Author(s): Samuel O Olutuase, Pradeep Brijlal, Bingwen Yan, Elizabeth Ologundudu
In view of stimulating entrepreneurial drive for economic gains, it is pertinent to empirically unravel what entrepreneurial ecosystem variables significantly variate entrepreneurial orientation and intention. Within relevant theoretical postulations, this article aimed at determining the amount of variation in entrepreneurial orientation and intention as caused by entrepreneurial ecosystem factors over time. The key entrepreneurial ecosystem factors examined include: business protection; approval of reference people; state of infrastructure that supports intention; ease of accessing financial resources; friendly economic policies; and increase in technology. The study used a cross-sectional survey design following a quantitative approach. Using the simple random technique, data collected from 191 university graduates via a 20-item questionnaire. Data were analysed using paired sample t-test and structural equation modelling. Findings show that there is significant variation in entrepreneurial orientation and intention which is directly or indirectly attributable to the uncontrolled interaction among entrepreneurial ecosystem variables such as approval of reference people; increase in technology; business protection, etc. This variation is however context-dependent. These findings suggest the need to create conducive entrepreneurial ecosystem to complement entrepreneurship education. It is therefore recommended that policy makers must be deliberate at creating complementary entrepreneurial ecosystem in the developing economy context, improve business protection for nascent entrepreneurs; ease the access to financial resources for entrepreneurial graduates; improve state of infrastructure needed for entrepreneurial drive, amongst others. In addition, academic planners should expand the focus of entrepreneurship education curriculum to include how to strategically deal with ecosystem factors that could significantly impact on entrepreneurial action.