Encouraging Youth Entrepreneurship: The Role of Institutional Environments and Learning Experiences

By Rosemary Kamau-Maina.

Published by The Organization Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

With rising unemployment, more policy makers are turning to entrepreneurship and self-employment as a solution to youth unemployment. Entrepreneurial intentions are based on perceived viability and desirability of entrepreneurship as a career as measured by entrepreneurial self efficacy and attitudes towards entrepreneurship respectively. A significant part of the career formative years are spent in college and literature has established that college experiences have the potential to change students’ attitudes, beliefs and focus thereby influencing not only students’ general life outcomes but also students’ career orientation. Social cognitive career theory postulates that environmental variables can moderate, mediate or directly affect the relationships between career interests, career intentions and career actions. College environments therefore present an opportunity for addressing rising unemployment rates among the youth by creating awareness of entrepreneurship as a possible career path, providing experiences that build positive attitudes towards entrepreneurship and enhance entrepreneurial self-efficacy. Research in higher education has shown student engagement to be one of the processes through which college impacts on student outcomes. The extent of this engagement is influenced by college characteristics. This study investigated the role that college entrepreneurial orientation plays in shaping attitudes towards entrepreneurship and in building entrepreneurial self-efficacy among students and whether or not student engagement in college mediates this relationship. The results showed that college entrepreneurial orientation significantly influenced students’ engagement which in turn influenced entrepreneurial self-efficacy but not attitudes towards entrepreneurship.

Keywords: College Environment, Engagement, Self-Efficacy, Attitudes, Institutional Entrepreneurial Orientation

International Journal of Knowledge, Culture and Change Management, Volume 9, Issue 10, pp.107-118. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.305MB).

Dr. Rosemary Kamau-Maina

Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Academic Affairs, KCA University, Nairobi, Nairobi, Kenya


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