University Students’ Perception of Entrepreneurship as a Career Option

Chux Gervase Iwu, Gift Muresherwa, Rylyne Nchu, Chukuakadibia E Eresia-Eke


The need for the cream of the youth population, essentially students in universities, to consider entrepreneurship as a career choice cannot be over-emphasised.  This is especially true in South Africa, where disturbingly high unemployment rates continue to feed a litany of social ills that threaten the continued peaceful existence of the society. Convinced that recourse to entrepreneurship can stem the tide of unemployment, the authors of the study set out to investigate the perceptions of entrepreneurship in the student population, and the possibility of students considering entrepreneurship as a career pathway.  Data was collected in a cross-sectional manner from a non-probability sample comprising 220 students drawn from a university.  Descriptive statistical tools were utilised to analyse the data. Findings reveal that the students have a seemingly narrow view of what entrepreneurship is all about. Nevertheless, evidence abounds that the majority of the respondents nurse an intention that indicates a desire to become entrepreneurs only after completing their tertiary education, as opposed to doing so while still studying. Results also reveal that the biggest impediment to the entrepreneurial intention transforming into actual entrepreneurship endeavours is the lack of support and assistance for such initiatives. Consequently, the study proposes more resolute action on the part of all stakeholders to pave the way for the emergence of more entrepreneurs from the student population.                     


Entrepreneurship intention, entrepreneurship education, career development, perception, motivation

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