Factors affecting entrepreneurial intention levels: a role for education
A considerable agreement exists about the importance of promoting entrepreneurship to stimulate economic development and employment generation. In particular, entrepreneurship education has been considered one of the key instruments to increase the entrepreneurial attitudes of both potential and nascent entrepreneurs. Nevertheless, the factors that determine the individual’s decision to start a venture are still not completely clear. Cognitive approaches have attracted considerable interest recently. But the explaining capacity of personality traits or demographic characteristics is still considered. Therefore, there is a need to clarify which elements play the most influential role in shaping the personal decision to start a firm. This paper tries to contribute to filling this gap by providing empirically-based suggestions for the design of improved entrepreneurship education initiatives. The empirical analysis is based on two essential elements: firstly, an already validated instrument (EIQ); secondly, a statistical method (factor-regression procedure) which is not dependent on any theoretical approach. It uses all the information collected through the questionnaire items, selecting them solely based on their capacity to explain the dependent variable. Results will allow the design of more effective education initiatives. They suggest that personal attitude and perceived behavioural control are the most relevant factors explaining entrepreneurial intentions. Thus, based on these results, a number of considerations about the most effective role of education in promoting and developing attitudes and intentions towards entrepreneurship are considered. Besides, the EIQ could be used as an evaluation instrument for entrepreneurial education programmes.