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The IUP Journal of Entrepreneurship Development :
Gender and Entrepreneurial Intentions: A Study Among BITS-Pilani Students
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The present study has two objectives: to test the possible influence of the Ajzen’s Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) in predicting Entrepreneurial Intentions (EI), and to explore the role of TPB in explaining the potential gender differences in intention formation. Ajzen’s TPB, in which intentions are regarded as a result of Attitude (A) towards entrepreneurship, Subjective Norms (SN) and Perceived Behavioral Control (PBC), is employed. Data is gathered through questionnaire survey from 220 undergraduate engineering students of BITS-Pilani University. The effects of the TPB variables and gender on the EI were examined using multiple regressions. 2x2 ANOVA was performed to explain the gender differences in intention development. The results reveal that PBC and attitude are the strongest predictors of EI. Unlike male students, female students are less interested in entrepreneurship due to their low score on PBC. Females exhibited a low level of aptitude towards creativity, recognition of opportunity, problem-solving skills and business ideas. The paper emphasizes the role of governments and educational institutions in enhancing the self-efficacy of female students by providing social networking platform, exposure to role models, mentoring programs, and customized training. There are ongoing discussions among the academia and the policy makers that enhancing the confidence level will eventually lead to the increase in women entrepreneurs. This paper hopes to add richness to that discussion.

 
 
 

Entrepreneurship is critical to the development and wellbeing of an economy, contributing significantly to job creation. In addition to creation of employment opportunities, it leads to an increase in the technical innovation required for new business creation. As a result of innovation, a virtuous circle is created among people’s income, people’s spending, tax collections and government spending. Thus, a healthy entrepreneurship can be agreed upon as a major contributing factor for economic growth. According to a survey report by Labor Bureau, Government of India, unemployment rate in India had shot up to a five-year high of 5% in 2015-16, with the figure significantly higher at 8.7% for women as compared to 4.3% for men (The Financial Express, 2016). This problem of rising unemployment can be tackled head on through entrepreneurship. And by increasing entrepreneurship among young people especially women, the employment rates in India can be increased significantly as women constitute 48.5% of the Indian population (Census of India, 2011). However, the current state of women entrepreneurship, both at the global and the country level, shows very depressing results. According to Female Entrepreneurship Index1 report in 2015, USA stood first with 82.9 score, while most of the Asian countries scored less than 50 points. This indicates that there is a need for providing favorable environment and enhancing individual aspirations among Asians in order to reduce barriers for female entrepreneurs. According to the World Bank, globally, only 25-33% of all private businesses are owned or operated by women. And women entrepreneurs constitute only 10% of the total number of entrepreneurs in India (Forbes, 2015).

 
 
 

Entrepreneurship Development Journal, Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB), Attitude (A) towards entrepreneurship, Subjective Norms (SN), Perceived Behavioral Control (PBC).