Relationship Between Entrepreneurial Competencies and Entrepreneurial Intention Among South African University Students: A Gender Perspective
Keywords:entrepreneurial competencies, gender, entrepreneurship education, entrepreneurial intention, university students
Promoting entrepreneurial activity is considered vital for stimulating job creation, innovation, and economic development. However, prior research emphasises the importance of entrepreneurs’ confidence in their capability or skills as a driver in their decision to launch a new venture, and in facilitating opportunity recognition on which the entrepreneurial process rests. Thus, success in launching, managing, and ensuring the survival and growth of a new venture is dependent on entrepreneurs’ competencies. Entrepreneurial competencies can be a differentiating factor between individuals with strong entrepreneurial intentions and those who have no entrepreneurial intentions. Despite the broad nature and variety of entrepreneurial competencies, there is some consensus among researchers that entrepreneurial competencies are learnable, and they can be developed through entrepreneurship education. Due to the realisation of their importance, there has been growing concerted research efforts directed at uncovering the nature and types, and the role of entrepreneurial competencies in achieving venture performance, and how they can be taught. Despite the fact that individuals can be taught to acquire entrepreneurial competencies, there is paucity of research on the effect of entrepreneurship education on entrepreneurial competencies. The objectives of the study were to determine gender differences in entrepreneurial competencies and entrepreneurial intention, test the relationship between gender and entrepreneurial competencies, to determine the effect of entrepreneurship education on entrepreneurial competencies and entrepreneurial intention, and the relationship between entrepreneurial competencies and entrepreneurial intention. The study was conducted based on a quantitative survey in which 585 South African university students completed a structured questionnaire. Data were analysed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) by means of regression analysis, Mann-Whitney U test and descriptive statistics. Findings indicate that entrepreneurial competencies had a significant positive relationship with entrepreneurial intention. Entrepreneurship education had an insignificant relationship with entrepreneurial competencies, and no significant differences were found between entrepreneurial competencies of the respondents who had had entrepreneurship education and those who did not. The results further revealed that gender had a significant positive relationship with entrepreneurial competencies. Additionally, the results revealed significant gender differences in entrepreneurial competencies and entrepreneurial intention.
Copyright (c) 2023 Mmakgabo Justice Malebana, Moshe Moses Vhukeya
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