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What Drives Student Entrepreneurs? Guesss Evidence from V4 Countries

Proceeding: 5th International Conference on Innovation Management, Entrepreneurship and Sustainability (IMES)

Publication Date:

Authors : ;

Page : 304-313

Keywords : entrepreneurship; university students; drivers; impact; GUESSS;

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Student entrepreneurship is an important phenomenon within the entrepreneurial dynamics. At universities, students have access to broad knowledge and networks, and student status gives some freedom and space for experimenting before entering the "real" life with all its responsibilities. However, as in the general population, while some students get engaged in the enterprising efforts, the others remain distant. With business activities established already during the studies, the transition from student life to economic activity is smoother. Thus, our aim is to find out what drives student entrepreneurs in Visegrad countries in their business activities during their university studies.Design/methodology/approach: Our analysis is built on data from Global University Entrepreneurial Spirit Students’ Survey (GUESSS), an extensive academic study on student entrepreneurship, collected in the 2016 wave. Our main sample comprises of 15,971 university students from V4 countries (Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia). Potential drivers from individual human and social capital characteristics, perceived institutional support, and demographic attributes are examined in our analysis, using the logistic regression method. We focus especially on promisingly sustainable student entrepreneurs with already active businesses who plan to continue them also after completing their studies. Findings: Our findings indicate the main drivers leading university students to engage in entrepreneurial activity with perspective that exceeds the scope of student life. According to our results, gender (being a male) and increasing age play significant role, together with dropping number of years to finish studies. Intensity of entrepreneurship education and studying in a business-related field also positively affect inclination to running an own business. Finally, having enterprising parents significantly drives student entrepreneurship as well.Research/practical implications: Based on the results of our analysis, we develop recommendation for policy makers and education programmers to utilize the entrepreneurial potential across universities in V4 countries and encourage more students to engage in sustainable business ventures. Universities should capitalize upon the existing generally established influences that also work for student population, but, at the same time, they need to target problematic issues (such as gender gap or business family gap) and develop focused and tailored actions to solve them through modified proven instruments.Originality/value: Most studies take student entrepreneurs as a homogeneous group. However, according to empirical results only a half of them plan to continue with their businesses after completing their studies, while the others consider their enterprising as temporary or side activity. Therefore, we distinguish between the two, and focus our investigation only on student entrepreneurs declaring the long-term focus (i.e. active and prospective entrepreneurs), that implies a more promising future impact. With this unique perspective, we contribute to the existing body of knowledge on student entrepreneurship.

Last modified: 2017-09-02 23:13:50