Entrepreneurship education and its impact on the entrepreneurship career intentions of vocational education students

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The rich body of literature examining the entrepreneurship education-entrepreneurship intention relations tends to neglect the influence of contingent and other mediating factors on the relationship. This elusion creates an erroneous assumption that entrepreneurship intentions are insulated from external influences and the entrepreneurship education-intentions relationship is an automatic, directly linear interaction. Contesting this premise, this research explores the influence of exposure to entrepreneurship education (EE), mediated by precursors (such as attitude, subjective norms and perceived behavioral control) to entrepreneurial intentions on the actual entrepreneurship intentions (EI) of vocational education students at a particular institution in Zimbabwe. Drawing on a cross-sectional research design and 154 randomly selected students, the study examines the extent to which they intended to engage in entrepreneurship careers in the near future. A non-parametric technique, the Spearman correlation test, and regression analysis were employed to test the relationships between EE on the direct determinants of EI, between the immediate determinants of EI and actual EI and to test a number of predictive effects. The results demonstrate that EE had a positive correlation with the direct determinants of EI. In addition, EE predicted all the immediate determinants of EI, except for subjective norms. Lastly, there was no evidence to support a direct predictive effect of EE on EI, controlling for other psychological factors. To a large extent, the results validated the Theory of Planned Behavior as a guiding tool for estimating any premeditated entrepreneurial behavior. Thus, the Theory remains an invaluable theoretical lens for academics, educators and policymakers’ evaluation of effective ways of enhancing the grooming of potential entrepreneurs.

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    • Table 1. Demographic profile of respondents
    • Table 2. Correlations (EE versus the antecedents of EI)
    • Table 3. Attitude, subjective norms and perceived behavioral controls predicting EI
    • Table 4. Correlation of EI and control variables
    • Table 5. Summary of hierarchical multiple regression analysis test results