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Gender, risk-taking and entrepreneurial intentions: assessing the impact of higher education longitudinally

Eda Gurel (Tourism and Hotel Management Department, Bilkent University, Ankara, Turkey)
Melih Madanoglu (Kennesaw State University, Kennesaw, Georgia, USA)
Levent Altinay (Oxford Brookes University, Oxford, UK)

Education + Training

ISSN: 0040-0912

Article publication date: 29 April 2021

Issue publication date: 1 June 2021




This longitudinal study assesses whether higher education has the same impact on the entrepreneurial intentions of women and men with regard to their propensity to risk-taking in particular.


A self-administrated survey instrument was used to collect data from students studying business and engineering at five selected universities in Turkey. The survey was carried out in two intervals: first year and fourth year of studies. A total of 215 student participated in both waves.


The findings indicate that the impact of education is stronger for women than for men as the relationship between gender and entrepreneurial intention is moderated by education and risk-taking propensity in that the entrepreneurial intention of women with high or low risk-taking propensity increases when they acquire higher education. In particular, the boost is more noticeable for women with low risk-taking propensity. On the contrary, the effect of education is negative for men with both high risk-taking propensity and low risk-taking propensity.

Practical implications

This study has identified that the impact of education is different for women and men. Based on these findings, Turkey could offer gender-specific entrepreneurship education in higher education for individuals who could then exploit their entrepreneurial capacity and thus contribute to the social and economic well-being of the country.


This paper makes two distinct contributions. First, this is one of the few longitudinal studies in the literature which demonstrates the differences between females and males in terms of their entrepreneurial intention and shows how risk-taking and education influence entrepreneurial intention. Second, it offers new insights into entrepreneurship research from a developing-country but emerging-economy context.



The authors acknowledge the valuable contributions of Associate Professor Ayşe Baş Collins in the development of the questionnaire. The authors would also like to thank the two anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments.


Gurel, E., Madanoglu, M. and Altinay, L. (2021), "Gender, risk-taking and entrepreneurial intentions: assessing the impact of higher education longitudinally", Education + Training, Vol. 63 No. 5, pp. 777-792.



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