Author(s): Anas Al Bakri, Ahmed Mehrez
Entrepreneurship can be defined as the process and mind-set to initiate and develop economic activity. Studies have shown entrepreneurship to be a crucial driver of economic growth. This study sought to examine the factors that influence entrepreneurial attitudes among students in Arab countries. More specifically, it sought to examine the role of universities, role models, the entrepreneurial curriculum and students’ demographic characteristics in promoting Arab students’ entrepreneurial attitudes. The study employed a quantitative research design, where data was gathered from a sample of 1500 undergraduate Arab students in government universities and subjected to one-way ANOVA tests. Descriptive statistics (means and standard deviations) was used to draw additional conclusions from the gathered data. The results showed that Arab students acknowledge the role played by universities, the entrepreneurship curriculum, role models and demographic variables in influencing their attitudes towards entrepreneurship. Universities and the entrepreneurial curriculum were found to be the greatest influencers of students’ entrepreneurial attitudes, ahead of role models and demographic variables. However, the low overall mean showed that most students do not believe that these institutions have played their role satisfactorily. Regarding the moderating effect of demographic variables, ANOVA results showed that age, academic major and work experience were not important determinants of students’ entrepreneurial attitudes. However, one’s country, their gender and academic level were found to be significant influencers of entrepreneurial attitudes. Male students were more entrepreneurially inclined than their female counterparts were and so were those in third and fourth years of study, compared to those in their freshman and sophomore years. The overall finding of the study was that universities need to play a more profound role in influencing students’ entrepreneurial attitudes.