The role of perceived university support in the formation of students' entrepreneurial intention.

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Saeed, S. ; Yousafzai, S. Y. ; Yani-de-Soriano, M. ; Muffatto, M. (2015)

Entrepreneurship education is central to student entrepreneurship. Previous research has attempted to understand the role of entrepreneurship education in the formation of students' entrepreneurial intention and behavior, albeit in an isolated manner. Universities can support entrepreneurship in many ways, but it is important to measure students' perception of the support that they receive in order to understand the extent of such support and its impact on students. The current study proposed and tested an integrative, multiperspective framework. We have hypothesized that the three dimensions of university support, that is, perceived educational support, concept development support, and business development support, together with institutional support, shape students' entrepreneurial self-efficacy. In turn, entrepreneurial self-efficacy and individual motivations constitute the fundamental elements of the intention to start a business. A sample of 805 university students took part in the study and data were analyzed using structural equation modeling. Our findings showed that perceived educational support exerted the highest influence on entrepreneurial self-efficacy, followed by concept development support, business development support, and institutional support. Self-efficacy in turn had a significant effect on entrepreneurial intention. Individual motivations such as self-realization, recognition, and role had an additional impact on intention. However, intention was not related to financial success, innovation, and independence. The findings suggest that a holistic perspective provides a more meaningful understanding of the role of perceived university support in the formation of students' entrepreneurial intention. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.
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