Prior Exposure and Educational Environment towards Entrepreneurial Intention

Karla Soria-Barreto, Guillermo Honores-Marín, Paulina Gutierrez-Zepeda, Julián Gutierrez-Rodriguez


This research is based on the responses to a questionnaire applied to 351 students of business management in Chile and Colombia. Through the analysis of structural equations on Ajzen’s model, we found that entrepreneurial education, the University environment, and the prior entrepreneurial exposure are mediated by the factors of the Ajzen`s model to generate entrepreneurial intention in higher education students. The results show that entrepreneurial education strengthens the perceived control of behavior and, with it, albeit in a differentiated way, the entrepreneurial intention of men and women. University environment affects entrepreneurial intention through attitude towards entrepreneurship; and finally, the work experience, used as one of the variables that measure prior entrepreneurial exposure, explains the entrepreneurial intention inversely through the subjective norms. We found that gender has a moderate effect on perceived control of behavior and entrepreneurial education. The scarce studies on the impact of the University environment and the mixed results of the entrepreneurial education and prior entrepreneurial exposure toward entrepreneurial intention show the necessity for further research. A second contribution is the opportunity to present new evidence about the relationship between University environment, entrepreneurial education and prior exposure to developing countries of South America, including the gender effect (moderator) for entrepreneurial intention. It is important to note that most of the research in this area applies to developed countries, and some scholars suggest that extrapolating the results is not convenient.


entrepreneurial intention; prior entrepreneurial exposure; entrepreneurial education; higher education; Chile; Colombia.

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