n Management Dynamics : Journal of the Southern African Institute for Management Scientists - Entrepreneurial attributes and intentions : perceptions of South African business science students

Volume 21, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 1019-567X



Despite the importance of entrepreneurship to the economy, entrepreneurial activity rates in South Africa are low in comparison to those of other countries. In an attempt to understand the underlying factors contributing to these low levels of entrepreneurial activity, this study focuses on the extent to which South African business science students have the entrepreneurial attributes generally associated with entrepreneurial behaviour, and whether having these attributes is associated with their entrepreneurial intentions.

The sample consisted of undergraduate business science students conveniently selected from three South African universities. A measuring instrument was distributed and 447 usable questionnaires were returned. The validity of the measuring instrument was assessed by means of a factor analysis, and its reliability by calculating Cronbach alpha coefficients. Inferential statistics were used to assess whether the mean scores for the entrepreneurial attributes under investigation reported by students with entrepreneurial intentions differed significantly from those reported by other students.
The findings show that the attributes more likely to be found in students exhibiting entrepreneurial intentions are: knowledge-seeking*, continuous learning*, business knowledge, planning and perseverance, communication ability*, initiative and responsibility*, creativity and flexibility, high energy level, financial proficiency* and persuasion and networking. Several of these attributes (marked with an asterisk) were, however, ranked as 'least developed' by students both with and without entrepreneurial intentions.

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