Entrepreneurial intention (EI) is defined as “the conscious state of mind that precedes action and directs attention toward entrepreneurial behaviors such as starting a new business and becoming an entrepreneur”
Considerable agreement exists about the importance of promoting entrepreneurship in both developed and developing countries. In advanced industrialized countries, such as the United States, entrepreneurship has long been considered as a way to spur innovation and technological progress, engender competition, and create employment, leading to economic growth and national prosperity (Holmgren and From 2005). In less developed countries, more governments see entrepreneurship as a way to stimulate economic development and tackle serious economic and social challenges. So how can countries encourage young people to become entrepreneurs?
Over the past decades entrepreneurship has become a growing area of interest to both researchers and governments around the world due to increasing global competition, fast-changing technological advances, and developing market economies. Because entrepreneurship is increasingly seen as a way of dealing with global challenges it becomes relevant to understand how young people might develop into entrepreneurs
Innovation is the process of turning ideas and knowledge into new value through creative thinking. Innovativeness is an important element of entrepreneurship. Innovativeness is the ability and tendency of entrepreneurial leaders to think creatively and recognize opportunities to produce novel and practical ideas, create new markets, introduce new products and services (Chen 2007; Gupta et al. 2004).
Risk-taking propensity refers to a tendency to take or avoid risks. Entrepreneurship has always been associated with risk-taking. Research findings also provide evidence that individuals with a greater risk acceptance had stronger levels of entrepreneurial intention (Hmieleski and Corbett 2006).
Competitiveness has not been typically emphasized as an entrepreneurial personality trait in entrepreneurship research, yet it seems to be a convincing personality trait related to new venture creation. Decades ago, Schumpeter stressed the role of competitiveness as major motivation in engaging in entrepreneurial activity.
As to the social dynamics of entrepreneurship, the main focus in this study is on the influence of immediate social factors that students are exposed to. By immediate social conditions, we mean experiential activities – what we call “creative catalysts” – and participation in entrepreneurship education.
Entrepreneurship education is all about the development and improvement of entrepreneurial inspiration, awareness, knowledge and skills that are much needed to successfully establish and run an entrepreneurial venture. Many authors (e.g., Lee et al. 2005; De Jorge-Moreno et al. 2012) stress the importance of entrepreneurial education in cultivating the entrepreneurial spirit in individuals who could start new ventures.
Entrepreneurial family exposure
As to the social dynamics of entrepreneurship, this study focuses on the informal institutions that impact on the individual’s entrepreneurial intention. We assume that individuals are influenced by the even more immediate social environment characterized by closer links to family or friends and relatives. Research suggests that with respect to the source of the family background and role models affect entrepreneurial intentions through attitudes (Krueger 1993; Delmar and Davidsson 2000).
Economic and political conditions of the home country
The intention and market-oriented behaviours of an entrepreneur should also be influenced by the existing and anticipated economic and political infrastructure of the home country. Aldrich and Wiedenmayer (1993) claims that the socio-political environment of a country can be so powerful that it may create or destroy entrepreneurship. For example, a “hostile” economic environment, characterized by severe market fluctuations, high inflation and unemployment rates and economic instability may produce scepticism and discourage the potential entrepreneur from taking action.