Tertiary education and startups – Part 2 of 3

Tertiary education and startups – Part 2 of 2
Anastasios Vasileiadis
by Anastasios Vasileiadis

The start up of the entrepreneurial activity does not take place all of a sudden because the intention preexists to the person who wants to start an enterprise.

So, we could support that the entrepreneurial intentions concern the inclination of a person to start an entrepreneurial activity in the future, because the intentions are a step backwards the action (Davidsson, 1995). Other researchers have tried to connect the intention of a person to become entrepreneur with the education level.

All over the world there is a growing interest in the professional choice of the students and graduates, especially in the entrepreneurship (Kolvereid, 1996). The orientation and behaviour of the tertiary education graduates are influenced by a few personal and environmental factors (Lüthje and Franke, 2003).

But the empirical research showed that entrepreneurship education creates a positive image for the entrepreneurs and contributes to the choice of entrepreneurship as a professional alternative by graduates and Autio et all. (1997) pointed out the positive effect to the perceptions of students in this choice. Other research projects have proved the importance of the social status of the entrepreneurship (Begley et all., 1997) and the relationship between the entrepreneurial intention and the number of management courses they have attended (Chen et all., 1998).

A research that was conducted to a sample of 5375 UK students and 10 universities showed that 9,7% of their graduates become entrepreneurs during a period of five (5) years since their graduation. This is a very high rate of entrepreneurial activity if we consider the span of the professional choices that the students can have and that they have a propensity to the dependent employment status (Rosa, 2003). Some of the researchers maintain that the survival rate of the companies established by graduates is higher than the average and in any case higher than the companies established by non-graduates (Storey, 1994). In addition, other studies as regards to the entrepreneurship, demonstrates that the companies established by graduates perform better, compared to the average of the rest of the companies with similar size. (Daly, 1991; CSBRC, 1992).

A study among graduates from English universities shows that they generally establish private or micro enterprises, which are based on their knowledge and skills. In addition, the study supports a high correlation between the studied subject and the activities of the established business.

Finally, we should not ignore the unemployment factor since a weak correlation (r= 0,35) has been observed between unemployment and the establishment of new enterprises by the Observatory of European Small-Medium Enterprises. This is probably valid because unemployment induces self-employment and entrepreneurship. (Observatory of European SMEs, 2002).