Entrepreneurial intention and university: A necessary relationship in regions with high level of unemployment

Juan Diego Borrero-Sánchez, Encarna Borrero-Domínguez


Purpose: Although university entrepreneurship education as a predictor of entrepreneurial intention (EI) has been verified in the academic literature, few studies have analysed its influence in regions with low entrepreneurial activity. This research provides a new point of view by contrasting students' perceptions with what entrepreneurs consider most relevant. We propose an integrative and multi-perspective framework based on expectancy theory and the theory of planned behaviour, which includes the moderating effect of gender and family imprinting.

Design/methodology/approach: A valid sample of 108 business students from the University of Huelva (Spain) served as the basis of the study, whose data were analysed using consistent partial least squares (PLSc) to validate the scales and subsequently test the hypotheses. In addition, 54 valid questionnaires from local entrepreneurs were used for the comparative analysis between entrepreneurs and students.

Findings: Our findings showed that the elements associated with university support have a significant, albeit negative, impact on students' intentions to become entrepreneurs. In terms of moderating variables, no significant differences were found by gender, but significant differences were found in the group with entrepreneurial parents. In relation to the determinants of entrepreneurial success, it was found that the students' conceptions of entrepreneurship were closer to those of the entrepreneurs in Huelva than to those of the successful entrepreneurs.

Originality/value: This paper contributes to the academic debate on whether universities in general, and business schools in particular, should promote entrepreneurship as the core of education. We believe that these results, despite the specific and limited scope of the study, may be of great interest for university staff in regions with high levels of structural unemployment and low rates of total early-stage entrepreneurial activity (TEA) to incorporate into their academic programmes.


Entrepreneurial Intention, Higher Education, Partial Least Squares, gender, entrepreneurship

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3926/ic.1732

Licencia de Creative Commons 

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Intangible Capital, 2004-2023

Online ISSN: 1697-9818; Print ISSN: 2014-3214; DL: B-33375-2004

Publisher: OmniaScience