The influence of entrepreneurship education on entrepreneurial attitudes and intentions of university students in Bulgaria

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1 NETT CONFERENCE November 20-22, 2014 The influence of entrepreneurship education on entrepreneurial attitudes and intentions of university students in Bulgaria Assoc. Prof. Desislava Yordanova, Phd Department of Business Administration Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski

2 Entrepreneurship education in Bulgaria Initiated in 1994 by the National High School in Business and Finance Junior Achievement Bulgaria (created in 1997) started with 10 pilot classes today offers 24 educational courses and business programs has over 33,000 students throughout Bulgaria JA programs are taught by 2000 teachers in 450 cities in more than 1100 schools during the academic

3 Entrepreneurship development in secondary education since its inception a large number of students, student companies and business mentors have benefited from JA programs more than 160,000 students 1197 student companies 3740 business mentors Junior Achievement Bulgaria helps students gain practical insight into the world of business with the support of volunteer business advisors More than 250 corporations, companies and government institutions volunteer to host students in Manager For a Day initiative.

4 Entrepreneurship development in secondary education Educational training firms In 1996 the teachers from the National High School in Finance and Business created the Centre of educational training firms, which serviced all similar firms in Bulgaria. Since 1999 it became an independent unit at the Ministry of Education. The creation of these firms was strengthened by the ECO NET project in the framework of the Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe. During the academic year there are 245 educational training firms operating in 61 schools

5 Entrepreneurship development in secondary education Examples of best practices in Bulgaria Impulse Centre for training on Entrepreneurship at the National High School in Finance and Business Aim: to establish an effective system for Entrepreneurship training with an intensive interaction between school, business practice and University plays a coordinating role in the entrepreneurship education at school supports the establishment of a model for cooperation between business and school and school and university.

6 Entrepreneurship development in colleges and universities In Bulgaria there are 51 accredited universities and colleges many of them provide entrepreneurship courses they have established economic and business faculties there are exclusively business oriented colleges the teaching of entrepreneurship is not yet sufficiently integrated in higher education institutions curricula the majority of entrepreneurship courses are offered in business and economic studies the diffusion of entrepreneurship education is particularly weak in technical, scientific, and creative studies

7 Entrepreneurship development in colleges and universities In 2006 the Ministry of economy and energy launched the project Creation of entrepreneurship centres in the universities and colleges in Bulgaria The main goal of such centres is to educate students in entrepreneurship skills and to prepare them for successful management of their own companies EXAMPLE: The Centre of Entrepreneurship and Industrial Property at the Technical University in Varna works to commercialize relevant technical knowledge (techno start-up) accomplishes educational, consultancy and information services

8 Entrepreneurship development in high schools, colleges and universities lack of teachers specialized in this field lack of professors and other academic staff the stimulus for academic carrier development are linked mainly with publications in referred journals, and less with commitment in teaching lack of integration of entrepreneurship education into the whole curricula, horizontally spreading it across different fields of study lack of relevant skills and experience to teach entrepreneurship

9 Entrepreneurship development in high schools, colleges and universities teaching methods like lectures prevailed the experience based methods are used to a lesser degree few entrepreneurs and business practitioners are involved in teaching entrepreneurship mobility of teachers and researchers between education institutions and the business is very low little incentives to motivate and reward teachers lack of resources for entrepreneurship education lack of a systematic assessment of the effects of entrepreneurship education increasing demand for entrepreneurship education

10 Entrepreneurship development through continuing education many private educational centres have been created particularly in the field of management and entrepreneurship Bulgarian Small and Medium Enterprise Promotion agency Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Bulgarian Industrial Association National Association of Small and Medium-Size Businesses offer short term and not expensive courses in entrepreneurship

11 Importance of entrepreneurial intentions Entrepreneurial behaviour is a planned, intentional act The emphasis on intentions is especially valuable when investigating phenomena that are rare, hard to observe and involving unpredictable time lags Intentions-based models contribute to understanding why individuals make certain decisions in the process of new venture creation

12 Importance of entrepreneurial intentions Entrepreneurial intentions play a mediating role between potential exogenous antecedents and the act of new venture formation The study of entrepreneurial intentions avoids the mistake of identifying individual characteristics as determinants of entrepreneurial behaviour, which have developed as a consequence of founding and running a business Intentions and their underlying antecedents are perception-based and therefore could be changed Studying entrepreneurial intentions and their antecedents will help to enhance entrepreneurial activity.

13 The study What factors affect entrepreneurial intentions of university students? Cross-sectional survey among 366 university students in Business Administration and Economics in two leading Bulgarian universities Sample: 366 students in Economics and Business Administration Dependent variable: entrepreneurial intentions measured with the index proposed by Kolvereid (1996:50-51)

14 The study Independent variables: Attitudes Perceived ability to perform entrepreneurial behaviour Entrepreneurial role models Locus of control Achievement motivation Willingness to take risks Perceptions about entrepreneurship as an occupation Perceptions of the influence of economic reforms on entrepreneurship Age Gender

15 The study Empirical results: Students who have taken entrepreneurship courses have more positive attitudes toward entrepreneurship than the rest of the sample. Students who have taken entrepreneurship courses are more likely to exhibit strong entrepreneurial intentions than other students after controlling for other variables.

16 The study Recommendations: Greater emphasis should be placed on entrepreneurship education in Bulgaria Entrepreneurship courses should be offered to students in all fields Entrepreneurship should be integrated in other subjects curricula

17 THANK YOU FOR YOUR ATTENTION!

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