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A Multi-level Study of Entrepreneurship Education among Pakistani University Students

  • Saadat Saeed EMAIL logo , Moreno Muffatto and Shumaila Yousafzai


This study examines how a university’s support impacts students’ entrepreneurial intentions and finds that entrepreneurship education, concept-development support, and business-development support increase such intentions. The university role is critical to the growth of entrepreneurial intentions, and we argue that an individual’s decision in favor of or against becoming an entrepreneur depends on the multi-level context provided by the university. Our findings suggest that students perceive the education and concept-development support (educational and cognitive) from their universities as highly influential on their entrepreneurial intentions. We conclude that a multi-level perspective offers a meaningful understanding of entrepreneurship and offer suggestions for university management and policy-makers for enhancing entrepreneurship. A sample of 805 undergraduate students in universities in Pakistan took part in the study.

Appendix – Measurement items and response format

Self-employment intention – 5-point Likert scale from 1 = “completely disagree” to 5 = “completely agree”: (1) “Have you ever seriously considered becoming an entrepreneur?” (dichotomous scale of “yes/no”); (2) “I will make every effort to start and run my own firm.”; (3) “I’ve got firm intention to start a firm someday.”

Organizational-level factors

Perceived educational support – 5-point Likert scale from 1 = “completely disagree” to 5 = “completely agree”: (1) “My university offers elective courses on entrepreneurship.”; (2) “My university offers project work focused on entrepreneurship.”; (3) “My university offers internship focused on entrepreneurship.”; (4) “My university offers a bachelor or master study on entrepreneurship.”; (5) “My university arranges conferences/workshops on entrepreneurship.”; (6) “My university brings entrepreneurial students in contact with each other.”

Perceived concept-development support – 5-point Likert scale from 1 = “completely disagree” to 5 = “completely agree”: (1) “My university creates awareness of entrepreneurship as a possible career choice.”; (2) “My university motivates students to start a new business.”; (3) “My university provides students with ideas to start a new business firm.”; (4) “My university provides students with the knowledge needed to start a new business.”

Perceived business-development support – 5-point Likert scale from 1 = “completely disagree” to 5 = “completely agree”: (1) “My university provides students with the financial means to start a new business.”; (2) “My university uses its reputation to support students that start a new business.”; (3) “My university serves as a lead customer of students that start a new business.”

Individual-level factors

Need for achievement – 5-point Likert scale from 1 = “completely disagree” to 5 = “completely agree”: (1) “Hard work is something I like to avoid.” ®; (2) “I believe I would enjoy having authority over other people.”; (3) I would like an important job where people would look up to me.”

Need for independence – 5-point Likert scale from 1 = “to no extent” to 5 = “to a very great extent”: (1) “Get greater flexibility for personal life is important to me.”; (2) “Free to adapt my approach to work is important to me.”

Risk-taking propensity – 5-point Likert scale from 1 = “to no extent” to 5 = “to a very great extent”: (1) “To what extent do you agree or disagree with the following statements?”; (2) “I enjoy the excitement of uncertainty and risk.”; (3) “I am willing to take significant risk if the possible rewards are high enough.”

Self-realization – 5-point Likert scale from 1 = “to no extent” to 5 = “to a very great extent”: (1) “It is important for me to challenge myself.”; (2) “It is important for me to fulfil a personal vision.” (3) “It is important for me to grow and learn as a person.”

Financial success – 5-point Likert scale from 1 = “to no extent” to 5 = “to a very great extent”: (1) “It is important for me to earn a larger personal income.”; (2) “It is important for me to have financial security.”; (3) It is important for me to build great wealth and high income.”

Social norms – 5-point Likert scale from 1 = “to no extent” to 5 = “to a very great extent”: (1) “It is important for me to achieve something and to get recognition.”; (2) “It is important for me to gain a higher position for myself.

Entrepreneurial self-efficacy – 5-point Likert scale (1) = None, (2) = Basic, (3) = Competent, (4) = Advanced, (5) = Expert: What is your skill level for performing each of the following roles and tasks? 26 items were used. Respondents were asked to rate their skill level in marketing, innovation, management, risk-management, and financial control.

Social network support – 5-point Likert scale from 1 = “completely disagree” to 5 = “completely agree”: (1) “If I decided to be an entrepreneur, my family members will support me.”; (2) “If I decided to be an entrepreneur, my friends will support me.”


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Published Online: 2014-1-8
Published in Print: 2014-7-1

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