An Exploratory Study on the Gender-Based Differences in Entrepreneurial Intention and Its Antecedents amongst Students of a South African University of Technology

Takawira Munyaradzi Ndofirepi, Patient Rambe, Dennis Yao Dzansi


Although the prevailing gender-linked fissures in entrepreneurial activity are shrinking in African economies, a disturbing feature of the contemporary business start-up environment is that women persistently are less willing to engage in entrepreneurship compared to men. In addition, women focus more on low technology and service-oriented business activities, which yield relatively lower financial value than other economic sectors. Given the subtle but entrenched gender vulnerabilities and biases that constantly accompany student career decisions, the primary objective of this research was to establish whether gender influences students’ intention to participate in entrepreneurship. Guided by a quantitative approach and survey research design, the study used a self-administered questionnaire to gather data from 130 undergraduate students, randomly selected from an entrepreneurship education class at a South African university of technology. The study applied the Mann-Whitney technique, a non-parametric test, to ascertain the existence of any significant gender-grounded disparities in the mean scores for entrepreneurial intention and its antecedents. The results confirmed the existence of significant differences in entrepreneurial intention, perceived behavioural control and attitude towards entrepreneurship among students, with males scoring higher than females in these constructs. These findings emphasise the need for gender-sensitive approaches to devising and implementing entrepreneurship development and support measures among potential entrepreneurs.


attitude; entrepreneurial intention; gender; perceived behavioural control; planned behaviour; subjective norms; South Africa

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