Commerce faculties: The hidden pipeline of entrepreneurs, a model of entrepreneurial intention
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Entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship have been the focus of economic development for the past 22 years. The aim is to spark economic growth that will be sustainable for the years to come. The current state of entrepreneurship will be better understood when the economic, educational and political past of black entrepreneurship is unpacked. Blacks constitute the majority of the South African population and South Africa requires entrepreneurs to reach its goals stipulated in the National Development Plan (NDP) 2030. Entrepreneurial education is vital to the development of entrepreneurs to enter the economy, which would alleviate unemployment and ensure economic growth, as many other countries have done in the past. Commerce faculties that offer entrepreneurship education are the focus of this study to determine the effect of four cognitive factors on the entrepreneurial intention of students. These four factors are attitude towards entrepreneurship, role models, entrepreneurial leaders, and resources and opportunities within commerce faculties. This study uses the Theory of Planned Behaviour as a model to determine entrepreneurial intention. This theory has been proven to be a sound instrument to use when determining intention and behaviour. The study took place at the University of the Western Cape’s Economic and Management Science Faculty (School of Business and Finance), the University of Cape Town’s Faculty of Commerce, Stellenbosch University’s Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences and Cape Peninsula’s University of Technology’s Business and Management Faculty. The data was collected by using a self-administered questionnaire which was designed for the purpose of this study which was tested for reliability and validity. The population size was 240 from the various institutions mentioned previously. SPSS 24 was used for the statistical data analysis. There findings were that attitude towards entrepreneurship and resources and opportunities were statistically significant in affecting or influencing entrepreneurial intention. The model explained 57.6% of the variance in entrepreneurial intention. Entrepreneurship education should be seriously considered as a tool to influence entrepreneurial intention as the study showed that entrepreneurship education can and will influence entrepreneurial intention. This implies that the higher education institutions are the custodians for future entrepreneurs in the education they provide and the manner in which the entrepreneurship education is presented.