8/9, pp. 680-696 has been found to include significant similarities to a previous publication by the authors, which was not referenced in this article.

The similar source is Z. Solesvik, M., Westhead, P., Matlay, H. and N. Parsyak, V. (2013), “Entrepreneurial assets and mindsets: benefit from university entrepreneurship education investment”, Education + Training, Vol. 55 No. 8/9, pp. 748-762. The author guidelines for Education + Training state that articles must be original and fully referenced. The authors sincerely apologise for this.


Solesvik, M., Westhead, P. and Matlay, H. (2014), "Cultural factors and entrepreneurial intention: The role of entrepreneurship education", Education + Training, Vol. 56 No. 8/9, pp. 680-696.



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