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the ‘making’ of an entrepreneur: testing a model of entrepreneurial intent among engineering students at MIT

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In the present study a covariance structure model is tested to identify the causes of entrepreneurial intent among engineering students. Specifically, we explore whether steady personal dispositions or whether perceptions of contextual founding conditions have an impact on the intention to found one’s own business. The survey of 512 students at the MIT School of Engineering broadly confirms the model. Personality traits have a strong impact on the attitude towards self–employment. The entrepreneurial attitude is strongly linked with the intention to start a new venture. The students’ personality therefore shows an indirect effect on intentions. Furthermore, the entrepreneurial intent is directly affected by perceived barriers and support factors in the entrepreneurship–related context. The findings have important implications for policy makers inside and outside universities.
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Document Type: Original Article

Affiliations: 1: Technical University of Hamburg, 2: Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration

Publication date: 01 March 2003

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