Chapter 12: Undergraduate Students as a Source of Potential Entrepreneurs: A Comparative Study between Italy and Argentina
Sergio Postigo, Donato Iacobucci and María Fernanda Tamborini Introduction Business creation and the encouragement of an entrepreneurial culture have become fundamental topics on the agenda of politicians, economists and academics in all countries. This interest is based on existing evidence that new businesses contribute to job creation, political and social stability, innovation and economic development (OECD, 1998; Reynolds et al., 2000; 2002; Schumpeter, 1934; Wennekers and Thurik, 1999: 27). Different samples including Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries over different time periods have attained consistent results; increases in entrepreneurial activity tend to result in subsequent higher growth rates and in a reduction of unemployment (Audretsch and Thurik, 2001). However the sources of economic growth in today’s world are very different from those of the past (OECD, 2000). In this context, where innovation and knowledge are the main sources for growth and economic development, new firms play a critical role as generators of innovation. There is also a growing consensus that in the knowledge and information society education is one of the key variables for the emergence of new ventures and their development prospects (Kantis et al., 2002b). The relationship between education and entrepreneurship has been examined at length in different studies.1 Some of these have found a positive relationship between individuals’ educational level and their probability of becoming entrepreneurs (Cowling and Taylor, 2001: 167; Delmar and Davidsson, 2000: 1; Gill, 1988: 229; Karcher, 1998; Lafuente and Salas, 1989: 17; Rees and Shah, 1986; Robinson and Sexton, 1994:...
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