Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, vol. 15, issue 2 (2008) pp. 405-418
Purpose - This paper aims to identify the profile of the potential entrepreneur student in what concerns the personal attributes and motivations for start-ups' creation. Design/methodology/approach - A review of literature related to the entrepreneur profile is made in order to justify the importance of the theme. Through some studies it was possible to identify a diversity of works and authors that present some aspects which contribute to the characterisation of entrepreneur individuals. The present research uses primary data obtained by means of a questionnaire, involving a sample of students, which were currently engaged in a graduation course at the University of Beira Interior. The questionnaire was administrated by interviews conducted in the classrooms of the University's faculties. The collected data were submitted to a multivariate statistical analysis. Findings - Research findings include the existence of a typology of two distinct groups of students, respectively designated by 'The accommodated independents' and 'The confidents', according to the most outstanding characteristics related with several attributes and motivations presented by each of them. Practical implications - The identification of the entrepreneurs' characteristics and the knowledge of the potential business creator students' profile may be important for the development of an adequate educational programme directed to the entrepreneurship education and start-up processes. Originality/value - The paper identifies some important characteristics that are common in entrepreneurs. The findings could be used both to promote entrepreneurship in our education systems and to identify the best practices.
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