"Business opportunities are like buses, there's always another one coming." - Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Enterprises
With a plethora of new ideas, innovations, skills and opportunities, entrepreneurship has become a new trend in employment across the world. It is a good way to alleviate the pressure on employment. Entrepreneurship can improve economic efficiency, bring market innovation, increase employment opportunities and maintain employment levels (Shane, & Venkataraman,2000). Keeping this in mind, in the recent years, universities now focus their attention to promote entrepreneurship through education so as to instill motivation, confidence, interest and inspiration in students with such intentions. Entrepreneurship education program is usually defined as a process of providing individuals with the ability to recognize commercial opportunities and the knowledge, skills and attitudes to act on them (Jones and English, 2004, p.416). Apart from professional skills and knowledge, entrepreneurship education can foster entrepreneurial aptitudes in every individual, and also create awareness about the benefits of entrepreneurship in the society at large. Therefore, universities have been encouraged to provide more substantial impact on developing and stimulating entrepreneurial knowledge, skills, attitudes and values through their programs.
There is a quote by Albert Bandura, “In order to succeed, people need a sense of self-efficacy, to struggle together with resilience to meet the inevitable obstacles and inequities of life.” Self-efficacy, or self-confidence, in a given domain, is based on individuals’ self perceptions of their skills and abilities (Wilson. F, et al, 2007). This concept reflects an individual’s innermost thoughts on whether they have the abilities perceived as important to task performance, as well as belief that they will be able to effectively convert those skills into a chosen outcome (Bandura,1989, 1997).
A person with high self-efficacy typically seeks challenges with a tolerance for failure, having a learning goal orientation; while a person low in self-efficacy is more inclined to avoid challenges, with a more performance-focused goal orientation (Meyer, Turner et al.1997). The need to seek challenges fit well with the concept self-actualization as defined in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs (Maslow 1954), which Maslow simply defined as “What a man can be, he must be” (ibid). A person with a sense of fulfillment in lower level needs, physiological, safety, love, and esteem–will experience a desire to both explore one’s own full potential and realizing that potential (ibid).
Figure 1: Maslow's hierarchy of needs (Maslow 1954)
Studies focusing on entrepreneurial motivation, intentions and behavior typically include entrepreneurial self-efficacy (ESE) as an explanatory variable. Entrepreneurial self-efficacy is a construct measuring a person’s belief in their ability to successfully launch an entrepreneurial venture (McGee, Peterson et al. 2009). Entrepreneurial self-efficacy incorporates both personality and environmental factors and is thought to be a strong predictor of entrepreneurial intentions and ultimately action (Bird 1988; Boyd and Vozikis1994). According to Mateja Drnovšek et al, entrepreneurial self-efficacy involves individuals' beliefs regarding their capabilities to attain goals and control positive and negative cognitions that an entrepreneur has during the process of starting-up a business. Entrepreneurial self-efficacy includes at least two dimensions: the type of goal beliefs (task/outcome), and type of control beliefs (positive/negative) that exist in the context of business start-up processes. In addition, being self-efficacious means that one is confident about both his/her capabilities to attain success as well as capabilities to control negative thoughts about failure. (Drnovšek M. et al)...
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