Department of Management, Jimma University, Jimma, Ethiopia
Received date: December 04, 2014; Accepted date: March 04, 2015; Published date: March 11, 2015
Citation: Amentie C, Negash E (2015) The Study on Female Undergraduates’ Attitudes and Perceptions of Entrepreneurship Development (Comparison Public and Private Universities in Ethiopia). J Account Mark 4:123. doi:10.4172/2168-9601.1000123
Copyright: © 2015 Amentie C, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
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Female entrepreneurship is considered as an important tool in enabling female empowerment and emancipation. The main objective of this study is to investigate female undergraduate students’ attitudes toward the perceptions of entrepreneurship (Comparison Ethiopian Public and Private Universities). In the light of recent world events, this has become a crucial area to study and understand – especially with respect to, attitudes toward entrepreneur, motivations, constraints and consequences. The reason why final year female undergraduates are chosen for the current study is because they are at a period in their career development where they consider different career routes and are therefore, a potential source of future female entrepreneurs. For research design; cross-sectional, descriptive and inferential designs study were used in the study. In the study both primary and secondary data were used. Pertaining to data analysis the researchers had used both qualitative and quantitative data analysis techniques mainly descriptive analysis using percentages, tables and graphs deployed. While for inferential statistics distribution based analysis for nominal data type like chi-square, and multi-regression were used to test the statistically significant difference (independency) of variables, impacts of independent variables on dependent variable. As per output of these findings, there were different barriers that affect female undergraduates for not entering into entrepreneurship. The major barriers expected were, the responsibility of running a business too difficult, lack of ability to know how to access business information, difficulty to obtain the finance necessary and lack of a good business idea as an inhibitor to entrepreneurship, lack of experience to run a business and lack of the business skills required to run their own business. Therefore, in order to change their worries from different barriers, entrepreneurship subject and training on entrepreneurs’ successful characteristics are highly needed.
Multi-regression; Chi-square; Empowerment; Emancipation; Female entrepreneurs
Female entrepreneurship is considered an important tool in enabling female empowerment and emancipation. It has been suggested by Weeks  that women-led businesses can make a significant contribution to the economy. They further substantiated the importance of female entrepreneurial activity on economic development, finding investment in female entrepreneurship an important way for a country to exponentially increase the impact of new venture creation. Furthermore, they noted women are more inclined to share the benefits gained through entrepreneurship with members of their family and the wider community.
A national survey conducted by the Ethiopian Welfare Monitoring Unit shows, although women entrepreneurs contribute significantly to the national economy in terms of job creation, skills development and the alleviation of abject poverty among men and women alike, the literature clearly explains that small businesses and enterprises operated by women entrepreneurs are not being provided with adequate strategic support in terms of policy, access to finance, tax assessment, skills development and managerial training, technological transfer and infrastructural development. Although MSMEs operated by women cater for the poorest of the poor and make a sizeable contribution to the national economy, the level of support and recognition given to them has been minimal historically. Businesses and enterprises operated by women contribute for economic dynamism, diversification, productivity, competition, innovation and economic empowerment of the poorest of the poor.
Self-efficacy is one of the main motivations of entrepreneur as it creates job satisfaction. Job satisfaction, in turn, is considered as an attitude towards one’s job. In the case of entrepreneurs, they do not have jobs in the traditional sense. Nevertheless, they indeed have jobs or tasks when they start and run a new business .
According to a survey conducted in the Gullele sub-city of Addis Ababa illustrate, women in the cluster area estimated 39% were selfworkers while men constitute the remaining 61% were self-workers . Furthermore, as different past researches’ report in Ethiopia shows, the majority of women had little education and find employment in the lower sections of the formal employment market. For example, in 1999/00 there were only 30.75% of women in the Civil Sector among which the majority, 98.2%, was concentrated in low status and low paying jobs. The level of unemployment is higher for women than for men among any section of society. In 1998, the Bureau for Labour and Social Affairs estimated the percentage of female unemployed at 58.6 and for males 41.4 in Addis Ababa. According to age group, the unemployment level is higher among women than men in the age group 15-19 years with 16.8% for women and 6.4% for males. This percentage increases slightly among the age group 20-24 with 17.8% of women and 7.4% of males.
The Shadow Report, which was compiled by the Ethiopian Women’s Lawyers Association and the Network of Ethiopian Women Associations on the platform for action of the Beijing +10 Conference, revealed that the majority of Ethiopian women are employed in the informal sector (64.93%). This includes petty trade, handicrafts, selling food items, vegetables, locally produced drinks, domestic services, charcoal, firewood, second-hand clothes and so on. The dominance of women in this sector illustrates the many factors leading to this. Such as; characteristics of the female entrepreneur, family background, personal and work experience, role models, the nature of female entrepreneurship, female barriers to entrepreneurship, educational influences on female entrepreneurship.
Additionally, as the result of study on women entrepreneurship in micro, small and medium enterprises was shows, the majority of businesses that failed were operated by women (78%). Businesses that failed were characterized by inability in obtaining loans from formal money lending institutions such as commercial banks, inability to convert part of profit back into investment, poor managerial skills, shortage of technical skills, and low level of education. Businesses operated by women were 2.52 times more likely to fail in comparison with businesses operated by men .
The current research has been undertaken to examine female undergraduates’ attitudes towards and perceptions of entrepreneurship. This is necessary in order to obtain more knowledge and a better understanding of why so few female undergraduates consider entrepreneurship as a career and majority of businesses that failed were operated by women. This is important as the topic of female entrepreneurship and in particular female undergraduates and their views on entrepreneurship is a seriously neglected and under developed research area. An examination of literature shows there is little known about their needs, motivations and reservations concerning business ownership. The reason why final year female undergraduates are chosen for the current study is because they are at a period in their career development where they are considering different career routes and are therefore, a potential source of future female entrepreneurs.
Characteristics or traits of entrepreneurs
Due to the difficulty in coming to a universally acceptable definition of the entrepreneur, researchers have attempted to distinguish different factors that influence the individual towards entrepreneurship. Efforts have been made to identify some of the characteristics or attributes possessed by the entrepreneur, and this is often referred to as the trait school of thought. Entrepreneurs believed that entrepreneurial traits distinguish entrepreneurs from other groups in society. They identified the most common of these traits as a need for achievement, internal locus of control, risk-taking propensity and tolerance for ambiguity, over-optimism and the need for autonomy. These characteristics and traits have been acknowledged by many authors and are seen as an important factor when calculating a person’s propensity towards entrepreneurship. Gasse  also believed motivation, energy and perseverance are important traits, with including innovation as an important characteristic of the entrepreneur. He found risk-taking propensity to be associated with personality traits, subsequently arguing that research on traits is of extreme importance in any serious attempt to understand entrepreneurship. However, despite this, Gasse  argued that with the exception of the need for achievement, it has been difficult to link any specific traits to entrepreneurial behavior.
The importance of examining entrepreneurial traits and characteristics in relation to the current research is to help establish the basic characteristics associated with the entrepreneur. However, not everyone agreed with the trait school of thought. He found four main criticisms of the trait approach: first, the inability to differentiate clearly between entrepreneurial small business owners and equally successful professional executives. Second, the assumption that by identifying the supposed key trait or characteristic of the entrepreneur, you can identify the entrepreneurial personality. Third, the lack of recognition of entrepreneurship as a continuously changing process in which the entrepreneur will also change. Finally, the lack of empirical evidence to connect entrepreneurial characteristics with actual entrepreneurial activity and the inability to acknowledge an individual’s situation and the effect it has on new venture creation. Basically, the trait approach cannot be used alone to explain entrepreneurial behavior. Therefore, there is a need to look at what entrepreneurs do and why they do it.
Current researchers are increasingly trying to understand how entrepreneurs perform and why some engage in entrepreneurial behavior and others do not.
The socialization process is one such area of study, and is often referred to as social learning theory. This school of thought tries to establish what influence factors such as interaction with the environment, dealing with life experiences and social relationships have on forming our attitudes and values and therefore influencing our behavior. Social learning theory, while acknowledging the genetic influence on personality traits, emphasizes the importance of each individual’s personal situation and the influence the environment has on the individual and, in turn, the influence the individual has on the environment. Consequently, social learning theory recognizes the influence that society has on encouraging entrepreneurship.
Carson see the entrepreneur as being embedded in a complex set of social networks that will either facilitate or hinder the potential of the individual to enter into entrepreneurship. Examples include family and social background, education, religion, culture, work and general life experiences. He further expanded on these social influences by adding availability of appropriate role models, career experience ranging over the complete life-cycle, deprived social upbringing, sibling order within the family, entrepreneurial family background, level of educational attainment, negative and positive peer influence, position in society and being uncomfortable with large bureaucratic organizations.
These influential factors are often referred to in entrepreneurial literature as antecedent influences, and can have an impact on a person’s motivation, perception, skills and knowledge.
Working for an entrepreneur or knowing an entrepreneur had a positive impact on entrepreneurial career choice. Works experience an important factor in the encouragement of entrepreneurial activity, especially in small businesses.
It is suggested that entrepreneurs often share common features and experiences of a social context, which distinguish them from other individuals. Nevertheless, there is a need to recognize the heterogeneous and diverse nature of entrepreneurship. Especially, as much of the knowledge about entrepreneurship is based on studies of the male entrepreneur.
As the current research involves female undergraduates, it is necessary therefore, to look at the female entrepreneur. Female entrepreneurial activity in most of the developed countries of the world is significantly lower than their male counterparts, even though it is argued they are influenced by many of the same factors.
It has been suggested that women-led businesses can make a significant contribution to the economy. US statistics have shown that over the last twenty years women-owned businesses have grown at a rate of nearly two to one of other businesses and, interestingly, have made more of a significant impact on employment figures and revenue intake than is actually suggested by these figures (Figures 1-3). Scientists substantiated the importance of female entrepreneurial activity on economic development, finding investment in female entrepreneurship an important way for a country to exponentially increase the impact of new venture creation. Furthermore, they noted women are more inclined to share the benefits gained through entrepreneurship with members of their family and the wider community.
However, in Ethiopia the economy has yet to achieve substantial benefit from women led businesses as, in comparison with other countries, the level of female entrepreneurship is particularly low; for example in Portugal, Austria, and France female entrepreneurship can account for 41% of all new start-up’s .
Characteristics of female entrepreneurs: Women entrepreneurs are not a homogenous group per se, but they often share common characteristics and therefore it is possible to build up a general profile of the typical female business owner. The female entrepreneur is 43 years old, and is usually older than her male counterpart. This demographic of women entering entrepreneurship at a later age than men is well recognized in entrepreneurial literature. She is often married with children, and enters entrepreneurship when the children are older. However, there is a trend towards women entering entrepreneurship at a younger age. This development of women entering into entrepreneurship at a younger age has also been noted in Ireland with research showing the average female business owner to be 38 years of age and is only slightly older than her male counterpart.
Family influence: Research has suggested there is a strong correlation between family background and participation in entrepreneurial activity. Some researchers consider sibling order in the family an important family demographic . Firstborn children, including only children have a more positive attitude than their siblings and display a sense of responsibility and a need for achievement that are often correlated with entrepreneurship. These authors found sixty percent of the female entrepreneurs participating in their research were eldest or only children. Fifty percent of the female entrepreneurs surveyed being first-born children. However, birth order played no significant role in female entrepreneurial activity.
Family influence is particularly important for women as women are more inclined to seek family advice than their male counterparts. Some authors put a particular emphasis on the importance of fathers in the encouragement of women towards entrepreneurship.
Role models: The positive impact of parents as role models for female entrepreneurs, a mother was at least as influential as a role model as a father. However, it has also been suggested that role models other than parents can be influential in the encouragement of entrepreneurship as a chosen career route. The importance of the female role model in the promotion of female entrepreneurship, indicating a successful female entrepreneur can act as a role model for other female entrepreneurs and hence impact on the success of future female entrepreneurs. This, believed helps “to dissipate the enduring perception that entrepreneurship is a predominantly male domain”
Therefore, the media has an essential part to play in the promotion of then equality of women particularly with a view to informing and raising awareness of equal opportunities among young people in present day society. The influence of media is especially significant for women as it is understood that “women who believe that there is a great deal of positive media coverage are much more likely to be entrepreneurs”.
Work experience: Work experience is also found to be an important factor in the encouragement of successful female entrepreneurial activity. Previous research shows if a women starts a business in an area she has previous work experience she has a much better chance of running a successful business than a woman without previous experience in her business area. The study of Irish female entrepreneurs noted that prior work experience was considered extremely useful when setting up their business however, for many of them the work experience was in a different area than their business startup.
Family responsibility: The need to balance family responsibilities and career is a major factor for female entrepreneurship. This is often cited as one of the greatest differences between the female and the male entrepreneur, with the unequal division of domestic labor, leading to a disproportionate share of family responsibilities resting with the woman.
Furthermore, the integrated roles of women business owners is a disadvantage to women, as it stereotypes them as being unable to distinguish their private lives from their business lives. It was also suggested that this amalgamation of roles may reduce the credibility of women when starting a business.
The importance of profit: The assessment of business performance for women owned businesses should include intrinsic goals such as quality of work, customer service and work life balance as women often consider these objectives more important than making a profit. Men start a business for economic reasons whereas women start a business to aid work-life balance.
Obstacles to female entrepreneurship
Welter  has indicated that the participation of women in entrepreneurship has been hindered by the value that society places on women in employment, believing that as a result of past social norms women are still being stereotyped according to their gender thus limiting opportunities and creating occupational segregation.
The difficulties that woman face when starting a business is the risk and effort entailed in starting a business from scratch is perhaps even greater for a woman entering a male dominated arena. Women lack finance and capital assets during the start-up period and argued that one of the key debates within female entrepreneurial research is how these barriers at the start-up stage affect the long-term business performance of women business owners.
Confidence issues: Lack of confidence can be a major problem in the area of female new venture creation. Lack of confidence can have a negative effect on women entering into entrepreneurship. However, she believed that as a woman’s confidence grows, her fear of risk diminishes.
Women were less confident than men in matters relating to the management of staff, with lack of information and training being considered to be the principal reasons why women expressed less confidence in these areas. The subject of confidence is of significant interest to this research as it could have a crucial impact on the female undergraduate and her consideration of entrepreneurship as a career.
Educational factors: The female entrepreneur has a high level of education with some studies indicating that she often reaches a higher educational standard than her male counterpart.
The importance of subject choice in enhancing the success of a female led business venture was recognized. Subject choice is what differentiates between the male and female entrepreneur. This difference in subject choice finding women were less inclined to study science and computer subjects and were more likely to major in health and natural science.
Consequently, a woman, due to her lack of business training especially in the areas of engineering and science is at an immediate disadvantage to entering traditionally male dominated areas such as construction and science.
Education and entrepreneurship
The significance of education and the part it plays in entrepreneurial activity, stating that it is critical to attract the young and educated to entrepreneurship, especially as current industrial trends are towards a knowledge-based environment.
The importance of education to entrepreneurship, believing that ambitious, educated, young people can be equally encouraged into new venture creation as opposed to a large organization, especially as the long-term supply of well-educated and qualified entrepreneurs is essential to a strong modern society.
Therefore, it is of interest to note that a direct correlation between education and entrepreneurship finding entrepreneurial activity highest amongst those with a third level qualification. However, it was suggested that education might be a deterrent to entrepreneurship as honor students show less interest in starting their own business, speculating that a longer time spent in education assimilating more business knowledge does not necessarily lead to higher interest in entrepreneurship.
Entrepreneurship as a career choice: Without doubt the choice of career for the undergraduate can be a complex and difficult process, with this decision-making process becoming even more intricate when the career path chosen is that of starting your own business.
This can lead to entrepreneurship not readily being considered as a career choice. It was acknowledged that undergraduates show a high level of interest in entrepreneurship, as a career.
Entrepreneurial model: Recognizing the particular difficulties surrounding undergraduates and their entry into entrepreneurship designed an entrepreneurial model suggesting the main variables that influence students towards entrepreneurship. These variables are presented as follows:
Pre-dispositional factors: These include an individual’s personality traits, antecedent influences with a particular emphasis on family role models and relevant work experience, confidence in one’s own abilities and a preference to work in the SMEs sector.
Trigger factors: These depend on the individual situation and include the effects of looking for work, availability of career guidance and the prospect of being unemployed.
Possessing a business idea: This is considered the main factor in choosing entrepreneurship as a career. Although the previous factors are important in encourage entrepreneurial activity and may help in prompting a business idea, possessing a business idea alone may inspire new venture creation and is seen as an independent pull into entrepreneurship. Having a business idea is a vital trigger factor when considering entrepreneurship. However, they also agree with the importance of work experience and its help in developing a business idea.
The age of the undergraduate plays a significant role in how students perceive their own entrepreneurial qualities finding the older the undergraduate the higher they assessed their level of entrepreneurial traits. While recognizing the importance of entrepreneurial traits, also believed that these traits can be acquired through education, life experience and the entrepreneurial process. Interestingly, undergraduate students who came from an entrepreneurial family background were more likely to believe they had entrepreneurial characteristics than students that did not come from an entrepreneurial family.
Perceived barriers: Financial risk is considered a major barrier to starting your own business with over fifty percent of university students in a study conducted stating it as a problem. However, they claimed it was not fear of failure as in social embarrassment but the need for security, with many respondents citing having to pay back a student loan as a difficulty. Fear of failure along with bankruptcy, the hard work involved, a small Irish market, difficulties accessing finance and lack of business information as undergraduate’s main barriers to starting a business. With the fear of failure but added inadequate preparation and insufficient business knowledge to the list of perceived barriers. Lack of a business idea is also perceived as a barrier throughout literature on student entrepreneurship, twenty-two percent of students citing the lack of a business idea as a reason for not starting a business.
Interestingly, if a network of support systems were put in place to assist when starting a business, the undergraduates that had previously dismissed the idea of entrepreneurship as a career said they would reconsider entrepreneurship as a career option.
Family influence: The lack of information on entrepreneurship to be a problem for the undergraduate, noting, students coming from a family with no entrepreneurial background are perceived as being at a considerable disadvantage having less access to relevant information. Family background to be important finding undergraduate students coming from a family involved in entrepreneurship have a higher preference to own their own business than undergraduates from a family with no entrepreneurial background.
The female undergraduate
Even though trends show that women are becoming more involved in entrepreneurship, “little is known about what female youth either understand or think about entrepreneurship”. Therefore, the reason for the present research is to add to this scarce body of knowledge by undertaking an exploration of female undergraduates’ attitudes towards and perceptions of entrepreneurship.
In one of the few studies involving female undergraduates that female students were a lot less likely to take an entrepreneurial module than male students and were even less likely to take a degree in entrepreneurship. The most popular reasons given by female undergraduates for not choosing to study entrepreneurship was they did not feel it fitted their personality. Female undergraduates see entrepreneurship as male dominated and therefore decide they are the wrong sex for this type of career, noting this may be due to a lack of suitable role models to help inspire young female students. Gender specific approach within higher education, believing this is necessary as a means to help promote entrepreneurial activity amongst women.
Therefore, the reason for the present research is to add to this scarce body of knowledge by undertaking an exploration of female undergraduates’ attitudes towards and perceptions of entrepreneurship.
Perceived barriers: Lack of a business idea and obtaining finance were perceived as the most difficult barriers to starting a business. However, even though the female undergraduate perceives her interpersonal skills as good she believes herself to be less skilled in the practical areas of business.
The female undergraduate considered her lack of business knowledge to be a barrier. Lack of business knowledge as a constraint to both male and female students. The study found female students were more aware of this omission than male students.
Belief in one’s own ability was lower in the female undergraduate than her male counterpart, and that women with the same level of education as men believed themselves to have less perceived knowledge than the men.
Gender Equality Unit and Hazlett, Henderson, Hill and Leich  also found female undergraduates expressed less self-confidence than male undergraduates. They suggested this lack of confidence expressed by female students in their entrepreneurial abilities might result in less interest than their male counterparts to start a business. However, Hill and Leich  noted there is a positive correlation between the higher the level a women is educated and a woman’s belief in her own ability to start her own business.
Subject choice: Scientists suggested the educational system as well as the social environment should encourage more women to study engineering, science, technical or business related subjects. This deficiency of women taking technical subjects is given an Irish perspective who noted the lack of female students pursuing science, engineering and technology qualifications, citing these subject choices as having particular importance because they often lead to entrepreneurial activity. However, noted in a Danish study that despite an active campaign to encourage female students to undertake technical subjects, this has not yet been reflected in an increase of females entering into entrepreneurship in the high-tech sector.
Entrepreneurial intent refers to the intent to perform entrepreneurial behavior. Entrepreneurial intention has been defined as the intention to start a new business . Zhao et al., , the intention to own a business , or the intention to be self-employed . For the purpose of this study, entrepreneurial intention is defined as an individual’s intention to be self-employed.
These studies are listed alphabetically by author in Table 1 highlighting their focus and contribution.
|Bird ||Entrepreneurial intention||Individual (theoretical)|
|Boyd and Vozikis||Entrepreneurial intention||Individual (theoretical)|
|Chen et al. ||Intention to start a business||Individual (empirical)|
|Crant||Intention to own a business||Individual (empirical)|
|Douglas and Shepherd ||Self-employment intention||Individual (empirical)|
|Katz and Gartner ||Entrepreneurial intention||Organisational (theoretical)|
|Kolvereid||Self-employment intention||Individual (empirical)|
|Kolvereid et al. ||Self-employment intention||Individual (empirical)|
|Krueger and Carsrud ||Entrepreneurial intention||Organistional (theoretical)|
|Krueger and Brazeal ||Entrepreneurial intention||Individual (theoretical)|
|Krueger et al. ||Entrepreneurial intention
Comparing and testing
|Peterman and Kennedy||Entrepreneurial intention||Individual (empirical)|
|Shapero and Sokol||Entrepreneurial event formation||Individual or Group (theoretical)|
|Zhao et al. ||Intentions to start a business||Individual (empirical)|
Table 1: Focus of authors on the contribution.
Work by Katz and Gartner  and Krueger and Carsrud  looked at organisation level entrepreneurial intentions in relation to organizational emergence and considered the influence of institutional factors to better understand their impact. Moving to individuallevel entrepreneurial intention, Bird  linked the new venture’s context with the entrepreneur’s intentions and subsequent action. Her model of intentional action included the entrepreneur’s thinking style (rational and intuitive) impacted by the entrepreneur’s personal history, personality and abilities, and the state of the environment.
Furthering this theoretical work by Bird , Boyd and Vozikis  included the concept of entrepreneurial self-efficacy into their intentions models to better explain antecedents to entrepreneurial intentions. Empirical studies by Chen et al.  and Zhao et al.  continued with the inclusion of entrepreneurial self-efficacy in their intentions models and found a significant relationship between entrepreneurial self-efficacy and entrepreneurial intention. Zhao et al.  also found empirical support for the positive impact of formal academic course participation on intentions to start a new business. In addition, they recommended future researchers employ a quasiexperimental design to evaluate such effectiveness and the research in this thesis takes this recommendation into account.
Peterman and Kennedy , using Shapero’s Entrepreneurial Event model, examined the effect of participation in an enterprise education program on intentions to start a business using a sample of secondary school students. Positive changes in student’s perceptions of the desirability and feasibility of starting a business were evidenced.
Individual’s degree of change in perceptions was related to the positiveness of their prior experience and to the positiveness of their experience in the enterprise education program.
Self-employment intentions: Phenomena such as on-line internet business and globalization have created a plethora of new opportunities for the self-employed and we have a generation of young adults who possess an unprecedented amount of technological knowhow. Individual’s career patterns no longer follow traditional work norms and as a result, experience gained through age is not necessarily a predictor of success. It follows that youth is not a barrier to entry to self-employment and that the tertiary students of the twenty-first century may consider self-employment as a viable career option following graduation.
Previous empirical research supports the view that early vocational aspirations are generally good predictors of later occupational choices and it is plausible that tertiary students with an interest in entrepreneurship will be likely to seek self-employment. The research in this study focuses on undergraduate students’ intentions to be selfemployed.
The research model suggests that self-employment intentions are formed by perceived desirability of self-employment by perceived entrepreneurial self-efficacy and Perceived barriers; the basic tenant being that intention is formed when students perceive that selfemployment is desirable and that they believe they are capable of actually being self-employed. Participation in the entrepreneurship subject is highlighted as a positive ‘trigger event’ was theorized to be an event that stimulates a change process. Participation in the entrepreneurship subject is shown as influential to the relationship between both perceived desirability of self-employment and perceived entrepreneurial self-efficacy, and self- employment intention. This means entrepreneurship education will enhance these relationships however is not essential for the formation of self-employment intentions.
Entrepreneurship education: Studies about entrepreneurship education focus on enterprise education and consider course content, pedagogy, entrepreneurial learning, and assessment. The need to evaluate the effectiveness of entrepreneurship programs has been made evident by several researchers. Researchers present an analysis of six European entrepreneurship programs concluding with a call for increased evaluation of the effectiveness of programs worldwide.
A wide range of entrepreneurship training programs are offered worldwide and given the heterogeneity of such programs, measurement and comparison of their effectiveness is problematic. Researchers suggest the goal of entrepreneurship education training programs should be specific to the target clientele and in turn evaluation should be adjusted accordingly. Students’ attitudes toward entrepreneurship can be changed over time, and a useful approach to the measurement of entrepreneurship programs, as used in the research in this thesis, is to evaluate participants’ changes in attitudes and perceptions of entrepreneurship and the impact of these on their entrepreneurial intentions. We know that key attitudes and intentions toward behavior are driven by perception and as such can be influenced . That said entrepreneurship education is a tool that is available to increase individual’s key attitudes, perceptions and intention towards selfemployment. Little empirical evidence supporting the theoretical claims of the benefits of entrepreneurship education exists .
In public: Jimma University, Addis Ababa University, and Wollege University while among private universities; Rift-Valley Universies at wollega and Adama Campus, Unity University at AA campus and New generation at Nekemte campus were taken as a sample of representative by convenience method with consideration of location of both private and public universities those found in the same cities to reduce cost.
And respondents were taken from selected Universities by disproportional method because of the size of students found in them are vary as follow.
Hence, to identify the necessary information, 630 samples were proposed to be selected by simple random from all selected sample Universities and colleges.
In this study, the chi-square test for independence will be used to test for association. Cross tabulation was also done to show the distribution of respondents while multiple regression analysis the cause of factors on perception self –employment
Model: SEI= ß0+ ß1 * (PF) + ß2 *(PEE) + ß3 *(CA) + ß4 *(EM) + ß5 *(M) +ε
? PF=parents and family
? PEE =Participation in entrepreneur education
? CA= career advisers
? EM= Entrepreneurs as model
? SEI=Self-employment perception (start your own business)
ß0 is the intercept, ß1 and ß2 are the population parameters and ε is the natural variation in the model. The researchers tests for the significance of the linear regression relationship between the dependent variable, and the independent variables, by testing unstandardized coefficients beta (B). If ß1 and ß2 relatively zero, there is no significant linear model or relationship between the dependent variable, and the independent variables. If ß1 and ß2 are not both equal zero, a significant linear relationship or model does exist between Y and the two independent variables.
The relationship between family background and female to start their own business
Families play an important role in female entrepreneurship; recent studies reveal two opposing pictures in this respect. In some cases, families are very supportive (Halkias, Muhammad A, Amber G)  and play an important and supportive role in helping females to develop business ideas. On the other hand, females consider families as a constraint. They receive no appreciation for their work and in most cases they are discouraged. According to different researches’ finding shows family background has impact on female entrepreneurship while others are opposing this idea. Therefore; Tables 2 and 3 is going to test whether there is independency between family background and female starting small business.
|Colleges and Universities||Number of students|
|Addis Abeba University||100|
|Rift Valley AdemaandNekemte campus||120|
|New generation Nekemte campus||80|
Table 2: Sample size from each stratum.
|would your parents discourage you to start your own business||Family background||Total|
|Do not know||Count||38||30||12||80|
Df = 4, x2= 9.31 N=524, p=0.05
Table 3: The relationship between family background and parents discourage female to start their own business.
The Table 3 depicts, 40.1% of respondents responded that as their family discourage female students to start their own business and 44.7% responded as their parents encourages them as they start their own business while 15.3% of them responded as their parents were neutral. This reflects that as the majority of the parents encourage their female students as they start their own business in future.
According to the finding of feeling of being discouraged by parents persuades women to think about self-employment in order to prove themselves. Those females who come from an entrepreneurial background - either one or both of their parents is or has been selfemployed - are very confident in their business approach.
Hence, the following hypothesis were developed to test whether there is independency between family background and discouraging female as they start small business.
Ho: parents background and discourage female students to start small business are independent.
Ha: parents background and discourage female students to start small business are not independent.
As per the chi-square test made, the result shows that equal to the significance level (p=0.05), since we cannot accept the null hypothesis. Thus, we conclude that there is a relationship between parents’ background and discouraging female students as they start their own small business. This supports the finding of that stated females receive no appreciation for their work and in most cases they are discouraged by their parents.
The impact of entrepreneurial education on self-employment intentions
Studies about entrepreneurship education focus on enterprise education and consider course content, pedagogy, entrepreneurial learning, and assessment. The need to evaluate the effectiveness of entrepreneurship programs has been made evident by several researchers. They present an analysis of six European entrepreneurship programs concluding with a call for increased evaluation of the effectiveness of programs worldwide.
There is also some agreement over the educational system and whether it encourages young people to enter entrepreneurship as seen in the Table 4.
|Would you like more entrepreneurial education||Types of University||Total|
Table 4: Need of entrepreneurial education.
As the Tables 5 and 6 shows, 86.4% of female students in public Universities and 84.8% of them from private university college would like more entrepreneurial education/knowledge included in their 3rd level education. In total 85.8% of respondents were expressed the intention as they need entrepreneurial education to start a business.
|Do you intend to start your own business at some stage||Types of University||Total|
X2=5.83, df=3, N=536, P=0.120
Table 5: Females’ students intend to start their own business at some stage.
|Influencers||a. Essential Influence||b.Mainly Positive||c.No Influence||d. Mainly Negative||a+b= Positive influence. (encouragement)|
|Parents & Family||188||35.6||196||37.1||114||21.6||30||5.7||72.7|
|Entrepreneurs that you know||194||39.0||198||39.8||90||18.1||16||3.2||78.8|
Table 6: Influential in the encouragement or discouragement of starting female students their own business.
In addition, as per the interview and focus group discussion held with some female students shows, the two groups of students, with the students that want to start a business expressing a greater desire for more entrepreneurial education to be included in their 3rd level education and they have positive attitude towards the influence of the education system on the encouragement of students to start their own business.
This implies that as participating female students’ in entrepreneurship education have positive impact on their selfemployment intentions. This is similar to the findings of (McCelland et al., Eileen  in which it was found that most of their respondents had established their business in an area that had no connection to the subject area that they had studied.
Entrepreneurial intent refers to the intent to perform entrepreneurial behavior. Entrepreneurial intention has been defined as the intention to start a new business (Krueger and Brazeal  Zhao et al. , the intention to own a business (Crant), or the intention to be self-employed (Douglas and Shepherd ).
The Table 7 portrays that 81% of sample respondents replied as they intend to start their own business at some stage. According to chi-square test made (P=0.120), there is no statistically significant difference between the perception of the female students from public universities and private Universities intend to start their own business.
|I would like to start myownbusiness because||a. Strongly disagree||b. disagree||c. neutral||d. agree||e. Strongly agree||% (d+e)|
|It would gain me respect from others N=500||22(4.4)||54(10.8)||36(7.2)||268(53.6)||120(24.0)||77.6|
|It would give me better work / life balance.N=512||26(5.1)||46(9.0)||44(8.6)||250(48.8)||144(28.1)||76.9|
|I would be able to use my business idea(s).N=522||28(5.4)||60(11.5)||50(9.6)||224(42.9)||160(30.7)||73.6|
|It would enable me to work in the area of my choice.N=522||20(3.8)||70(13.4)||52(10.0)||238(45.6)||142(27.2)||72.7|
|It would enable me to pick my own working time.N=524||34(6.5)||56(10.7)||50(9.5)||258(49.2)||118(22.5)||71.7|
|It would enable me to make a lot of money N=524||34(6.5)||72(13.7)||46(8.8)||264(50.4)||108(20.6)||71|
|It would give me the flexibility to combine my career with my family life.N=514||26(5.1)||56(10.9)||68(13.2)||220(42.8)||144(28.0)||70.8|
|It would enable me to make best use of my personal skills and competencies. N=534||44 (8.2)||56(10.5)||60(11.2)||274(51.3)||100(18.7)||70|
|I want to be my own boss. N=502||64 (12.7%)||98(19.5)||48(9.6)||208(41.4)||84(16.7)||58.1|
|I would be able to use my education to the best advantage N=526||22(4.2)||90(17.1)||116(22.1)||222(42.2)||76(14.4)||56.6|
|I have an assertive strong personality that is necessary for business ownership. N=526||40 (7.6)||76 (14.4)||120 (22.8)||216 (41.1)||74 (14.1)||55.2|
Table 7: Factors motivates female as they start their own business.
In response to the question about whom or what influences female graduates to start their own business, 79.5% of the respondents replied that they would be (are) influenced by educational system they have taken. 78.8% of respondents also indicated that they were influenced by entrepreneurs they know 76.6% of respondents were stated as career advisers were positively influences female graduates to start their own business while relatively 73% of respondents replied as friends, parents and family influences female graduates as they start their own business. Generally, the above finding shows as all parents and family, educational system, career advisers, friends and entrepreneurs that they know had a positive influence on their decision to become an entrepreneur.
Motivation to female for becoming an entrepreneur
The motives behind female entrepreneurship are many and are classified as necessity (push factors) and opportunity (pull factors). It is reported by GEM (2008) that generally, for both male and female it is more common to find individuals who are pulled into entrepreneurship rather than pushed into it.
Furthermore, the Table 7 indicates the perceived motivations of female undergraduates for entering into entrepreneurship
As the Table 7 shows, different questions were asked female students the reason why they would like to start their own business.
Accordingly, majority (77.6%) of students’ believed that entrepreneurship (by starting their own business) as a way of gaining respect from others as was. There was also high positive response to the idea that by starting their own business it would enable to give them better work/life balance with 76.9% of the students believing this. While 73.6% of students were responded as starting their own business it would be able to use their business idea and business skills.
In addition, 72.7% of undergraduates female students agreed that entrepreneurship would allow them to work in the area of their own choice were seen as an essential reason for starting their own business. This is in line with Krueger and Carsrudm  who noted ‘flexibility of choice in the work environment’ as an important feature for those wanting to start their own business. This need for freedom of choice was given further credence with 71.7% of the entrepreneurial-minded undergraduate agreeing entrepreneurship would enable them to pick their own working time. This finding is in agreement with Krueger and Carsrudm  who noted the desire to pick their own working time was an important motivator for starting a business.
Similarly, 71% of students were responded as making a lot of money is also one of the main reasons they want to start their business and 70.8% of students expressed the belief that by choosing entrepreneurship as a career it would give them flexibility to combine their career with their family life and self-fulfilment. This corresponds with findings from studies conducted by (Buttner and Moore , Gasse, Camion, Ghamgui and Tremblay  Eileen  in which selffulfilment and a challenging career were considered highly motivational when starting your own business. While 70% of the respondents agreed that to start their own business would enable them to make the best use of their personal skills and competencies.
Furthermore, 58.1% of the students believed either strongly agreed or agreed that they would like to start their own business because it would permit them to be their own boss. This finding similar with the findings of Eileen  who acknowledged that being your own boss was a key positive feature for the undergraduate when considering starting their own business. 56.6% of students also believe that by starting their own business it would enable them to use their education to the best advantage. Finally, 55.2% of respondents believed the other reason they want to start their own small business is because of they had the assertive strong personality necessary for business ownership.
The findings suggest that for women, the motives for becoming an entrepreneur is not a clear cut situation but is rather a complex set of mixture of different factors. When question regarding the reasons for starting a business, most respondents mentioned both pull and push factors at the same time.
For furthermore study, some interview were held with some students. As expressed by some interviewees some of them want to start their own small business because of they want: flexibility, gain respect from others, indecency, to generate their own income while others have raised reason they want to start their own business were because of they expect as there is no job opportunity by government, they will not satisfied working with in either government office or private company.
In addition, one of female student stated choosing entrepreneurship is because of challenge, independence (opportunity) and frustration at work (necessity) I have heard and observed from my parents. “My families have been working in private organization for about 17 years and I was looking forward to for long while they were doing. They were very frustrated and their work was not so challenging anymore and besides they had little autonomy. They used to vent their anger at home. They realized that they were not being fair to their family or to me. Because of these I decided that I should start something of my own and knew that I will do it. It is true that I do not have much time to myself as they had before but I am much happier and I will be now my own boss”.
Generally, the result of this study leads to believe that women often choose entrepreneurship not only because they expect the idea to have greater return. And they want to start their own business seemed a good choice as it also enabled them to be more independent
Regression analysis on self-employment perception against dependent variable
In linear multiple regression, adjusted R square (adj. R2) is usable rather than the simple R square, since the latter may overestimate the extent to which the researchers sample data explain the variance in the dependent variable, thereby indicating whether the model is good predictor of the dependent variables, partly because simple R square affected by the number of variables included in the model. Therefore, in this study a stepwise multiple linear regression analysis was computed at significant level of (p=0.00) in order to examine which constructs of factors or variables could be the most determinant variable to ensure self-employment perception.
Model: SEI= ß0+ ß1 * (PF) + ß2 *(PEE) + ß3 *(CA) + ß4 *(EM) + ß5 *(M) +ε
? PF=Parents and family
? PEE=Participation in entrepreneur education
? CA= Career advisers
? EM=Entrepreneurs as model
Dependent variable: SEI=Self-employment perception (start your own business)
The Tables 8-10 indicates the results on the relationship between media, educational system, career advisers, entrepreneurs that female students know and parents and family against self-employment perception model. It is clear that this model has the adjusted R2, .030 that shows 3% of the variation in self-employment perception is explained by this model. This model is statistically significant F (5, 417)=2.522, p<0.001. It is possible to conclude that there is sufficient evidence that implies negative linear relationship between parents and family (β=-0.107), career advisers (β=-0.047) and entrepreneurs that female students know (β=-0.013) with self-employment perception. While media (β=0.095) and educational system (β=0.123) have positive relationship with self-employment perception.
|Model||Unstandardized Coefficients||Standardized Coefficients||t||Sig.|
|parents and family||-.107||.050||-.110||-2.113||.035|
|Entrepreneurs that you know||-.013||.057||-.012||-.228||.819|
Dependent variable: SEI, R= .172 , R2 =.030 , adj. R2 =.018, F (5, 417) =2.522, P<0.001
Table 8: Regression analyses on self-employment perception.
|Model||R||R Square||Adjusted R Square||Std. Error of the Estimate|
a. Predictors: (Constant), Media, parents and family, career advisers, Educational system, Entrepreneurs that you know
Table 9: Model summary.
|Model||Sum of Squares||df||Mean Square||F||Sig.|
a. Predictors: (Constant), Media, parents and family, career advisers, Educational system, Entrepreneurs that you know
b.Dependent Variable: start your own business
Table 10: ANOVAb
Here, although, parents and family has negative relationship with self-employment perception, both parents and family and educational system have statistically significant effect on self-employment perception factors when considered in this model.
Cronbach’s Alpha (α) Reliability Coefficient Scores female undergraduates’ attitudes toward and perceptions of entrepreneurship development variables
According to coefficient alpha of 0.7 or greater is acceptable in terms of scale reliability in social science. In addition, it was stated alpha that based on a correlation matrix which should be positive and usually greater than 0.7 in order to provide good support for internal consistency reliability. Hence, Cronbach’s alpha reliability coefficients were calculated to estimate the reliability of the female undergraduates’ attitudes toward and perceptions of entrepreneurship development instrument. Accordingly, the average Cronbach’s alpha reliability coefficient for the female undergraduates’ attitudes toward and perceptions of entrepreneurship development instrument for 47 items is 0.962, which are very good internal consistency and the result for the four for female undergraduates’ attitudes toward and perceptions of entrepreneurship development are given in Table 11.
|variables||Cronbach’s alpha(α) reilability coefficient||No of items||Evaluation of internal consistency|
|Motivation to female for becoming an entrepreneur||.809||11||Good|
|Students’ attitudes towards and perceptions of entrepreneurship||.875||9||Good|
|Influential factor of starting female students their own business||.893||6||Good|
|barriers of female not entering into entrepreneurship||.908||14||Good|
Table 11: Cronbach’s Alpha (α) Reliability Coefficients for female undergraduates’ attitudes toward and perceptions of entrepreneurship development.
The purpose of reliability testing is to make sure that each class of the variables is above 0.7 on Cronbach alpha test to make sure those questions is measuring the entity property. As per Table 11, barriers of female not entering into entrepreneurship, Influential factor of starting female students their own business, Students’ attitudes towards and perceptions of entrepreneurship and Motivation to female for becoming an entrepreneur displayed the highest internal reliability (alpha = 90.80%, 89.3.10%, 87.50% and 80.9%) respectively.
Generally, the Table 11 shows that the entire coefficient alpha for female undergraduates’ attitudes toward and perceptions of entrepreneurship development variables is greater than acceptable in terms of scale reliability in social science. Thus implies that the reliability and internal consistency of items included in the questionnaire were good.
While undertaking the present study it became evident there is very little known about female undergraduates and their views on entrepreneurship. Therefore, there is a need to gain more knowledge about the young educated women and their views on entrepreneurship. It would also be of interest to do a comparative study of higher-level institutions across the different private and public universities, in order to see if there is any difference in attitude of the female undergraduate towards entrepreneurship depending on where the respondents are types of university situated. This would add more information to a seriously under researched topic by gaining an overall picture of the female undergraduate attitudes towards and perceptions of entrepreneurship.
However, different female undergraduate students have different attitudes towards self-employment because of many different factors influence women perception to start their own small business.
Families play an important role in female entrepreneurship; this study reveal half of family female students discourage to start their own business while some parents encourages them as they start their own business.
Both female students in public Universities and private university college would like more entrepreneurial education/knowledge and were expressed the intention as they need entrepreneurial education to start a business. Majority of female students in both public Universities and private university college were expressed their intention as they need entrepreneurial education to start a business.
Minority of students expressed their immediate intentions after the completion of their degree course as they want to start their own business. While majority of them were want to continue further with their education, want to work with in a company and obtain a professional qualification and want work within a large company.
As this finding present that the student who expressed their wish to start their own small business in public Universities are no more different from female students those private Universities College want to start their own small business. Students with a strong favorable attitude toward self-employment would be more likely to develop strong self-employment perception. The motive for becoming an entrepreneur is not a clear cut situation but is rather a complex set of mixture of different factors.
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