Academic journal article Asian Social Science

Entrepreneurship Education as a Catalyst of Business Start-Ups: A Study on Malaysian Community College Students

Academic journal article Asian Social Science

Entrepreneurship Education as a Catalyst of Business Start-Ups: A Study on Malaysian Community College Students

Article excerpt

Abstract

This study investigates the effect of entrepreneurship education on the Malaysian community college students' inclination towards entrepreneurship. It is built on the previous study by Ooi (2008) which examined the university students' inclination towards entrepreneurship. A sample consisting of 235 students were drawn from four community colleges located in the Malaysian northern region. The students were in the final year of their diploma studies in various disciplines. A survey questionnaire was employed to elicit responses concerning their entrepreneurship inclination and characteristics. Descriptive statistics were used to analyse respondents' characteristics and Partial Least Square Structural Equation Modelling (SEM-PLS) was employed in determining the relationship among the variables of the study. The results of the study indicated that 51 per cent of the community college students would consider commencing a business as their future vocation, whilst 33 per cent stated that they are probably to start a new business venture after completion of their studies. This could be attributed to the effort taken by the community colleges in promoting entrepreneurship among students. The entrepreneurial factors: role models and the role played by the community colleges in promoting entrepreneurship showed a statistically significant positive influence on community college students' decision to pursue an entrepreneurial career. The Partial Least Square - Multi Group Analysis (PLS-MGA) employed for moderating the personal background variables indicated no significant differences on path coefficients between the various groups across gender and working experience. An exception was the effect of role models on entrepreneurial inclination, which was significantly higher with those participants without working experience. Recommendations and future research direction are delivered in relation to the findings of this study.

Keywords: community colleges, inclination towards entrepreneurship, role models, Malaysia

1. Introduction

The magnitude of entrepreneurship as an important key that stimulate and facilitate economic growth has become the focal point of many parties such as policymakers, economists, academics and even students of higher education institution (Luthje & Prugl, 2006; Ooi, 2008). Entrepreneurship as such has been a trendy topic and is attracting a growing interest in academia across the globe (Levie, 1999; Nasiru, Ooi, & Bhatti, 2014). The increasing number of offerings in entrepreneurship at institutions of higher learning can be generally explained by two main reasons: the ability of entrepreneurs to create job opportunities and the need for individuals to obtain business knowledge and skills through education. Entrepreneurship education, through its function, has been extolled as being able to establish and enhance awareness, and consequently encourage self-employment as a cherished choice of career among young and energetic people (Fleming, 1996). Hence, institutions of higher learning are burdened with an indispensable role as a principal source for the would-be entrepreneurs in various business activities such as biotechnology and information technology. Levie (1999), for example, found that institutions of higher learning such as colleges in the U.K., Australia and U.S. offer training in the entrepreneurial study to assist in creating awareness among students that considers entrepreneurship as promising career choice.

Malaysia as a developing country has pushed entrepreneurship development forward to the position of utmost importance. It is clear that the Government pays much attention to entrepreneurship in the country with a variety of support initiatives and policies with regards to financing opportunities and also the availability of physical infrastructure and business advisory services, particularly to the youths (Sarimah, Armanurah & Amir, 2013). In line with the Malaysian government's dream to join the comity of the developed nation around the year 2020, human capital development is prioritised in order to create competent, dynamic and resilient graduate entrepreneurs (Economic Planning Unit, 2010). …

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