Entrepreneurship, in the form of new firms, benefits the economy in many ways. It is essential to creating new economic activity.
Entrepreneurial activity is especially beneficial for developing countries both at a micro level – in terms of creating stable and sustainable employment for individuals – and at a macro level – where it significantly increases a nation's GDP.
More recently intentions models (Bird, 1988; Boyd & Vozikis, 1994) that focus on attitudes and their antecedents have been proposed to better explain the entrepreneurship process.
Davidsson (1995) related personal variables including age, gender, education, vicarious experience and experiences of change to a variety of attitudes that influenced conviction and entrepreneurial intentions (Peterman and Kennedy, 2003).
Adegbite and Abereijo (2006) and Wang and Wong (2004) also showed that there is a relationship between family background and entrepreneurial behaviour.
This surpasses the figure of 65% found in a study of young people in the United States and 68.2% in Australia (Walstad & Kourilsky, 1999).
One in every five students was also found to be involved in some business while still in school.
If Nigerian students are as interested in entrepreneurship as these figures show, one wonders why there are so few start-ups and numerous unemployed graduates?
Correlates -0.086 0.162** Rate level of concern about risk involved in starting own business 0.122* 0.197** Have you taken any business/entrepreneurship course/programme before? 0.128 -0.072 Is the business on-going? 0.138* 0.128 Any close relative of yours initiated/run a business before? 0.140* 0.025 Is the business on-going? 0.001 -0.177* Father's range of monthly income 0.014 -0.122* Marital status Are you interested in starting your own business? Are you presently engaged in any business? Independent Variables
Summary of Correlates Number of Correlates Variable 4 Entrepreneurial involvement 3 Entrepreneurial interest
Students’ present involvement in entrepreneurship is significantly explained by their marital status, the monthly income of their father, whether or not they have taken at least one course in entrepreneurship and their level of concern about entrepreneurial risk.
In contrast, entrepreneurial interest is only explained by the incidence of a close relative who is or had been an entrepreneur and whether or not the student had taken an entrepreneurial course.
An important policy direction that these results point towards is the potential of entrepreneurial training to stimulate students’ interest in entrepreneurship
It is clear by the emergence of personal and family-related variables as important that while entrepreneurship could be taught, the actual practice of entrepreneurship depends on a broad range of factors, with socio-economic ones being very significant.