Scholarly article on topic 'Motivations, business planning, and risk management: entrepreneurship among university students'

Motivations, business planning, and risk management: entrepreneurship among university students Academic research paper on "Economics and business"

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{"Entrepreneurial motivations" / "Business planning" / "Risk management" / "University students"}

Abstract of research paper on Economics and business, author of scientific article — Aleciane da Silva Moreira Ferreira, Elisabeth Loiola, Sônia Maria Guedes Gondim

Abstract The objective of this study was to compare motivations for entrepreneurship, business planning, and risk management between two groups of university students: those who already had a business (experienced entrepreneurs) and those intending to start one (potential entrepreneurs). A total of 424 undergraduate and graduate students participated in the survey study. Descriptive and inferential analyses were conducted to compare the groups. The results indicate that the entrepreneurial motivations of potential student entrepreneurs are higher than those of experienced student entrepreneurs. In the process of creating the business, it was shown that both groups of students are cautious about managing business risks, but the group of potential student entrepreneurs appeared more concerned with the business plan than the experienced group.

Academic research paper on topic "Motivations, business planning, and risk management: entrepreneurship among university students"

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RAI Revista de Administraçâo e Inovaçâo xxx (2017) xxx-xxx

1 Motivations, business planning, and risk management: entrepreneurship

2 among university students

3 Qi Aleciane da Silva Moreira Ferreira *, Elisabeth Loiola, Sônia Maria Guedes Gondim

4 Universidade Federal da Bahia (UFBA), Bahia, BA, Brazil

Received 14 April 2016; accepted 19 December 2016

Scientific Editor: Fernanda Cahen


The objective of this study was to compare motivations for entrepreneurship, business planning, and risk management between two groups of university students: those who already had a business (experienced entrepreneurs) and those intending to start one (potential entrepreneurs). A total of 424 undergraduate and graduate students participated in the survey study. Descriptive and inferential analyses were conducted to compare the groups. The results indicate that the entrepreneurial motivations of potential student entrepreneurs are higher than those of experienced student entrepreneurs. In the process of creating the business, it was shown that both groups of students are cautious about managing business risks, but the group of potential student entrepreneurs appeared more concerned with the business plan than the experienced group. © 2017 Departamento de Administracao, Faculdade de Economia, Administracao e Contabilidade da Universidade de Sao Paulo - FEA/USP. Published by Elsevier Editora Ltda. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (

14 Keywords: Entrepreneurial motivations; Business planning; Risk management; University students

16 Introduction

17 Since the 1990s, interest in the entrepreneurship training of

18 university students in Brazilian higher education institutions has

19 been continually increasing. Politicians and university leaders

20 have begun to realize the importance of treating entrepreneur-

21 ship as an academic training area. The focus of Brazilian higher

22 education strictly on the training of future qualified employees

23 has already proven insufficient given the country's needs (Lima,

24 Lopes, Nassif, & Silva, 2011).

25 There is evidence in the literature that entrepreneurship edu-

26 cation has helped university students develop positive attitudes

27 toward entrepreneurship and increased their positive perception

28 of business viability (opportunity analysis) (Bae, Qian, Miao,

29 & Fiet, 2014). In short, the maximum use of skills and talents,

30 the perception of control over the future, the positive attitude

* Corresponding author. E-mails: (A.S. Ferreira), (E. Loiola), (S.M. Gondim).

Peer Review under the responsibility of Departamento de Administracao, Faculdade de Economia, Administracao e Contabilidade da Universidade de Sao Paulo - FEA/USP.

toward learning new things and putting creativity into practice, fear of unemployment, personal values, the search for autonomy, financial independence, and self-actualization, plus the ideal of fulfilling a social mission, are further individual reasons that lead university students to take on their entrepreneurial career (Barba-Sánchez & Atienza-Sahuquillo, 2012).

Although the results of research on the motivation and reasoning that leads college students to follow the entrepreneurial career path indicate a set of personal and contextual variables that, hypothetically, explain the entrepreneurial career choice of college students in general, little is known about the differences in the influence of such variables among experienced entrepreneurial students, non-entrepreneurial students, and students who are potential entrepreneurs. Behavioral and attitudinal differences between entrepreneurs and non-entrepreneurs have long been the subject of research. Empirical and theoretical research comparing experienced entrepreneurs, new entrepreneurs, non-entrepreneurs, and managers is emphasized here, considering that studies of this nature focused on university students were not located in a bibliographic search.

The study by Carland, Hoy, Boulton, and Carland (1984) explores, based on Schumpeter (1934) and on results from

1809-2039/© 2017 Departamento de Administraçâo, Faculdade de Economia, Administraçâo e Contabilidade da Universidade de Sao Paulo - FEA/USP. Published by Elsevier Editora Ltda. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (

2 A.S. Ferreira et al./RAI Revista de Administragáo e Inovagáo xxx (2017) xxx-xxx

54 other studies, the differences between entrepreneurs and small the cross-reading of these results reveals how much of the 111

55 business owners, proposing a conceptual framework that dif- perceived uncertainty the entrepreneur accepts and exposes 112

56 ferentiates them. In this framework, pro-innovation behavior him/herself to (calculated risk), in exchange for a return. 113

57 is a critical factor in differentiating entrepreneurs from non- In addition to risk management, business success among 114

58 entrepreneurial managers, on the one hand, and from small potential entrepreneurs or experienced entrepreneurs also 115

59 business owners, on the other. depends on planning, as both can influence market anal- 116

60 Contrary to many studies on entrepreneurship, Gartner ysis, return on investment, experimentation, and flexibility 117

61 (1985), a classic in the field of entrepreneurship studies, (Sarasvathy, 2001). Risk management and planning are little- 118

62 warns that in addition to the differences between entrepreneurs explored concepts in research on entrepreneurship in Brazil. The 119

63 and non-entrepreneurs, there are also differences among the international literature advances a little further in the discussion 120

64 entrepreneurs themselves. Based on a bibliography review, that ofplanning,byfollowingSarasvathy's(2001)promisingpath,or 121

65 author identifies six activities common to entrepreneurs: find- by embracing traditional approaches to planning, which reduce 122

66 ing business opportunities, accumulating resources, introducing it to the preparation of business plans, especially in entrepreneur- 123

67 products and services in the market, manufacturing products, ship training programs. 124

68 establishing organizations, and responding to the requirements The research whose results are presented in this article began 125

69 of society and of governments. All of these activities involve from the premise that risk management, the motivations for 126

70 risk, demand some level of planning, and can also help reveal an entrepreneurial career, and business planning are important 127

71 the diversity among entrepreneurs. variables for understanding entrepreneurship. It also supposed 128

72 The study by Baron and Ensley (2006), for example, showed that studying these variables by comparing groups of potential 129

73 that experienced entrepreneurs identify and explore more entrepreneurs and experienced entrepreneurs, in the univer- 130

74 business opportunities than novice entrepreneurs. The study sity context, would help to identify differences between these 131

75 by Hooks (2010) compared attitude, leadership, innovation, groups. Studies indicate that young people are the main actors 132

76 perceived control, and self-confidence of new and experienced of entrepreneurship in Brazil (Global Entrepreneurship Monitor 133

77 entrepreneurs, and how these are related to satisfaction with life. - GEM, 2015). In addition, the present study goes further as it 134

78 It found that new entrepreneurs have more satisfaction with life fills a theoretical gap in the interpretation of the weight of little- 135

79 and that the experienced ones see the failures of the past as explored individual variables (planning, risk management) in the 136

80 an opportunity for growth. The study by Walter and Heinrichs entrepreneurial actions (Salusse & Andreassi, 2016) of univer- 137

81 (2015) also points out the existence of different cognitive pro- sity students, who are already entrepreneurs or who reveal their 138

82 cesses before and after starting a business. intention to become entrepreneurs. In the practical context, the 139

83 The literature shows that propensity for risk is one of the study contributes to the generation of recommendations for bet- 140

84 main personal attributes of the individual entrepreneur. This ter practices and policies - including public policies - aimed at 141

85 belief finds support in theories of personal traits, whose main improving competencies and resources of higher education insti- 142

86 proponent is McClelland (1961). But in spite of the wide dif- tutions to better prepare future professionals, especially those 143

87 fusion of this vision, the research results indicate a broader who will take on some kind of entrepreneurial initiative. 144

88 picture still marked by contradictions. The work on risk propen-

89 sity that became a reference, and one of the most consulted, Theoretical support 145 90Q2 was that of Brockhaus (1980). Using Kogan-Wallach's choice

91 dilemmas questionnaire, the author concluded that risk propen- Motivations guiding students' entrepreneurial careers 146

92 sity might not be a specific characteristic of entrepreneurs.

93 In contrast, Carland, Carland, and Pearce (1995) compared The motivations for starting a business have been related to 147

94 entrepreneurs, managers, and small business owners and con- economic factors (Schumpeter, 2002), the search for opportuni- 148

95 cluded that entrepreneurs possess a greater propensity for risk. ties in the competitive market (Shane & Venkataraman, 2000), 149

96 The results of the meta-analysis study by Stewart and the lack of, or dissatisfaction with, job opportunities (Kautonen 150

97 Roth (2001) are in line with Carland, Carland, and Pearce's & Palmroos, 2010), and even to the need for self-actualization 151

98 (1995) findings, suggesting that entrepreneurs'risk propensity (McClelland, 1965). Although McClelland's model predicts 152

99 is greater than that of managers/bosses. In addition, the results other types of motivations such as the need for affiliation and 153

100 revealed differences between entrepreneurs: the risk propensity power, various empirical studies (Barba-Sánchez & Atienza- 154

101 of entrepreneurs who focus on business growth as their main Sahuquillo, 2012; Sivarajah &Achchuthan, 2013) point out that 155

102 objective is higher than for those focused on generating family the need for achievement is the strongest among those in their 156

103 income as their main business objective. models. 157

104 In comparing Brazilian and Portuguese entrepreneurs, the The need for achievement can be defined as a pattern of 158

105 research carried out by Silva, Gomes, and Correia (2009) showed motivation that reveals self-confidence, great initiative, guided 159

106 that although Brazilians reject uncertainties more, they present by clearly established goals, assuming moderate responsibili- 160

107 higher risk propensity than the Portuguese. The propensity was ties and risks, and favoring situations that can provide feedback 161

108 measured by the ability to "make decisions and take actions for performance improvement (McClelland, 1961). Such char- 162

109 without the sure knowledge of results" (p. 69). Because risk acteristics are strongly associated with the entrepreneurial 163

110 propensity and aversion to uncertainty are correlated concepts, profile (Aschuler, 1967). A few years later, McClelland (1965) 164

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165 proposed ways to develop the need for achievement among and goals (Sivarajah & Achchuthan, 2013). Motivation, how- 222

166 young people, which can be summarized on four fronts: goal ever, is not a static state, as the stimuli that move people change 223

167 setting (encouraging young people to take on responsibilities), throughout life. What motivates the creation of the business, 224

168 motive syndrome (promoting the integration of thinking, action, for example, may undergo changes due to acquired practical 225

169 and context, allowing young people to adjust their goals to the experience and adverse factors. 226

170 particular situation in which they find themselves), cognitive

171 supports (promoting intense reflections so young people can Business creation - business planning and risk management 227

172 connect their motives to their actual reality), and group supports

173 (use the group to promote better insights and provide feedback). Business planning usually takes place through systematiza- 228

174 University students want to achieve goals that are challeng- tion of ideas, such as the business plan, aset of written documents 229

175 ing, as well as overcome obstacles, which allow them to see modeling the future of an enterprise (Carvalho, 2009; Testa & 230

176 their success as a result of their own actions. The successful use Frascheri, 2015). This also helps people to initiate, maintain, and 231

177 of skills acquired throughout their university education (Frese, evaluate the actions needed to achieve the goal (Frese, 2009). 232

178 Rousseau, & Wiklund, 2014; Olufunso, 2010; Padachi, 2006) The study by Santos and Silva (2012) concluded that the 233

179 heightens their personal capacity for learning a repertoire of business plan is a guide that assists the entrepreneur in manage- 234

180 knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors that strengthen their self- ment, includinga numberof models adapted to different business 235

181 confidence. They feel uncomfortable when they fail to put this realities. Various positive effects of the business plan were sum- 236

182 theoretical learning into effect as employees, and the opening of marized by Delmar and Shane (2003), with emphasis on: speed 237

183 a new business (whether for profit, not for profit, or mixed) is a in decision making, anticipation of information flaws, resource 238

184 promising route to this achievement. management, business feasibility analysis, and improvement 239

185 Although the need for achievement is perceived as the most of communication internal and external to the business. The 240

186 important motivation among scholars, the current world situa- meta-analysis by Brinckmann, Grichnik, and Kapsa (2010) also 241

187 tion leads students to include other motives, such as social ones, showed that the business plan increases the performance of the 242 18Q3 as a way of contributing to solidarity in the world (Omorede, business. 243

189 2014), to social justice, and to protection of the environment Although studies on business planning among students are 244

190 (Bornstein, 2004). This perspective converges with what Smith not common, there is a relative consensus that such planning 245

191 and Woodworth (2012) call social entrepreneurship, which, in is indispensable in the process of formulating and creating the 246

192 short, aims at improving society in general. The financial return, business (Botha & Robertson, 2014, Sebrae, 2012). It is recog- 247

193 although it motivates the students, has not been associated with nized, however, that there is a debate in the entrepreneurship 248

194 their principal motivations (Lima, Nassif, Lopes, & Silva, 2014). field about the value of the business plan (Chandler, Detienne, 249

195 Family context (Almeida & Teixeira, 2014; Sivarajah & Mckelvie, & Mumford, 2011; Delmar & Shane, 2003). While 250

196 Achchuthan, 2013) and academic context (Kacperczyk, 2013) one group of researchers perceives it as a fundamental activity 251

197 also contribute to the decision to pursue an entrepreneurial for success in creating a business, others question this assertion 252

198 career. The networks serve as a type of social capital (Gruber, 2007), considering the high levels of uncertainty and 253

199 (Granovetter, 2005) and are fundamental in the creation and volatility in the startups' environments. 254

200 support of the business (Vale & Guimaraes, 2010), in line with Along these lines, two approaches to planning are discussed 255

201 McClelland's (1965) thinking, in addressing the need to belong in the literature (Sarasvathy, 2001). One about causes (causa- 256

202 to a group at the same time as there is concern about meeting its tion) takes into account the traditional paradigm of elaborating 257

203 needs. detailed plans, and its relevance to the business. The other about 258

204 Motivations may also be influenced by culture, region, gen- effects (effectuation) reverses this traditional logic and intro- 259

205 der, and ethnicity (Shane, Kolvereid, & Westhead, 1991).Inthe duces the paradigm of experimentation, that is, of trying different 260

206 United States, for example, more men than women are starting market entry perspectives before choosing a business concept. 261

207 an entrepreneurial career (Reynolds, Carter, Gartner, & Greene, The effectuation approach follows a logic that allows the student 262

208 2004), unlike Brazil, whose GEM data for 2014 points to a to take advantage of contingent opportunities, accept losses, and 263

209 greater presence of women at this initial stage (51%), as well explore strategic alliances. There is a recognition that failures 264

210 as regional differences (Almeida, 2013). In Malaysia, Akmaliah are part of business success, and realities can be reconstructed 265

211 and Hisyamuddin (2009) found that community support, inter- by exploring new opportunities (Sarasvathy, 2008). 266

212 est, and high self-esteem motivated the entrepreneurial career Some studies conclude that successful entrepreneurs are more 267

213 of students. In China, Mexico, and the US, independence and able to manage risk (Botha & Robertson, 2014), since the 268

214 risk-propensity were the principal motives for self-employment, positive outcome of entrepreneurial ventures also depends on 269

215 particularly in the US, with individual and contextual factors financial management and the availability of working capital 270

216 more conducive to entrepreneurship (Wang, Prieto, Hinrichs, & (Padachi, 2006). In addition, it involves a great variety of skills 271

217 Milling, 2012). in strategy, accounting, legal and technical knowledge important 272

218 From the motivations listed, it is clear that the process of in running the business (Almeida, 2013). 273

219 business creation depends on personal, social, and contextual Risk management also takes into account other aspects 274

220 motivations, and their intensity (Valencia, Restrepo, & Restrepo, such as technological requirements, markets, scenarios, current 275

221 2014). These motives interact with each other and guide plans and future competition, financial projections, current laws and 276

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280 281 282

regulatory processes, socioeconomic environment, and political interference (Braga, 2012). Although cognitive skills are assumed to be involved in risk analysis, such as assessing which losses are acceptable and when to stop in case of failure (Baron & Ensley, 2006), this process seems to be more clearly defined by experienced entrepreneurs (Matlin, 2005), suggesting that the larger social context may contribute to the development of such skills.

The arguments presented in this section emphasize the importance of planning and risk management for understanding the behavior of entrepreneurs, and justify comparative empirical studies such as what will be reported here, helping to gather evidence on diversity and heterogeneity among entrepreneurs in specific contexts, such as the university.

291 Potential and experienced entrepreneurs

292 Potential entrepreneurs are those who intend to start a new

293 business or expect to be in the situation of owners or partners 29Q4 of a new company (GUESSS, 2013). Experienced entrepreneurs

295 are those who have owned a business for more than four years

296 (Hooks, 2010), or have been established for more than three

297 and a half years (GEM, 2015). The reasons that lead to the cre-

298 ation of a new business appear similar between entrepreneurs

299 intending to start their businesses and those who already have

300 them, reasons such as financial security, independence, self-

301 actualization, and autonomy (Reynolds et al., 2004). However,

302 potential entrepreneurs tend to overestimate their skills, motiva-

303 tions, and efforts (Gartner & Shaver, 2002).

304 Satisfaction with life also differs between new entrepreneurs,

305 those who are in the undertaking for less than three years, and

306 those with experience, who have been in business for more than

307 four years (Hooks, 2010). This is probably because of the novelty

308 of the business, the freedom to express innovative tendencies and

309 put acquired knowledge into practice, rather than the immediate

310 financial return (Krueger & Carsud, 1993).

311 Experienced entrepreneurs, however, take advantage of find-

312 ing and creating opportunities and have a more accurate systemic

313 view of potential risks (Baron & Ensley, 2006). New and poten-

314 tial entrepreneurs evaluate opportunities intuitively with a focus

315 on novelty (Azoulay & Shane, 2001), and may fail to devote suf-

316 ficient attention to various financial and commercial factors that

317 impede the success of new ventures. Experienced entrepreneurs

318 concentrate efforts on factors related to financial results and

319 reject ideas for new products or services that suggest non-

320 manageable risk (Baron & Ensley, 2006). The intense devotion

321 of one who is beginning an entrepreneurial career can also under-

322 mine decision making, since the ability to think systematically

323 and carefully evaluate information can be reduced (Ruder &

324 Bless, 2003).

325 It is presumed, then, that potential entrepreneurs tend to be

326 more impulsive and "fall in love with their own ideas", sustain-

327 ing their excess enthusiasm and optimism. Nevertheless, intense

328 affective states can contribute to creativity and to systematic

329 thinking (Forgas, 2004). This capacity to think systematically

330 and carefully evaluate information can be developed through

331 learning processes related to gaining experience.

In summary, this section on theoretical support presented the main concepts used in the study and included empirical evidence on the differences between experienced and potential entrepreneurs regarding motivations, risk management, and the place of the business plan (before or after business experimentation). The comparison between new entrepreneurs and experienced entrepreneurs in the context of the university training focus of this study may help bring out new evidence about such differences, contributing to the advancement of knowledge about variables that explain the diversity of entrepreneurial behavior.


This is a cross-sectional comparative study, using an electronic survey. It is an excerpt from the Global University Entrepreneurial Spirit Students' Survey - GUESSS (,1 an international survey that covered 34 countries in 2013/2014, including Brazil. Its main objective is to track perceptual indicators of individual and contextual level variables of the university environment related to entrepreneurship among higher education students.

The relevance of doing an excerpt of the GUESSS study stems from it being carried out with university students and because the GEM (2015) indicates that young people between 25 and 34 years are the largest group of Brazilian entrepreneurs. Thus, it is believed that the university would be the preferred context for entrepreneurial learning. Studies developed in this context would contribute to greater alignment between the theory and the practice of entrepreneurship.


The participants were students from a public university in northeastern Brazil who intended to have a business within one year (M = 12.42; SD = 7.86) and those who already had one for five years (M =5.95; SD =3.44), (344 and 80 respectively), totaling 424 respondents, 278 being single or divorced, 146 married, 215 were males, and with a mean age of 27 years (SD = 6.11). As for the distribution by degree program, 18% were from medical and health sciences programs; 16% from engineering and architecture; 10% from social sciences; 6% law; 5% arts; 5% from management and business, and 40% did not specify or marked the "other" option. Regarding academic performance, 31% described it as well above average, 35% as above average, and 27.4% as around average.

As to their contact with entrepreneurship courses, 77% stated they never had contact, while 23% had taken at least one course. From the same total of respondents, 32% stated that neither parent owned their own business, and 40% had at least one, or some other family member, connected to entrepreneurial activity. Also

1 The GUESSS project is led by the Swiss Institute for Small Business and Entrepreneurship of the University of St. Gallen (KMU-HSG). For each participating country there is a representative responsible for coordinating data collection.

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from the total, 47% reported working, averaging 31.98 hours worked per week (SD =12.11). Regarding educational level, 70% were undergraduates.

382 GUESSS Brazil instrument

The instrument has 12 blocks of questions: (a) student's personal data; (b) degree area; (c) career choice intentions; (d) reasons for career choice; (e) entrepreneurial learning environment; (f) student's entrepreneurial profile; (g) family experiences; (h) socialization processes in each country; (i) business planning; (j) general information about the business; (k) information on family businesses; (l) specific questions for each country where the study is applied.

For the purposes of this comparative study, two groups of items were considered: related to the individual business creation process (10 items) and individual motivations (18 items), with the items meant to be answered by students who had already started a venture five years before, and by those intending to start one within a year. This decision made it possible to conduct the comparative study proposed here, and whose results are presented and analyzed. The importance of the constructs chosen in the entrepreneurship field of study has already been fully explained in the introduction and in the theoretical support section.

402 Data collection procedures

403 At the end of 2012, e-mail invitations were sent to 23,000

404 students enrolled in a federal higher education institution in

405 northeastern Brazil. In compliance with ethical principles, par-

406 ticipation in the research was voluntary, with 2999 students

407 providing responses to the instrument. Given the focus of the

408 research and the variables studied, the sample of this compar-

409 ative study included 424 students, whose profile was described

410 in the participants section.

411 Handling of the item groups: business creation and

412 motivations

413 The 10 items related to the business creation (see Table 1)

414 were submitted to exploratory factor analysis (EFA) and grouped

415 into two dimensions: business plan (5 items) and risk man-

416 agement (5 items), explaining 55.60% of the variance. The

417 Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin coefficient (KMO = 0.762) and Bartlett's

418 test of sphericity [c2 (45) = 1303.399; p < 0.01] indicate that the

419 measure is factorable.

420 The 18 items related to individual motivations (see Table 2)

421 were also submitted to EFA (Exploratory Factor Analysis) and

422 grouped into four dimensions, defined as: social motivations

423 (6 items), group motivations (5 items), financial motivations

424 (4 items), and managerial motivations (3 items), explain-

425 ing 67.64% of the variance, with the Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin

426 coefficient (KMO = 0.854) and Bartlett's test of sphericity

427 [c2 (153) = 3247.842;p<0.01].

Data analysis procedures

Descriptive analysis, exploratory factor analysis, and comparative analyses were run using SPSS (Statistical Package for the Social Sciences, version 21). Measurements of central tendency (mean) and standard deviation (SD) were used in the descriptive analyses. For the comparative analysis, the t-test was used for independent samples. Pearson bivariate correlations evaluated the strength of the relationships between variables.


The results are divided into sections, according to the objectives of the study. First, descriptions are presented that characterize the two groups (potential and experienced) in relation to the variables. Then, the comparisons between groups.

Principal motivations, business planning, and risk management of potential and experienced entrepreneurs

Table 3 presents the means, standard deviations, and correlations between the study variables.

The study variables are positively correlated. Management motivations (developing personal management skills) present higher means among all surveyed college students (potential and experienced) than the means for social (make the world better), financial (make money and get rich), and group (support and develop my group) motivations, cited in descending order of the value of their means. On the two dimensions of business creation, risk management has a higher mean (higher mean signifies less risky behavior at the start of the business) than planning.

Comparing potential and experienced entrepreneurs in their motivations and in business creation

Table 4 presents the results of motivations and business creation, comparing potential entrepreneur students and experienced ones.

It is observed that the motivations oriented toward entrepreneurship (social, group, financial, and managerial) of potential entrepreneurs present higher mean values than those of experienced entrepreneurs. It is also observed that the t-test showed differences between groups, reaffirming that potential entrepreneurs are more motivated than experienced ones: social motivations (t(42o) =4.57; p<0.001), group motivations (t(417) = 3.49; p<0.001), financial motivations (t(418) =4.46; p < 0.001), managerial motivations (t(4i3) = 3.58;p < 0.001). The effect sizes, Cohen's d (1988), were considered average and differ mainly in relation to social (d=0.651) and financial (d = 0.624) motivations.

Regarding the creation of the business, risk management did not differ between the two groups (t(415) = 1.71; p <0.033), showing that both are cautious in conducting business, avoiding risk. Potential entrepreneurs invest more in planning actions (t(417) =4.73; p <0.001; M = 4.64; SD =1.32) than do those with experience (M =3.69; SD =1.63) (Table 4).

6 A.S. Ferreira et al./RAI Revista de Administraçâo e Inovaçâo xxx (2017) xxx-xxx

Table 1

Q7 Factor structure of the business creation measure.

Items Factors

I am careful not to invest more resources than I could afford to lose 0.Sl0 0.148

I adapt what I'm doing to the resources I have 0.S0S 0.359

I am careful not to risk more money than I am willing to lose 0.S07 0.152

I am flexible and take advantage of opportunities as they arise 0.657 0.338

I let business evolve as opportunities arise 0.651 0.259

I research and select target markets and do competitive analysis 0.245 0.S55

I establish and plan production and marketing efforts 0.244 0.S4S

I establish and plan business strategies 0.332 0.Sl2

The planned product/service is substantially different from what I initially imagined 0.114 0.56l

I am trying different approaches until I find a business model that works 0.243 0.490

Cronbach's Alpha 0.80 0.76

Eigenvalues 3.7 1.8

Explained variance 36.97 18.63

Skewness -0.933 -0.355

Kurtosis 0.653 -0.232

Mean of the factors 5.57 4.47

Note: Extraction: principal axis analysis. Rotation: Oblimin. 1: Risk management; 2: business planning.

Table 2

Factor structure of the individual motivations measure.

Items Factors

1 2 3 4

Make the world a better place 0.Sl5 0.403

Solve social problems that private companies usually cannot handle 0.7SS 0.273 -0.121

Play a proactive role by changing the way the world works 0.7S7 0.254 -0.123

Be a citizen who is highly responsible for our world 0.7lS 0.466

Convince others that private enterprise is truly fit to deal with the type of social 0.692 0.257 0.188

challenge my business is about

Have a strong focus on what my business can achieve for society in general 0.556 0.445 0.326

Have a strong focus on the group of people with whom I strongly identify 0.146 0.S77 0.140

Support and advance the group of people with whom I strongly identify 0.302 0.795 0.213

Offer a product/service that is useful to a group of people with whom I 0.161 0.735 0.247

strongly identify

Solve a specific problem for a group of people with whom I strongly identify 0.479 0.595 0.174 -0.277

Play a proactive role in shaping the activities of a group of people with whom I 0.481 0.566 0.213 -0.149

strongly identify

Make money and get rich 0.7S5

Advance my career in the business world 0.764 0.192

Establish a strong competitive advantage and perform significantly better than 0.132 0.723 0.291

other businesses in the same area of activity

Have a strong focus on what my business can manage to do versus the 0.194 0.700 0.411


To have fully analyzed the financial possibilities for my business 0.114 0.116 0.273 0.7S9

Run my business based on sound management practices 0.130 0.381 0.6S4

Be able to express to my clients that I fundamentally share the same values, 0.434 0.258 0.165 0.4S5

interests, and way of understanding things as they do

Cronbach's Alpha 0.87 0.84 0.77 0.74

Eigenvalues 6.5 3.0 1.63 1.15

Explained variance 36.08 16.11 9.03 6.40

Skewness -0.866 -0.627 -0.823 -1.16

Kurtosis 0.111 -0.103 0.441 1.30

Mean of the factors 5.11 4.91 5.06 5.67

Note: Extraction: principal axis analysis. Rotation: Varimax. 1: Social motivations; 2: Group motivations; 3: Financial motivations; 4: Managerial motivations.

Discussion entrepreneurs and the group who are experienced entrepreneurs,

with regard to motivation and to business planning. The results of the t-test clearly indicate that there are differ- The social and financial motivations are what most differences between the group of university students who are potential entiate the groups of university students under study. Social

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Table 3

Correlations between factors, including mean and standard deviation.

Mean SD 1 2 3 4 56

1. Social motivations 5.11 1.54 -

2. Group motivations 4.91 1.51 0.623a -

3. Financial motivations 5.06 1.39 0.195a 0.330a -

4. Management motivations 5.67 1.25 0.398a 0.399a 0.511a -

5. Risk management 5.57 1.21 0.163a 0.218a 0.344a 0.400a -

6. Business Planning 4.47 1.43 0.293a 0.327a 0.340a 0.349a 0.323a -

Note: Business Creation (5 and 6). ap <0.001. Values between 1 and 7. Risk management: Higher mean signifies cautious behavior.

Table 4

Comparison between potential and experienced entrepreneurs.

Dimensions t-Test Effect

T Df (gl) Potential Experienced Cohen's d


1. Social motivations 4.57a 102.66 5.29 1.43 4.32 1.77 0.651

2. Group motivations 3.49a 101.29 5.05 1.43 4.31 1.71 0.493

3. Financial motivations 4.46a 102.14 5.22 1.31 4.37 1.54 0.624

4. Management motivations 3.58a 96.64 5.79 1.17 5.15 1.44 0.522

5. Risk management 1.71 90.71 5.63 1.10 5.30 1.57 0.273

6. Business planning 4.73a 98.0 4.64 1.32 3.69 1.63 0.685

Note: Business Creation (5 and 6). a p <0.001.

motivation guides the potential entrepreneur more than the experienced one. This may mean that although social motivations and social entrepreneurship are on the rise (e.g., Bornstein, 2004; Omorede, 2014; Smith & Woodworth, 2012), the ideal of contributing to social justice, for example, diminishes to the extent necessary to ensure survival of the business (financial motivation). This is in keeping with the studies by Azoulay and Shane (2001) that highlight the idealization of the potential entrepreneur, who evaluates opportunities based on intuition, focusing on their novelty, as compared to the experienced entrepreneur, who has dealt with the problems of business management in practice.

Corresponding with the findings of Lima et al. (2014), factors related to career advancement and social contributions outweigh the financial interests of the potential entrepreneur, an argument supported by McClelland (1965), stating that people engaged in actions that achieve results, such as socio-environmental change, are not motivated by money in itself, but use money as a good method for sustaining the level of their achievements.

Potential entrepreneurs modestly idealize financial returns, but the students who have already undertaken a venture (the experienced) more fully grasp the challenges of staying in business in practice, and thus tend to focus effort on financial success factors and reject ideas for new products or services for being associated with non-manageable risks (Baron & Ensley, 2006). They take a concrete approach to competition and productivity, and recognize that immediate financial return does not occur as idealized, since there are a number of external factors, in addition to well-designed and implemented working capital management, that can positively contribute to the value of the business (Padachi, 2006). This interpretation suggests that

the need for self-actualization is associated more with potential entrepreneurs than with those who are experienced.

The positions occupied by managerial and group motivation do not change in the two groups (first and fourth position respectively). Both groups are more strongly motivated by management, suggesting that the university environment (contextual variable) helps create the expectation that what one learns must be tested when one creates or develops one's own business. It also provides conditions for information to circulate, allowing management practices to be disseminated, in addition to creating shared expectations (Lima et al., 2014; Olufunso, 2010). This interpretation converges with the statement by Frese et al. (2014) that the exchange and the pursuit of information by university students helps in the development of skills to lead people and manage businesses.

Group motivation, however, does not have the same appeal as managerial motivation, which can be explained by the dubious type of socialization related to entrepreneurship: a mixture of individualism and collectivism. Evidence in the literature (e.g., Almeida & Teixeira, 2014; Granovetter, 2005; Kacperczyk, 2013; Lima et al., 2014; McClelland, 1961; Vale & Guimaraes, 2010) points to the strategic role of the social network (family, friends, community) in the creation of the business, by exercising a double role: support and information dissemination. This helps in providing models to be followed and in identifying new and attractive opportunities.

Moreover, although the university environment facilitates trades and exchanges, the entrepreneurial culture is more individualistic than group oriented. Those who motivate themselves to exercise business and management skills likely wish to demonstrate their individual results and success, even when for

8 A.S. Ferreira et al./RAI Revista de Administragao e Inovagao xxx (2017) xxx-xxx

546 contributing a social benefit. This interpretation is echoed in feedback; and intense reflection among young people to develop 603

547 the fact that the differences between the social, financial, and a critical sense and to adjust their goals to current realities. 604

548 group motivations are less marked among the group of experi- The potential entrepreneurs of this study differed from other 605

549 enced entrepreneurs than the group of potential ones. Business early-stage Brazilian entrepreneurs, who generally risk more 606

550 experience makes personal characteristics of the manager of (GEM, 2013). One possible reason is that students in this study 607

551 the business gain emphasis, leaving other motivations in the sample are more engaged in planning actions, which include 608

552 background. evaluating and analyzing different approaches to the business 609

553 Management requires a wide variety of skills in strategy, model they aspire to, including evaluating the resources that will 610

554 accounting, finance, legal and technical expertise important in be invested. This can make them more cautious. The excessive 611

555 running the business (Almeida, 2013). As the students are pre- focus on prior planning (causation approach) can cause future 612

556 sumed to be eager to put their managerial skills into practice, failure to be feared, since it raises awareness of the innumerable 613

557 aspiring for self-actualization, such aspects gain strength in risk factors that would be ignored in the case of improvisation. It 614

558 this process, especially among those who intend to become is emphasized that while it is prudent to assess which losses are 615

559 entrepreneurs (the potential ones). acceptable and when to stop in the event of failure, any attempt at 616

560 With respect to the creation of the business, the t-test results success and innovation is subject to failures, and entrepreneurial 617

561 show there is no difference between the groups regarding success has been associated with persistence and the mitigation 618

562 risk management (t(417) =1.71; p < 0.033), indicating that both of obstacles (Sarasvathy, 2008). 619

563 groups are cautious in investing resources (higher means, less What has been observed in this study is that potential 620

564 risky behavior), even though studies point out (Baron & Ensley, entrepreneurs are more involved in planning actions when they 621

565 2006; Gruber, 2007) that more experienced entrepreneurs deal wish to create a business, because they tend to face a greater level 622

566 with risk in a manner different from novices. The study by of uncertainty than those who are experienced, since the latter 623

567 Chandler et al. (2011), however, shows that a conservative pro- are able to base their plans on past performance, on historical 624

568 file exists among students, who invest less resources than they tendencies, and other information that can help reduce uncer- 625

569 could in order to not lose much, and who expect to adapt to tainty (Gruber, 2007). It is also not surprising that they are more 626

570 opportunities that arise. enthusiastic about planning, given their high motivation with 627

571 The GEM (2013) also indicates that, although 50% of the their entrepreneurial career and the desire to put into practice 628

572 Brazilian population perceive good opportunities in the region the knowledge acquired throughout their training (Frese et al., 629

573 where they live and consider themselves capable of exploi- 2014). However, while the academic and professional literature 630

574 ting them, their risk propensity (57.3%) is generally lower than emphasize the importance of business planning, students who 631

575 the population of other countries (e.g., China, USA, India, and have already undertaken a venture seem to redirect their actions 632

576 Mexico). One of the possible explanations may be the instabil- to running the business on a day-to-day basis. This may mean 633

577 ity of the Brazilian economy, which makes financial risk in fact that the greater the experience, the greater the use of intuition 634

578 something dangerous and fatal to the business, as Braga (2012) and already available resources will be. Therefore, the lower the 635

579 points out. level of adoption of the causation approach (prior planning) will 636

580 The results also suggest that the university environment be. It is recognized, therefore, that planning logic as a cause for 637

581 may be offering few experiences that allow the student to dare, good business or an effect (planning as a consequence of what 638

582 innovate, and learn to deal with risk and failure. Although the works or does not in practice) (Sarasvathy, 2001) are not exclu- 639

583 study did not explore these aspects, the teaching methodologies sive, and can be combined for greater success in establishing 640

584 with less creative content and practices in the university envi- and operating new enterprises (Chandler et al., 2011). 641

585 ronment favor an orientation more toward compliance than risk,

586 reaffirming the study by Testa and Frascheri (2015), in which it Conclusions 642

587 was found that curriculum formats that involve entrepreneurial

588 education are limited to building a business plan, which The objective of this study was to compare entrepreneurial 643

589 does not always reflect the real interests of the students or is motivations, business planning, and risk management between 644

590 constructed before they even develop entrepreneurial skills. The two groups of university students: those who already had a 645

591 curricula could include the development of these competencies business (experienced) and those who intended to start one 646

592 through theoretical and practical content, as well as include (potential entrepreneurs). The study brings important contrib- 647

593 the effectual approach to entrepreneurship (Sarasvathy, 2008), utions to theorists and practitioners in entrepreneurship, as well 648

594 so that students understand that the initial tolerance for risks as for instruction in entrepreneurship. 649

595 and losses can be important for the business results, and that Four main conclusions can be drawn from this study. The 650

596 opportunities can be created instead of discovered. In short, first is that potential student entrepreneurs are more moti- 651

597 train students who can discern when it is best to be cautious or vated than those who are experienced. The second is that the 652

598 to take risks. This would be in agreement with what McClelland main motivation for the entrepreneurial career, between the 653

599 (1965) and Aschuler (1967) had said about the importance of two groups in this study, is managerial, that is, both groups 654

600 curricula stimulating the need for achievement among young desire to put into practice their personal skills and capabilities 655

601 people, based on four major development fronts: goal setting; to run their own business. The third conclusion is that the main 656

602 integration of thought, action, and context; group support for differences between potential and experienced entrepreneurial 657

A.S. Ferreira et al. / RAI Revista de Administraçäo e Inovaçäo xxx (2017) xxx-xxx

660 661 662

680 681 682

students refers to the positioning of social and financial motivations. While in the first group the social and financial motivations occupy the second and third positions respectively, in the experienced group this order is inverted, which allows one to infer that when actually running a business, financial motivation becomes more pressing to ensure survival, leaving social ideals somewhat to the side.

The fourth conclusion is that potential and experienced entrepreneurs differ in one of the dimensions of business creation. Both are cautious in the use of resources, risking less, perhaps out of fear of failing to manage the business. However, potential entrepreneurs invest more in planning, probably because they are still at the level of idealization, less concerned with practical management issues.

Regarding the limitations of the text, it should be noted that it was not possible to analyze differences in entrepreneurial motivations among students from different degree programs. Also, variables from the family contexts of the groups were not explored enough to allow inferring their influence on potential and experienced entrepreneurs. Another limitation is the lack of proportionality between groups. The creation of the variables, although based on the specialized literature, may be a new source of limitation, although revised research results indicate that the design of instruments of risk-propensity measures, in particular, do not explain the differences in research results concerning this personal trait of entrepreneurs.

On the contributions of the study, it is emphasized that from the theoretical point of view, the study contributes to the theory of motivations, going beyond the widely studied reasons of opportunity and necessity. It also contributes to planning theories as a cause or as an effect of doing business, as elements are found in their results that suggest that both types of planning logic are complementary. This finding highlights the need to further explore experimentation and flexibility in the entrepreneurial training process of these young people. It also points to the fact that developing entrepreneurial skills in college students is not just about teaching how to draw up business plans.

The study also contributes to evaluating the weight of the individual variables analyzed (planning, risk management, and motivation) in the intentions and actions of potential and experienced entrepreneurs. The variables show low diversity among the groups studied, revealing that there is a pattern in the sample that deserves to be more carefully explored, especially in light of research results that show differences in behavioral and attitudinal patterns among entrepreneurs.

70Q5 Conflict of interest

705 The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

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