Academic journal article International Journal of Entrepreneurship

Relationship between Entrepreneurs' Managerial Competencies and Innovative Start-Up Intentions in University Students: An Iranian Case

Academic journal article International Journal of Entrepreneurship

Relationship between Entrepreneurs' Managerial Competencies and Innovative Start-Up Intentions in University Students: An Iranian Case

Article excerpt

INTRODUCTION

Promoting entrepreneurship and start-up intentions are considered critical factors not only for economic growth but also for contributing to the adaption of new knowledge and technology into the national economies. In this regard, the development of entrepreneurship and start-up intentions is heavily emphasized in a knowledge-based economy and in turn university students' start-up intentions are highlighted by policy makers as a means to solve the problem of high unemployment rate in many countries (Turker and Selcuk 2008; Leong 2008; Nabi and Linan 2011). This study focused on entrepreneurs' managerial competencies that have been scarcely dealt with in previous studies on factors affecting start-up intentions and that can be especially sensitive for university students who would like to initially begin their start-ups. In particular, the relationship between the entrepreneurs' managerial competencies such as administrative competencies, knowledge and technologies, network building competencies, communication skills, business model development and attaining finance capability and start-up intention including self-employing and innovative were investigated.

Fostering entrepreneurs' managerial competencies is a very important factor in developing educational systems in order to enhance student's start-up intentions. However, many questions in regard to the influences of entrepreneurs' managerial competencies on individuals' start-up intentions are remained to date unanswered (Krueger and Brazeal 1994). Specifically, questions about the effect of entrepreneurs' managerial competencies on self-employing or innovative startup intentions are investigated separately in this study. Self-employing or solo- self-employed entrepreneurs are defined as individuals who prefer to set up their business individually and introduce their own capital, ability and business acuity to run the enterprise successfully whereas innovative start-up means an independent innovators who synthesize new ideas and diverse information and in turn introduce new products, services, technologies and markets through the perception of opportunities (Danhof 1949; Vesper 1980).

In recent decades, Iranian government has showed an increasing interest in promoting entrepreneurship among university students. In addition, the government has highly prioritized policies supporting entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship which is directly related to the necessity of new industry development for economic growth as a developing country and finding out alternative solution for the high unemployed rate of university graduates. Actually, a report shows that entrepreneurship in Iranian university students has increased between the years 2000 to present more than ever (Keyhani and Jafari Moghadam 2008). However, the aspects of what should be educated to promote university students entrepreneurship effectively in terms of managerial competencies have not often been dealt with in previous studies. Therefore, this study focus on 'entrepreneurs' managerial competencies that are essentially required to provoke university student startup intentions. The result of this study in particular can contribute to the improvement or new development of education system to promote entrepreneurship.

This study was conducted in Iranian universities where the average entrepreneurs are young university graduates with more than 50% of between twenty-five and forty- four years of age. (GEM 2014; Zali 2014). For this purpose, a structured questionnaire was developed by framing relevant questions under each of the seven core independent factors and a survey on university students was conducted. The questions were developed based on previous studies and were then distributed to university students in top Iranian universities to analyze the relationship between the seven independent factors and start-up intentions. Statistical method such as exploratory factor analysis (EFA), confirmatory factor analysis (CFA), and Partial Least Square regression were applied to analyze the relationship between selected factors. …

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