Are different entrepreneurship-promotion activities equally effective? an analysis by academic year and gender


Entrepreneurial education (EE) has proliferated in recent years, however, while previous research has extensively analyzed the impact of EE on students’ entrepreneurial intentions (EI), studies tend to analyze EE as a monolithic concept without distinguishing between different types of academic activities and hence under examining how EE achieves its goals. To fill this gap in the literature, drawing on Ajzen’s (1991) Theory of Planned Behavior and EE theory, we examine the relative effectiveness of different teaching models (supply, demand, and competence models) and specific academic activities in developing entrepreneurial intentions (EI). In particular, we focus on interdisciplinary activities (i.e., activities involving students from varying profiles and career fields), a type of academic activity that has been neglected by previous literature. We also explore potential differences in the effectiveness of these models depending on students’ educational stage and gender, factors which have also been overlooked by the literature. Using survey data from 859 business school students, a structural model, and partial least squares technique, we found differences in the impact of teaching models on students’ EI depending on activity characteristics, as well as student educational stage and gender. The results have important implications for educational practice and for public and private organizations interested in promoting entrepreneurship: i) the importance of autonomy, experiential learning, and exploratory learning in entrepreneurship-promotion activities, and ii) the convenience of tailoring these activities according to the gender, year of education, and academic field of the students.

Keywords: Entrepreneurial education, entrepreneurial intentions, gender differences, Interdisciplinarity, Partial least squares, Teaching-model archetypes