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Entrepreneurship education had been inculcated in Nigerian university curriculum for a period of time, yet many graduates still find it difficult to be self-employed. This seemed to make university support on entrepreneurship to students to be inadequate. Thus, it is important to investigate the impact of university support on students’ entrepreneurship tendency using students’ personal factors as the moderator. This study therefore focused on evaluating the various ways through which university support can be engendered in order to create an intention for entrepreneurship in university students. Survey research design was employed in this study to obtain the needed data. The population for this study was the final year undergraduates studying entrepreneurship in the selected private universities in Nigeria. The institutions were Babcock, Covenant, Bells and Crawford Universities and a multi-stage sampling technique which comprises stratified, simple random and purposive sampling techniques were adopted to select the universities. The total of 394 questionnaires were administered to final year students in Faculty of Management Sciences but 383 were returned and 379 were duly filled and found usable. Cronbach Alpha and Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin (KMO) test were used to test the internal consistency and validity respectively of the data from the pilot study. The descriptive statistics and regression analysis were employed as methods of data analysis. The result indicated that there is a significant effect of university’s supportive norm for innovation on attitude of students to start a business (R2 =0.119, P=.0000.05); there is a significant effect of university’s technical support on technical ability of the students to start a business (R2=0.442, P=.0000.05). This study therefore concludes that private Universities in Nigeria need to be more supportive and encourage entrepreneurial innovations. They should also review and readjusted their innovative culture, continue providing support on managerial skills, marketing skills and human relation skills as well as organize motivational programmes on self-efficacy at regular interval for the students. Keywords: University Support, Entrepreneurship, Student Entrepreneurship Tendency, Student’s Personal factors Word Count: 377
1.1 Background to the Study The advent of globalisation has become an eye opener to policy makers and academics. It has made the people to assess themselves on what they can do for themselves to earn a living and be their own boss rather than helping someone to achieve his or her business goals. In Nigeria, the state of the economy has made Nigerians especially the graduates and the youths at large to start identifying ideas and opportunities that will result to economic and financial gain for them in the nearest future. This is as a result of high rate of unemployment in Nigeria. Thus, there is need for knowledge in entrepreneurship by the undergraduates before they graduate to face the challenges in Nigerian economy. Entrepreneurship is tagged as an important catalyst of economic growth, productivity and development which is the reason its importance was perceived in recent time by academicians, specialists and policymakers (Iqual, Melhem & Kokash, 2012). As such, entrepreneurship has become a word of the day. Policymakers, economists, academics and even University students are talking about it. Seminars, conferences and workshops are being organised every year across the world which emphasised the importance of entrepreneurship to the economy of a country, society as well as individual development (Béchard & Toulouse, 1998; Kume, Kume & Shahini, 2013; Matlay & Westhead, 2005; Schaper & Volery, 2004). The main reason for this is that entrepreneurship education constitutes the bedrock of a nation’s growth, economic development and also has the capacity to manage the nation’s aggressiveness in confronting the expanding difficulties of globalization (Schaper & Volery 2009). People that are open to the idea of entrepreneurship report extraordinary advantages incorporating opportunity in basic leadership, higher self-regard, challenge and more prominent feeling of control and the rundown continues forever (Nickels, McHugh & McHugh, 2010). Bakotic and Kruzic (2010) proposes that business has turned out to be one of the primary issues in government arrangement of the vast majority of modern nations and creating nations. Thus, this phenomenon has made Nigeria a country that integrates entrepreneurship and entrepreneurship education in the academic curriculum in the Universities both private and public. This entrepreneurship education in Nigerian Universities has attracted policy makers, academics, industrialists, economists, and University students’ attention on how to be an entrepreneur It is worthy to note that entrepreneurial tendency is one of the most significant parts of entrepreneurship process (Bulsara, Ghamdi & Porey, 2010). Mangasini and Damian (2014) argued that entrepreneurial tendency of individuals including University undergraduates can be improved through exposure and predisposition to University support by entrepreneurship education and training. This is also supported by Ogundele, Akingbade and Akinlabi (2012), who in their study confirm that entrepreneurship education changes people’s mindset, self-efficacy and attitude to become entrepreneurs; problem solvers and exploit opportunities for individuals and nation’s development Universities are the channels to achieve that. Behind the accomplishment of a business endeavor is the entrepreneur and the capabilities required to bear on his business effectively in a continually changing or dynamic business environment, improve his competency, orientation and self-efficacy (Oyeku, 2014). According to Lejarraga and Pindard (2013), Hmieleski and Baron (2008) as well as Fitzsimmons and Douglas (2005) the optimism and overconfidence of an entrepreneur leads to entrepreneurial self-efficacy, however one is forced to ask the question whether the qualities of the business person communicated as entrepreneurial self-efficacy could guarantee his/her business achievement particularly in unforgiving and disagreeable business environment in which SMEs work in creating and underdeveloped nations. Education is a legacy a country can give to her citizen. Education is an important right that should be accorded to all human beings solely by reason of being human (Chiraka, 2012). The idea of enhancing entrepreneurship through education has also received increasing attention from Universities and other institutions of higher learning in many countries (Iqual, Melhem & Kokash, 2012).Luthje and Franke (2002) thought about scholastic and non-scholarly business engineers. They found that the greater part of the scholarly entrepreneurs made new pursuits in cutting edge enterprises though non-scholastics established their organizations basically in non-creative generation and administration divisions. Besides, business engineers with University training obviously make higher interests in their organizations than non-scholarly business people. Scott and Twomey (1988) saw that undergraduate students with the guide of an entrepreneurial education system, would benefit from outside intervention to consider entrepreneurship as a vocation. So also, Postigo, Lacobucci, and Tamborini, (2006) recognized the centrality of University education and the part it plays in entrepreneurial movement. This expressed that it is exceptionally fundamental to draw in the youthful and taught to business enterprise, particularly as present mechanical patterns are tending towards a learning based environment. In any case, Iqual, Melhem and Kokash (2012) opines that entrepreneurship University education and business know-in what can influence entrepreneurial tendencies just on the off chance that they change key states of mind and observations, for example, perceived attractive quality of independent work and perceived entrepreneurial self-efficacy. Universities play a significant role in attitude of students towards entrepreneurship (Kume et’al 2013; Kolbre & Piliste, 2006; Shapero & Sokol, 1982). According to Kume et’al (2013), entrepreneurship curriculum in Universities is designed to catch the attentions of students towards being entrepreneurs after graduation. Thus, it could be said that Universities education through entrepreneurship plays vital role in improving students’ attitude, personal values, technical abilities and self-efficacy in entrepreneurial activities. United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO, 2008) stated that entrepreneurship education is made up of all kinds of experiences that give students the ability and vision of how to access and transform opportunities of different kinds into wealth creation. It goes beyond business creation. It is about increasing students’ ability to anticipate and respond to societal changes. It is also seen by UNESCO as education and training which allows students to develop and use their creativity and to take initiatives, responsibility and risks (UNESCO, 2008). According to Lee and Wong (2008), entrepreneurship education is a significant driver for economic development and job creation in any society. The Federal government of Nigeria has built up extra rules and regulations to instil entrepreneurship (business enterprise) culture in students of higher institutions. This directive was given to the National Universities Commission (NUC, 2004) to guarantee that entrepreneurial reviews is incorporated into the educational programs of Nigerian Universities with the point of lessening unemployment among new graduates to the minimum point(Aja-Okorie & Adali, 2013). Be that as it may, in spite of the acknowledgment of business as having the capacity to control unemployment among Nigerian youth and the presentation of entrepreneurship education in Nigerian Universities, around 80% of the Nigerian adolescents are unemployed and around 10% are underutilized with 7 out of 10 graduates staying unemployed or underemployed (Dike, 2009). The previous minister of labour and productivity had stated that the best test standing up to government today stays overflowing unemployment which has served as a rich ground for hostility to social practices among young people in Nigeria (Olayinka, 2010).This study therefore focused on evaluating the various ways through which University support can be engendered in order to create an intention for entrepreneurship in University students. 1.2 Statement of the Problem Despite the practice of entrepreneurship education in some Nigerian private Universities, many graduates still find it challenging to be self-employed or employed for a long time after graduation. This makes University support through entrepreneurship education seems not to be a workable solution to unemployment and job creators. Context observation shows that when there is a lack of adequate University support imbibed in the Universities’ curriculum, graduates seems not to have the requisite knowledge of starting their own business thus they depend on getting jobs from public and private companies of which there are not available in both sectors. This leads to unemployment. Unemployment is a by-product of poor entrepreneurship education which can lead to robbery and theft (Osinbanjo, 2006). Adeguwan, (2015) opined that Nigerian educational system is defective to the extent that the system produces a large army of graduates who are confronted with uncertainty in the labour market. Oyedeji and Salau, (2010) stated that despite increasing emphasis on vocational education for acquisition of occupational skills and competencies, the unemployment rate has continued to soar in Nigeria especially among the graduates. Thus, could it be as results of lack of University support on entrepreneurship? People who lack the knowledge of entrepreneurship education or requisite support from the institutions in which they graduated from tend to be more attracted to white collar jobs in companies rather than having the idea of their own business. A larger percentile of graduates from Nigerian private Universities search for job than think of starting a business or creating jobs (Ogundele, 2012). The lack of the nation’s workforce being able to develop business outfits affects the employment rate as it is evident that the government or even multinational companies cannot create jobs for the most populous nation of Nigeria (Ogundele, 2012). Another basic challenge is the low practical training and innovativeness of Nigeria private Universities towards entrepreneurship education. The nature of the study of entrepreneurship in Nigerian Universities are theoretical, the practical aspect is lacking to a great extent due to inadequate equipment availability. The practical side of University support suffers a great deal and this affects the technical support that is available for innovation. Students are just taught semantics and slang involved in entrepreneurship and then are left to wander after school. This forms part of the reason why they prefer to depend on white collar jobs after school rather than developing the tendency of starting their own businesses (Ogundele, 2012). Personal characteristics of entrepreneurs are vital to increase SME’s high existence to correct economic dwindling (Karahan & Senol, 2011). Entrepreneurship is aimed at the overall training of an individual and University undergraduates for useful living. To benefit from entrepreneurship, students are trained to acquire skills. However, a clear observation by the researchers in tertiary institutions is that some students have different perceptions of what constitute entrepreneurship challenges. Knowledge of entrepreneurship challenges especially as perceived by the University undergraduate is necessary for a successful entrepreneurship program. Some of the challenges may include poor knowledge based economy, lack of relevant materials, and inadequate capital as well as lack of proper understanding of the appropriate characteristics needed for effective entrepreneurship (Mustapha, Yunusa & Pelemo, 2013). This study therefore intends to evaluate the various ways through which support for entrepreneurship has been created by Universities, analyse the relationship between University support and student’s entrepreneurial tendency thereby improving students’ tendencies towards starting a business. 1.3 Objective of the Study The main objective of this study is to evaluate the relationship between University support and student’s entrepreneurial tendency and how the students’ personal factors moderate this relationship. The specific objectives are to; 1. evaluate the effect of University’s supportive norms for innovation on attitude of students to starting a business; 2. determine how University’s innovative culture affects personal values of the students in starting a business; 3. assess the effect of University technical support on technical ability of the students to start a business; 4. examine the effect of University’ self-efficacy support on the self-efficacy of the students to jump-start a business and 5. evaluate the combined moderating effect of students’ personal factors on the dynamics between University support and students’ entrepreneurship tendency. 1.4 Research Questions The following statements guided the conduct of this study: 1. What is the relationship between University’s supportive norms for innovation on attitude of students to start a business? 2. How does University’s innovative culture affect personal values of the students to starting a business? 3. What is the effect of University technical support on technical ability of the students to start a business? 4. What is the effect of University’s self-efficacy support on the self-efficacy of the students to jump-start a business? 5. What is the combined moderating effect of students’ personal factors on the dynamics between University support and students ‘entrepreneurship tendency? 1.5 Hypotheses The hypotheses were tested at 0.05 level of significance. H01: There is no significant effect of University’s supportive norm for innovation on attitude of students to start a business. H02: University’s innovative culture does not significantly affect personal values of the students to starting a business. H03: There is no significant effect of University’s technical support on technical ability of the students to start a business. H04: University’s self-efficacy support has no significant effect on self-efficacy of the students to jump-start a business. H05: There is no significant combined moderating effect of students’ personal factors on the dynamics between University support and students’ entrepreneurship tendency. 1.6 Scope of the Study The study focuses on how University support relates to students entrepreneurial tendencies and also to see how the personal factors of the students help to moderate this relationship. The study employed quantitative and a survey research design. The domain for the study covers final year students of selected private Universities in Ogun State (Babcock, Covenant, Bells and Crawford Universities). Private Universities in Ogun State were used because out of the 68 accredited private Universities in Nigeria, Ogun State has the highest number of National Universities Commission (NUC) accredited private Universities (Nigerian Private Universities, 2016). The rationale for the selection of these four institutions are that they have been in existence for over 10 years, they have a well-established entrepreneurship development centre, and they teach entrepreneurship as part of their curriculum. They are also the best private Universities in Ogun State according to international ranking (University Web Ranking and Reviews, 2016). The population of the study is 1248 final year students from the faculty of Business/Management Sciences of the four Universities under study, 394 samples were selected from the population for the purpose of this study. For data analysis, the regression analysis tool as well as the Process Macro for SPSS was used to test the hypotheses of the study in order to make decisions at 5% alpha level. 1.7 Significance of the Study The various areas of which this study was of great relevance are detailed below: 1.7.1 Management Practice Looking at the nature of this study, the study or practice of management in schools would be enhanced. Students would be able to understand the underlying concepts of University support, entrepreneurial tendencies and students’ personal factors. They would be able to appreciate how these concepts work and how they relate to each other by way of impact or moderation. This would help the students to get into the management field knowing that they have the required or necessary knowledge on terms and concepts of entrepreneurship. 1.7.2 Industry The managers of firms in the industry today were once students who had to undergo training at different institutions of learning. Also the students in institutions of learning today would also become mangers and technocrats tomorrow in their different companies. Therefore this study would expose them to the principles that they need to know and practice in order to be able to manage their own businesses and control resources at their own will. It would also equip the students with the required entrepreneurship skills and characteristics to compete effectively and efficiently in this dynamic business environment. 1.7.3 Government The government would also be part of the benefit areas of this study. This is so because they would be able to understanding the workings of different variables and then ensure the enactment of policies that would improve the teaching of entrepreneurship in our Universities. This study would emphasize the benefits of entrepreneurship tendency among students towards the eradication of unemployment and the development of the economy of Nigeria. 1.7.4 Society The society would become a better place when the students are taught how to become industrious. They would be independent and then be able to manage their own businesses. The rate of unemployment would reduce, poverty rate and vices that young people engage in would be minimized. The society would be a place where people would be able to help each other to grow because in them have been imbibed a culture of interpersonal relationship, good norms and attitudes as well as the willingness to lead a positive lifestyle. The study would enlighten the society to understand that there is need for continuous development of entrepreneurship tendency of students in order to enable them create more jobs in the society. 1.8 Operationalization of Variables Model Specification The variables for this study was operationalized thus: X= Independent Variable Y= Dependent Variable Z= Moderators Y = F (X, Z) Where; X = University Support Y = Student Entrepreneurial Tendency Z = Students’ Personal factors X = (x1, x2, x3, x4) x1 = University Support Norms for Innovation, x2 = University Innovative Culture, x3 = University Technical Support For Innovation, x4 = University Self-Efficacy Support. Y = (y1, y2, y3, y4) y1= Students’ Attitude, y2 = Students’ Personal Values, y3 = Students’ Technical Abilities, y4 = Students’ Self-Efficacy. Where Z= (Education, Age, Field of study, Gender) The simple equation for the variables are as follows: y1 = f(x1)………(1) y2 = f(x2)……….(2) y3 = f(x3)……….(3) y4 = f(x4)……….(4) Y=f (XZ)………(5) The econometric or regression equation is thus given below. y1 = α0 + β1×1+ μi…….. (1) y2 = α0 + β2×2+ μi…….. (2) y3 = α0 + β3×3+ μi…….. (3) y4 = α0 + β4×4+ μi…….. (4) Y= α0 + β1XZ+ μi…….. (5) Where: α = the constant of the equation. β = the coefficient of the independent variables and the moderators. μ = the stochastic value, residual error term or values that account for change but are not part of the survey at present. Therefore the equations above will be evaluated in this study to help understand better how University support relates to student’s entrepreneurial tendencies as well as how personal factors moderate this relationship. 1.9 Operational Definition of Terms University Support: This is referred to as the extent to which a University goes to provide the capabilities for the teaching and learning entrepreneurship by their students. These include, the facilities available, the content of the subject matter, the resource persons, and other possible provisions that can improve the psychological preparedness of the students. Innovative Organizational Culture: This is the work environment that managers cultivate in order to nurture unorthodox thinking and its application. Technical Support for Innovation: This is referred to as improving an existing product or the establishment of a new product with significant technological advancement and supporting the innovativeness of that product. The support of technical innovation is for what to occur frequently so as to lead to technological advancement of the students. Supportive Norms for Innovation: Innovation is the key to economic development of any country or company and it should be supported as a means to an advantageous end. Universities’ supportive norms for innovation would enable the students to think ahead and be more creative. Uniqueness of innovation is a platform which leads to an advanced innovative skills of students. Self-Efficacy Support: The University support of self-efficacy would enable the students to develop positive convictions that they can achieve their predetermined goals and successfully execute the entrepreneurial process. This is the ability to support students to act entrepreneurially and acquire the needed characteristics of an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurial tendencies: Entrepreneurial tendencies are alluded to as qualities that make one individual an entrepreneur and another not an entrepreneur. These are identity qualities and natural powers that shape people’s conduct and decide if they will or won’t take part in entrepreneurial exercises. Self-Efficacy: This is the conviction that a student can successfully execute the entrepreneur behaviour required; when the students believe that they can perform a particular task, they tend to perform well. Entrepreneurship scholars have found that self-efficacy is positively associated with the creation of a new independent organization. Personal Values: These are the set of attitudes of an entrepreneur about the nature of the management process and business in general. The nature of an enterprise, institution and the individuality of an entrepreneur diverge significantly from that of a manager. Personal values include the ethics and ethical behaviour of the entrepreneur. Technical Abilities: These are the technical abilities needed by an entrepreneur which includes required skills and knowledge to perform specialised tasks. Attitude: Attitude is the key of an entrepreneur to beating competition and achieving success. It emphases the acquisition of positive perception, behaviour and attributes to enable students act entrepreneurially. Students Personal Factors: This refers to the demographic attributes of students in the University. Students’ personal factors are the attributes that make a student different from the other. These attributes such as education, age, gender and field of study has an effect on the supports to be provided by the University and the student’s entrepreneurship tendency. Education: The level of education of entrepreneurs has received significant research attention. Although some entrepreneurs are less educated but its importance should be well implemented because it plays a major role in helping entrepreneurs cope with the problems they confront. Students should be well educated on every aspect and concept of entrepreneurship. Age: The age of an entrepreneur reflects in his or her experience and chronological age. The age of an entrepreneur is related to his or her entrepreneurial career process. Students studying entrepreneurship in Universities are young youth who have the tendency to acquire the required skills effectively. Field of study: This is the area of interest in which a particular student is specializing on. The student study a particular segment of a concept and not the whole. Gender: This consists of both the male and female entrepreneurs. The sex of an entrepreneur reflects on his or her attitude towards entrepreneurship.