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Assessing the impact of the “Entrepreneurs” education programme on participants’ entrepreneurial intentions

Evaluación del impacto del programa educativo “Emprendedores” en la intención emprendedora de los participantes

Abstract

The study of students’ entrepreneurial intentions and the influencing factors is especially relevant for the development of education programmes, as is the monitoring of those programmes to assess whether they are effective and what their impact has been. Building upon insights from Ajzen’s Theory of Planned Behaviour, a control-group longitudinal design was used to investigate the impact of participation in the “Entrepreneurs” programme, offered by the University of Castilla-La Mancha, in Spain, with the sponsorship of regional institutions. The methodology involved the completion of a questionnaire at the end of the course and a follow-up questionnaire six months later to establish if the effect of the course had been maintained or not after this period. The study found that participants in the programme had higher levels of self-efficacy at the end of it, and that these levels had been maintained over time. They also displayed greater entrepreneurial intention after a period of time than non-participants. However, after six months, the participants perceived greater difficulties in the environment, thus reducing the feasibility of entrepreneurship as a career option. Despite this, entrepreneurial intention was higher than for the control group and increased over time with regard to creativity. The conclusions and implications of these results are discussed in the final section of this paper.

Resumen

El estudio de las intenciones empresariales de los estudiantes y sus factores determinantes es especialmente relevante para el desarrollo de los programas de educación, así como para el control de estos programas pues permiten comprobar su efectividad e impacto. Basándonos en los argumentos de la Teoría de la Conducta Planificada de Ajzen, se ha usado un diseño longitudinal con un grupo de control para investigar el impacto de la participación en el programa “Emprendedores”, ofertado por la Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha con el patrocinio de las instituciones regionales. La metodología ha consistido en que los participantes han completado un cuestionario al final del curso y otro cuestionario de seguimiento seis meses después para establecer si el efecto del curso se había mantenido o no tras este periodo. Los resultados del estudio muestran que los participantes en el programa tienen mayores niveles de autoeficacia empresarial al finalizarlo que los individuos del grupo de control, y que estos niveles se mantienen en el tiempo. También tienen mayor intención emprendedora en el momento posterior que los individuos del grupo de control. Sin embargo, después de seis meses, los participantes perciben mayores dificultades en el entorno y reducen la factibilidad percibida del emprendimiento como opción profesional. A pesar de ello, la intención emprendedora era mayor que para el grupo de control y se incrementaba en el tiempo con respecto a la creatividad. Las conclusiones e implicaciones de estos resultados se plantean en la sección final del artículo.

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Correspondence to Cristina Díaz-García.

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Keywords

  • entrepreneurial intention
  • self-efficacy
  • environment perception
  • entrepreneurial attitude

Palabras clave

  • intención emprendedora
  • autoeficacia
  • percepción del entorno
  • actitud empresarial