Entrepreneurial intentions among students: towards a re‐focused research agenda

Ghulam Nabi, Rick Holden, Andreas Walmsley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

106 Citations (Scopus)


This paper aims to address the need for a re‐focused research agenda in relation to graduate entrepreneurship. An important theme for some years has been the effort to monitor attitudes and intentions of students towards starting up their own businesses. It is timely, however, to raise some questions about both the impact of this research and likewise the general approach it has taken in understanding the phenomenon of graduate entrepreneurship.

The paper draws on a large data set (over 8,000 students) from one UK region. Specifically, it presents data from the 2007/2008 Entrepreneurial Intentions (EI) survey within the Yorkshire and Humberside region and reflects back over previous iterations of this research.

The paper identifies three key outcomes. First, it establishes that across all years of the survey a substantial minority of students consistently hold relatively strong start‐up intentions. Second, the paper highlights that, despite considerable efforts to increase the numbers moving to start‐up, little impact is discernible. Third, the paper suggests that, although the EI survey is useful as a stock‐taking exercise, it fails to address critical questions around the impact of higher education on entrepreneurship and the transition from entrepreneurial intent to the act of venture creation.

The paper provides an important positioning perspective on the relationship between higher education and graduate entrepreneurship. While highlighting the importance of the EI research, the paper establishes the need for a re‐focused research agenda; one that is conceptually robust and with a focus on the student journey from higher education to graduate entrepreneur.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)537-551
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Small Business and Enterprise Development
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 26 Oct 2010
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Entrepreneurial intentions among students: towards a re‐focused research agenda'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this