The public or private organizations, through the ability to

The
recent initiatives of the Indian government for creating jobs for millions and
establishing a culture of entrepreneurship in the country is indeed a very
positive step to give strength to the country’s economy. The primary drivers of
these initiatives will be the present generation of students, while the Professional
education institutions will play the role of enablers to achieve these
objectives. They offer high-quality
training, in accordance with the needs of labour market as well as to socio economic
environment needs in many ways. The professional institutions can train
professionals who can fulfill the needs of public or private organizations,
through the ability to use technical knowledge to any situation, and with their
acumen (Santos & Fonseca, 2012).

 

The
current situation needs a quick assessment of the capability of the professional
institutions to create entrepreneurial mindset amongst the student’s community.
Although entrepreneurial education has been there in these for over four
decades, their contribution to promoting entrepreneurship has been far off the
mark, when compared with the institutions in the Western countries, where entrepreneurship
has made significant contribution to the economy (Leebaert, 2018). The growth
of corporate entrepreneurship as a valuable antecedent to the revitalization and
enhanced performance of corporations, especially those in the developed
markets, add to its merit (Bharadwaj
& Sushil, 2012). Entrepreneurship influences the country in several ways.
Apart from creating jobs it also contributes to Improvising products and
services, reducing cost of production, making better use of technological
advancements for improving quality of life, enhancing standard of living of its
population, increasing income from exports while decreasing dependency on imports.
Hence, the importance of entrepreneurship can never be underrated.

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The facts highlighted above leads
us to divert our attention on how entrepreneurship must be dealt with by the professional
institutions in India and should there be an increased focus on promoting
Entrepreneurship particularly amongst the Professional institutions in the
country.

The next pertinent question that
arises is what can be done to build up an entrepreneurial ecosystem within
these professional institutions. With these preliminary thoughts, the research
problem for this study is generated.

 

Problem Statement:

In order to increase the efforts
by professional institutions in the country to boost the entrepreneurial
culture amongst the students, it is essential to assess the needs of the
students and then map needs with the existing support to entrepreneurial provided
by these institutions. Perhaps a framework is required to be evolved which can
help identify the needs of the students and then use such a framework to
identify the gaps in the present structure of the professional institutions.
The current literature on entrepreneurship education does not have any
framework against which the mapping of the institutional efforts to promote
entrepreneurship van be measured. Hence, the problem statement for this
research is stated as under:

A framework needs to be developed for assessing the capacity
of professional institutions to provide the essential environment for boosting
the entrepreneurial activities amongst the students.

  

 

Current Scenario of Entrepreneurship
education in Professional institutions

The
experts from industry and academia have consistent views on, the need of every
student pursuing higher education, to acquire entrepreneurial capabilities, besides
subject specific knowledge. The skills essential to succeed as an entrepreneur
thus, must be integrated into the curriculum with an increased emphasis. The
students of business schools are more likely to study the subject of
Entrepreneurship in a formal way, but a vast majority of the students from
other streams, such as Engineering, Pharmacy etc., do not have this
opportunity. This gap has led to a slower growth of ‘startups’ in these
educational institutions. Ironically, such technical institutions, compared to
the business schools, have more intellectual capital (Patentable technology,
tools, machines, equipment etc.). While the business school students may have
more knowledge of commercializing these intellectual resources but they lack in
several skills such as technical competencies, project management, financial
modeling etc., and most even they lack in confidence to turn to entrepreneurship.
(Louw et. al., 2003)

Some studies on the entrepreneurship
point out that, although the preference to study entrepreneurship is high in
India, the educational support for its development largely missing (Raichaudhari,
2005) Entrepreneurship education is not yet a hugely desired course of the
among management students in India. For this reason, the institutions offer
entrepreneurship as an extra-curricular or co-curricular course in colleges and
universities in India (Shankar, 2012)

An analysis of the current situation indicates an
unjustifiable ignorance of the Entrepreneurship education in the Indian
institutions. This scenario has to change and Entrepreneurship education has to
be accorded its right place in the educational curriculum (Rehman
et. al., 2012)
if the professional educational institutions are to play any role in
building the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the country.

 

A news recently appeared
in many national dailies titled “19,000 graduates, postgraduates, MBAs, BTechs
apply for 114 sweepers’ jobs in UP town” (Abbas, 2016). These are not one off incidents. Many such
developments take place in india and do not get registered in the records of
the institutions nor are given cognizance by the policy making bodies of the country.     This
calls for an extensive and meticulous examination of the structures, processes
and the entire ecosystem for promoting entrepreneurship in professional
institutions. It is high time the professional institutions in India stop
producing hordes of job seekers and unemployable graduates but competent
entrepreneurs, confident of making their own destiny.

Objectives of the study

The study attempted to
explore the status of Support to entrepreneurial activities by educational
institutions in Indian context and to find out the means of promoting the
Entrepreneurial Intentions of the students in professional institutions in
India. Following objectives are outlined for the purpose of this study:

(1)To form a scale for
measuring the Support to entrepreneurial activities by professional education
institutions in order to capture the constructs of entrepreneurial support
needed by students  in context of Indian
Professional institutions.

(2) To ascertain the
underlying dimensions of the identified constructs.

(3) To use the identified
dimensions for creating the framework for measuring the level of support to
entrepreneurial activities by professional education institutions.

 

Literature Survey and
formation of hypothesis

A.
Entrepreneurial Intentions

There exist a vast literature in psychological and
social studies on ‘intentions.  The
‘intentions’ have acted as a robust predictor of planned individual behaviour,
more so, in case these behaviour occur at random intervals, are uncommon in
their occurrence and not easily observable (Krueger
et. al., 2000) entrepreneurship has all
these characteristic of planned and intentional behaviour (Bird, 1988; Krueger
& Brazeal, 1994).  

The current literature has enormous evidences to
support the fact that intentions play a very significant role in an
individual’s choice of establishing his own business ( Linan & Chen, 2009)
Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB) is regarded as the most suitable model for
predicting an individual’s intention and is a well-researched theory (Ajzen,
1991). The efficiency of TPB to
forecast entrepreneurial intentions has been proved by several studies on
entrepreneurship (Autio, 2001; Kolvereid 1996a; Engle et. al., 2010)

The model
identifies three main constructs to predict an individual’s intention:

1. The Attitude toward the behaviour
(the extent of individuals’ positive or negative judgements of being an
entrepreneur (Autio, 2001; Kolvereid 1996b)

2. The Subjective norms
(the ostensible force from family, friends or other significant social class of
individuals to start a new business or not) (Ajzen, 1991) and

3. The Behavioural control
(the perceived ease or hardship of becoming an entrepreneur).

The three construct as
mentioned above are predictive variables, whereas ‘Entrepreneurial Intention”
is considered as the dependent variable.

The key constructs of the
theory of planned behaviour and entrepreneurial intentions are well researched
and a part of many prominent studies in the area of entrepreneurship (Linan
& Chen, 2009; Autio, 2001; Kolvereid 1996b; Gird, & Bagraim, 2008). In
the highly proclaimed journal, Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, Linan
& Chen in the year 2009, had created a scale for testing entrepreneurial
intentions by applying the theory of planned behaviour. This questionnaire was
considered of high relevance to this study and hence was adapted for this
research.

 

Several
studies have supported Ajzen’s claim that the three identified constructs are
helpful in predicting the ‘intentions’ but also conclude that the result may
vary in different situations and in context of different countries Thus, these
conclusions indicate that all three intention antecedents must be combined when
examining entrepreneurial intentions.

Thus,
we frame the first Hypothesis as under

H1:
Attitude towards behavior (entrepreneurship), subjective norms and perceived
behavioral control with respect to entrepreneurship, are positively related
with the students’ entrepreneurial intention.

 

B. Support to entrepreneurial activities by
Educational institutions’ (SEA-EI)

There has been a growing
interest, in the last few decades, in the area of entrepreneurship as a
socio-economic subject and has seen many researches being done in this area (Fayolle, Gailly,
Lassas-Clerc, 2006). Entrepreneurship has gained
interest due to its economic significance and its various benefits such as
innovation and creativity for the markets, generation of new job opportunities,
and other economic benefits (Shane &
Venkataraman, 2000). Many studies in the past have indicated that entrepreneurship can be
taught and that education can promote entrepreneurship (Gatewood, et al. 2002; Mitra & Matlay, 2004
Kuratko, 2005; Harris, & Gibson, 2008; Henry, et al. 2005; Falkang &
Alberti, 2000; Kirby, 2002).

The inclusion of entrepreneurship in the
educational programmes has seen a phenomenal rise in many universities and
institutions ( Kuratko, 2005; Finkle &
Deeds,2001; Matlay, 2005). Entrepreneurship has gained a wide-ranging popularity amongst
postgraduate and undergraduate students alike (Finkle & Deeds, 2001). These evidences indicate the importance of
entrepreneurship education in Higher Educational institutions. Hence, the
support by institutions to entrepreneurship is of great value to the students.

 

The item generation for the constructs of
‘Support to entrepreneurial activities by Educational institutions’ (SEA-EI)
hinged on theoretical and commonly known concepts. A convenience sample of 22
entrepreneurs and senior academician in the field of entrepreneurship were
requested to define SEA-EI through an open-ended format. The frequently
appearing terms were converted into the items for the construct and a seven
point Likert scale response categories of Strongly Disagree-1 to Strongly
Agree-7 was used. This process led creation of 23 items scale for the construct
of SEA-EI.

 

With respect to the discussion above, it is
vital to evaluate the relationship between entrepreneurial intentions and the
Support to entrepreneurial activities by educational institutions. Hence, the
second hypothesis is proposed as under:

H2: There is a significant relationship
between Entrepreneurial Intentions and factors Support to entrepreneurial
activities by educational institutions.

 

Research Methodology:

The study aimed to understand the intention of the
students undergoing undergraduate and Post Graduate professional programmes.
Hence, 400 targeted emails were sent to students who had sent their interest
for participation in an Entrepreneurship course to be conducted by a prominent
institution. 294 responses were received. The sample size was considered
sufficient for the statistical analysis. The sample population was drawn from
variety of disciplines from the professional institutions in and around Nagpur
City, while maintaining the randomness of the sample. Inferential statistics
were used to analyse the collected data.

 

Analysis and Results:

Two scales were used for the purpose of the study
namely Entrepreneurial Intentions Scale and the SEA-EI scale. Since only SEA-EI
was specifically constructed for the study, exploratory factor analysis was
performed for the items. Exploratory factor analysis performed on the data
identified the underlying dimensions. Principal component analysis with Eigen
value greater than one was used to extract factor. This resulted in extraction
of seven factors as labelled in Table 1, to reflect various characteristics of
the Support to entrepreneurial activities by educational institutions.

 

———————————-

Insert Table 1 about here

———————————-

 

 

The factors together accounted for 80.9% of the
variance in the data. The factor loadings range from high of 0.873 to a low of
0.551.The reliability analysis of the scale was performed using Cronbach’s
alpha and Coefficient alpha of the entire scale was found to 0.775, which was
in the acceptable range Litwin, 1995. Table 2 presents the Reliability
statistics for the SEA-EI Scale. The adapted scale for measuring
Entrepreneurial Intentions has a combined Coefficient for four constructs is
0.8112.

 

———————————-

Insert Table 2 about here

———————————-

 

In the next stage, for the purpose of testing the
hypothesis 1, a regression analysis was performed and a model in which the
Entrepreneurial Intention was taken as the dependent variables whereas the
constructs of attitude towards entrepreneurship, perceived behavioural control
and subjective norms were the predictor variables. Table 3 presents the model
summary of the linear regression, the model indicates that the antecedents of
theory of planned behaviour have a significant predictive power on the entrepreneurial
intentions (p<0.05). The overall adjusted R2 is 0.61, which is quite high and is well positioned in the range of predicting the Entrepreneurial Intention. Similarly it is also revealed that attitude towards entrepreneurship has the highest influence on the entrepreneurial intentions. The test support hypothesis 1, hence the positive relations between the three antecedents namely attitude towards entrepreneurship, perceived behavioural control and subjective norms have a significant positive relations with the entrepreneurial intentions.   ---------------------------------- Insert Table 3 about here ----------------------------------   For testing the second hypothesis H2, a Bivariate Correlation analysis was used to understand the relationship between entrepreneurial intentions and the factors extracted from the Support to Entrepreneurial Activities by Educational Institutions. A strong and significant relationship would highlight the influence that the SEA-EI will have on the behavioural intentions of the students of professional institutions. Table 4 displays the Bivariate correlations between the SEA-EI factors and the entrepreneurial intentions. The training in entrepreneurship has the highest and positive correlation coefficient (0.528) with the entrepreneurial intentions, which is quite obvious and points towards the need to develop training programmes for the students of the professional institutions. The second highest coefficient (0.411) is the infrastructural support for the professional institutions, indicating that the students need infrastructural support such as Workplaces, facilities and Entrepreneurship Cells in their institutions. Incubation and mentoring programme have also found very strong and significant (0.398) support in the study. Providing Entrepreneurial Guidance & Counseling (0.342) is also a critical aspect to build the entrepreneurial intentions of the students of Professional institutions. Patents, Licensing and Technology have been found not to have significant correlation with the entrepreneurial intention; perhaps this plays a rudimentary role in creating the entrepreneurial intentions hence may have been ignored in comparison to the other factors. Most of the SEA-EI factors have significant impact on the entrepreneurial intentions and contributes to the development of entrepreneurship. Hence, Hypothesis H2 is accepted.       ---------------------------------- Insert Table 4 about here ----------------------------------     ---------------------------------- Insert Figure 1 about here ---------------------------------- Implications of the study and Recommendations   The present study evaluated the Entrepreneurial intensions of the students enrolled in the professional programmes and their linkage with the Support to entrepreneurial activities by the educational institutions. The study has identified seven factors which can help promote entrepreneurship in the professional institutions in India. These factors can be included in the mapping process to help the professional institutions in building up an environment for building and promoting entrepreneurship amongst students undergoing professional programmes. The professional educational institutions are one of the primary drivers of entrepreneurship in the country, and hence, must play a proactive role in creating entrepreneurs who will eventually drive the nation's economic agenda. Entrepreneurs need the support at a very early stage and if the educational institutions identify the entrepreneurial talent at an early stage, a vast amount of potential entrepreneurs can be produced within the institutions. Although many educational institutions have begun the efforts to promote entrepreneurship and support in being granted (Basu, 2014) to the students evincing interest in entrepreneurship and venture creation, but an all-round support as suggested in the current study will help give much needed improvement in the number of ventures floated by the students of the professional institutions. The leading institutions of country such as IITs, NITs and IIMs are in a much better position to initiate these measures, given their resource capabilities, whereas governmental support will be required to enhance the capabilities of self-financed institutions in the country.