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A STUDY ON ENTREPRENEURSHIP EDUCATION AND IT’S IMPACT ON ENTREPRENEURIAL INTENTION OF STUDENTS IN CAMEROON

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A STUDY ON ENTREPRENEURSHIP EDUCATION AND IT’S IMPACT ON ENTREPRENEURIAL INTENTION OF STUDENTS IN CAMEROON

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background of the Study

The Cameroon government has prioritized the promotion of youth employment, recognizing it as a critical area for development (Keong,2018). Despite concerted efforts, unemployment and underemployment persist among young people. Entrepreneurship has emerged as a solution to address these challenges, as acknowledged by the Cameroon government (African Economic Outlook, 2018). However, it is widely understood that entrepreneurship plays a pivotal role in driving economic growth (Gree & Thurnik, 2020). Ekore and Okekeocha (2022) suggest that pursuing careers in entrepreneurship can empower young graduates to achieve financial independence while simultaneously fostering job creation, innovation, and economic progress. Henley (2017) emphasizes that entrepreneurship is a deliberate endeavor, implying a connection between entrepreneurship and intention, as entrepreneurial intentions typically precede the establishment of new ventures by at least a year. 

According to Thompson (2019), entrepreneurial intention (EI) refers to an individual's conscious determination to establish a new business venture and their active planning to do so in the future. Choo and Wong (2019) conceptualize EI as the process of seeking and gathering information necessary to realize the goal of launching a venture. The intention to pursue an entrepreneurial career prior to initiating a business is of particular importance in entrepreneurship, as it serves as the foundational step toward venture creation. Therefore, the personal commitment of aspiring entrepreneurs to embark on a business venture significantly influences the formation of entrepreneurial intentions. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) constitute a significant aspect of entrepreneurship, particularly in emerging economies such as Cameroon. These businesses are widely recognized as vital contributors to wealth generation, innovation, and job creation, often serving as the cornerstone of the economy. Furthermore, starting a business demands unwavering dedication. According to Turker & Selcuk (2019), in order to promote entrepreneurship awareness, individuals must cultivate an inclination towards entrepreneurship, thereby motivating themselves to acquire relevant knowledge. The prevalence of entrepreneurs is pivotal for a nation's advancement towards development. Additionally, entrepreneurial intentions serve as catalysts for individuals to venture into business creation. However, education stands as a cornerstone for elevating living standards and national progress. It not only produces knowledgeable and skilled individuals but also instills the ability to compete on both national and international platforms. However, there exists a disparity between the demand for high education graduates and available job opportunities, leading many to opt for conventional employment rather than entrepreneurship due to perceived lack of skills and capital (Herdjiono et al., 2017).

In Cameroon, entrepreneurship has long been integrated into the educational framework with the aim of fostering young Cameroonian entrepreneurs across various domains (Venesaar, 2018). Beyond that, the Cameroonian government is fully committed to advancing entrepreneurship education, both through student initiatives and by enhancing the learning process.  Nevertheless, entrepreneurship is perceived as a lifestyle and a mindset that aids in navigating challenges and seizing opportunities (Gerba, 2022). While previous studies underscore the significance of entrepreneurship education in nurturing entrepreneurial spirit and intention among students (Farashah, 2019), research on the development of entrepreneurial intentions among students in Cameroon, particularly in University of Bemenda, remains limited, despite a consensus on the positive correlation between entrepreneurship education and entrepreneurial intention (Herdjiono et al., 2017; Mohamed et al., 2018; Kalyoncuoğlu et al., 2017; Huber et al., 2020). Nonetheless, conflicting findings have emerged, with some studies suggesting no direct link between entrepreneurship education and entrepreneurial intention (Mahendra, Djatmika, & Hermawan, 2017). Furthermore, disparities have been observed between business education and non-business education students regarding their inclination towards entrepreneurship, with entrepreneurship education exhibiting a positive correlation with entrepreneurial orientation among business education students but a negative one among non-business students (Maresch et al., 2016). In addition to entrepreneurship education, self-efficacy plays a crucial role in shaping entrepreneurial intention. Self-efficacy refers to an individual's belief in their ability to take action, serving as a reliable predictor of behavior aimed at achieving specific goals (Ganefri & Hidayat, 2018). Previous studies have identified gaps in self-efficacy as a determinant of entrepreneurial intentions. Therefore, a survey will be conducted in order to assess  entrepreneurial competencies needed by business education students in establishing new ventures in Cameroon. 

1.2 Statement of the Problem

Innovation, job creation, and economic growth are all fueled by entrepreneurship, which is a fundamental component of economic progress. Nonetheless, in Cameroon, there is a notable discrepancy between the academic understanding acquired in business school programs and the actual skills necessary to launch profitable businesses. The successful transition of business education students from academia to entrepreneurship is severely hampered by this disparity (Djankam, 2019).Additionally,the problem arises from a lack of comprehensive understanding regarding the specific entrepreneurial competencies necessary for business education students to thrive as entrepreneurs. While business education programs seek to provide students with an in-depth knowledge of various business management topics, they frequently fail to provide them with practical skills that are appropriate for the entrepreneurial environment in Cameroon (Nkwetta, 2020). Furthermore, it's possible that the existing curriculum falls short of meeting the changing needs of Cameroon's entrepreneurial environment. Though they have a substantial impact on venture success, factors like market dynamics, technical improvements, access to funds, regulatory frameworks, and cultural norms are not fully incorporated into the curriculum (Nwokocha, 2018).Additionally, there is a lack of empirical research focused on identifying the entrepreneurial competencies correlated with successful venture establishment among business education students in Cameroon. Furthermore, the absence of effective mechanisms for experiential learning, mentorship programs, and industry collaborations exacerbates the challenge of nurturing entrepreneurial talent among business education students. Limited exposure to real-world entrepreneurial experiences and insufficient support networks impede students' ability to develop the practical skills and mindset necessary for navigating the complexities of starting and managing new ventures in Cameroon (Nwokocha, 2018).Thus, it is in the light of these that the study seeks to assess  entrepreneurial competencies needed by business education students in establishing new ventures in Cameroon.  

1.3  Objectives of the Study

The main purpose of this study is assess  entrepreneurial competencies needed by business education students in establishing new ventures in Cameroon.   Specifically, the study will;

Identify the entrepreneurial competences for establishing new ventures among business education students in Cameroon.

Identify the factors affecting the development of the entrepreneurial competencies among business education students in Cameroon.

Identify the factors hindering the establishment of new ventures among business education students in Cameroon.

1.4 Research Questions

The following questions have been prepared for the study:

What are the entrepreneurial competences prevalent among business education students in Cameroon for establishing new ventures?

What factors contribute to the development of entrepreneurial competencies among business education students in Cameroon?

What are the primary factors impeding the establishment of new ventures among business education students in Cameroon?

1.5 Significance of the Study

The findings of the research will assist stakeholders and policymakers understand the unique requirements of prospective business owners in Cameroon. This information will assist with plan and carry out support programs that help new businesses flourish and stimulate economic development, like access to capital, incubators, and mentorship programs. Additionally, subsequent researchers will use it as a literature review. This means that other students who may decide to conduct studies in this area will have the opportunity to use this study as available literature that can be subjected to critical review. Invariably, the result of the study contributes immensely to the body of academic knowledge with regard to entrepreneurial competencies needed by business education students in establishing new ventures in Cameroon

1.6 Scope of the study

The scope of this study is to assess  entrepreneurial competencies needed by business education students in establishing new ventures in Cameroon. Empirically, this study will identify the entrepreneurial competences for establishing new ventures among business education students in Cameroon, the factors affecting the development of the cntrepreneurial competencies among business education students in Cameroon and factors hindering the establishment of new ventures among business education students in Cameroon.

Geographically, the study will be delimited to undergraduate students in Cameroon

1.7 Limitation of the study

In the course of carrying out this study, the researcher experienced some constraints, which included time constraints, financial constraints, language barriers, and the attitude of the respondents. In addition, there was the element of researcher bias. Here, the researcher possessed some biases that may have been reflected in the way the data was collected, the type of people interviewed or sampled, and how the data gathered was interpreted thereafter. The potential for all this to influence the findings and conclusions could not be downplayed. 

More so, the findings of this study are limited to the sample population in the study area, hence they may not be suitable for use in comparison to other schools, local governments, states, and other countries in the world.

 1.8 Definition of Terms

Entrepreneurship: is the act of creating, organizing, and managing a business venture, typically with the goal of making a profit.

Self-efficacy: refers to an individual's belief in their ability to take action, serving as a reliable predictor of behavior aimed at achieving specific goals (Ganefri & Hidayat, 2018)

Entrepreneurial Intention (EI): defines  as "self-acknowledged conviction by a person that they intend to set up a new business venture and consciously plan to do so at some point in the futureThompson (2019) 

SMEs: stands for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises. These are businesses that typically have fewer employees and lower annual revenue compared to large corporations.


This material content is developed to serve as a GUIDE for students to conduct academic research



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