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The importance of fresh graduates in a developing country like Nigeria cannot be overemphasized, therefore, priority should be given to the study of the factors that spur entrepreneurial intentions among graduates in Nigeria with a view to promoting better policies and programs aimed at redirecting emphasis on entrepreneurship as a tool for economic growth and development. This study seeks to investigate empirically the factors influencing the entrepreneurial intentions of fresh graduates. The area of this study covers attitude, subjective norms, perceived behavioural control and self-efficacy and how these influence the intentions of graduates to become entrepreneurs. Primary data were collected through structured questionnaire and related literatures were reviewed. Data was analyzed using descriptive statistics and hypotheses was tested using one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) technique. The finding suggests that the four factors examined has significant relationship with entrepreneurial intentions. It was therefore recommended that entrepreneurial values be promoted among graduates and graduates should be exposed to the skills required by entrepreneurs.





The role of intentions has been acknowledged to be relevant in the managerial literature (Sutton, 1998). Studies have shown that intentions have the ability to predict both individual behavior (Ajzen, 1991) and organizational outcomes such as survival, development and growth (Mitchel, 1981). Hence, the capability to understand and predict intentions becomes a point of interest for both managers and entrepreneurs (Tubbs and Ekeberg, 1991).

Intentions have been proved to be the best predictors of individual behaviours particularly when the behavior is rare, hard to observe or involves unpredictable time lags. The establishment of new ventures and the creation of new values in existing ones, which have been identified by Bird (1988) as the two outcomes of entrepreneurial intentions are good examples of such behaviours. It has been argued that most behaviours of social relevance such as health-related behaviours or the establishment of new organizations are under volitional control.

Intention refers to a state of mind directing a person’s attention (and therefore experience and action) towards a specific object or path in order to achieve something. Entrepreneurial intention refers to a cognitive representation of actions to be implemented by individuals to either establish new independent venture or create new value within existing companies.

It is certainly true that entrepreneurial ideas begin with inspiration; though intentions are needed in order for them to become manifest. Krueger (2000), argued that individual do not start a business as a reflex, but they do it intentionally. Hence, especially at the birth of an organization, the impact of entrepreneur’s intention is predominant; as a consequence, the founder’s intention determines the form and direction of a nascent organization at its inception.


The level of unemployment of graduates in Nigeria has become a national issue as the numbers of graduates from public and private higher educational institutions that join the job market increases each year. Academic qualifications can no longer guarantee immediate employment upon graduation, instead graduates are required to show a positive attitude towards the changing job market by investigating entrepreneurship as a possible basis for a career. In fact entrepreneurship would help these new graduates develop their own career and also ease the current unemployment issue by expanding the job market. Entrepreneurship is therefore the solution to the problem of unemployment.

The ability of new graduates to engage in entrepreneurial behaviour depends on a number of factors, thus there is need to conduct a study focusing on the entrepreneurial intentions and the factors affecting new graduates decision to engage in entrepreneurial behaviour.

This will therefore necessitate the following questions:

1               What is the effect of attitude on entrepreneurial intention?

2               What is the effect of subjective norms on entrepreneurial intention?

3               What is the effect of perceived behavioural control on entrepreneurial intention?

4               What is the effect of self-efficacy on entrepreneurial intention?


The following hypothesis will be tested in the study:

Ho1.   There is no significant relationship between Perceived behavioural control and entrepreneurial intentions.

Ho2.   There is no significant relationship between self-efficacy and entrepreneurial intentions.

Ho3.   There is no significant relationship between Attitude and entrepreneurial intentions.

Ho4.   There is no significant relationship between Subjective norm and entrepreneurial intention.


The major aim of this study is to determine and investigate the factors influence on the entrepreneurial intentions of fresh graduates. Other accessory objectives includes

2               To determine the effect of attitude on entrepreneurial intentions

3               To determine the effect of subjective norm on entrepreneurial intentions

4               To determine the effect of perceived behavioural control on entrepreneurial intentions

5               To determine the effect of self-efficacy on entrepreneurial intentions.



Several research studies exist in the field of entrepreneurship and enrepreneurship intentions of university students (Turker and Selcuk, 2008) and fresh graduates in Nigeria (Shittu and Dosunmu, 2014). There is no existing study on the factorial analysis of entrepreneurial intention among fresh graduates in Nigeria. The only study close to this study is that of shiitu and Dosunmu, (2014) but it only looked at family background as a factor affecting entrepreneurial intention. Hence this study is significant to the extent that is seeks to fill this knowledge gap by examining other factors such as attitude, subjective norm, perceived behavioural control and self-efficacy and their impact on entrepreneurial intention of fresh graduates in Nigeria.

The study will also form the basis for further studies and contribute to existing body of literatures in the field of entrepreneurship. It will also serve as a pointer to the solution of the problem of unemployment of fresh graduates in Nigeria.


Several challenges were encountered in this study which are considered as limitations. Firstly, this research study is entirely based on self-reported measures. A social desirability bias may appear in our study because subjects sometimes respond to surveys in a manner that make themselves meet society’s desires. An anonymity guarantee was reassured to the respondents. Some evidence shows that a self-report of dishonest behaviour can be quite accurate and the bias should have no impact on the testing of the model (Beck and Ajzen, 1991; Becker et al., 2006). Second, the dependent variable used in this study is the intention to engage in entrepreneurial behaviour rather than the actual behaviour itself. Even though many researchers have indicated that behavioural intention is an adequate proxy of actual behaviour (Allen, Fuller and luckett, 1998), the self-report method is still subjective to the bias of CMV.

Lastly, despite its extensive application, theory of planned behaviour has been criticized that it does not sufficiently elicit affective aspects for making decision. By introducing affective variables such as fear, mood and enjoyment, the variance explained in intention can be greatly increased. Therefore future research might consider including affective variables into the theory of planned behaviour.

1.6         SCOPE OF THE STUDY

This study focus specifically on the factors affecting entrepreneurial intentions of fresh graduate in Nigeria. It examines four factors such as attitude, subjective norms, perceived behavioural control and self-efficacy. The study is restricted to only fresh graduates in Delta State, issele-uku NYSC camp. It is hoped that the views of these fresh graduates will reflect the views of other fresh graduates in the country.