Entrepreneurial potential in less innovative regions: the impact of social and cultural environment.
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Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to analyze the role that the sociocultural, family and university environment play in the entrepreneurial intention of young people in a peripheral and less innovative region. Design/methodology/approach – The authors adopted the perspective of the theory of planned behavior and made an empirical study with a sample of 1,064 Spanish university students who voluntarily participated in the GUESSS Project answering an online questionnaire. A methodology based on structural equations was used employing the partial least squares structural equation modeling estimation technique. Findings – The results show that the university environment directly influences attitude, self-confidence and motivation, and indirectly the students’ entrepreneurial intention. The social context also exerts a weak direct influence on the perceived attitudes or desires toward the option to start a business and indirectly on the intention. Originality/value – The main contribution of this paper seems to confirm what previous literature highlighted in the terms of regional specificities on the link between innovation systems, the impact of entrepreneurial potential and economic development. In this sense, the university context can play an important role in generating improvements in the entrepreneurial intention’s antecedents of young people with greater potential for innovation in peripheral regions. Therefore, when it comes to defining policies to improve entrepreneurship in these regions, it seems that the establishment of entrepreneurship education and motivation programs in universities is a very effective tool to increase perceived attitude toward the option to start a new business