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Educational Context and Entrepreneurial Intentions of University Students: An Italian Study

Entrepreneurship Education

ISBN: 978-1-78714-281-7, eISBN: 978-1-78714-280-0

Publication date: 24 May 2017


In this chapter the authors explore some drivers of entrepreneurial intentions using the theory of planned behaviour on a sample of Italian students. Our objective is twofold. First, the study investigates if both perceiving that becoming an entrepreneur is risky and having non-financial career motivations affect university students’ entrepreneurial intentions. Second, it investigates if students’ perception that university education has an effect on their entrepreneurial skills and attitudes and their perception that the university favours and supports entrepreneurship moderate the relationship between cognitive antecedents of intentions (i.e. attitudes, norms and control) and entrepreneurial intentions. This chapter presents an analysis of a sample of more than 1,500 students from the University of Padova (Italy). According to the national ranking, this University – which is one of Italy’s oldest and largest universities – has been classified as the one with the best Faculty of Economics and Statistics in terms of teaching for more than 10 years among 45 Italian public universities. Data from the Global University Entrepreneurial Spirit Students’ Survey (GUESSS) carried out in 2013 was used. Our analysis highlights not only on the importance of individual characteristics, but also on the role of the learning experience students have during their university studies. This means that it is important to consider how much students perceive that their university education has an effect on entrepreneurial skills and attitudes.



Tognazzo, A., Gianecchini, M. and Gubitta, P. (2017), "Educational Context and Entrepreneurial Intentions of University Students: An Italian Study", Entrepreneurship Education (Contemporary Issues in Entrepreneurship Research, Vol. 7), Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 47-74.



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