Push & pull factors in entrepreneurial intentions among youth in a small imperial state.

Author:Rashid, Irfana
 
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Background

Over the past many years, there has been an ongoing debate all over the world regarding youth entrepreneurship. Both developed and developing countries perceive youth entrepreneurship as a way of boosting economic competitiveness and promoting regional development. Many researchers argue that entrepreneurial activity needs to be tapped by developing countries to enable them to compete in a globalizing market economy (Khandwalla, 1998; Kunango, 1998). However, most of the studies pointed towards the lack of support system for entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship in developing countries. Besides lack of financial assistance, lack of counseling and training programs, the grant of licenses and policies and controls and taxation had been cited as the major hurdles in the setting up and running of new businesses (Awasthi & Sebastian, 1996; Gautam, 1979; Mokry, 1988; Sadhak, 1989; Singh, 1985). Schoof (2006) examined a range of key constraints that impede young people in different countries from starting successful businesses. Entrepreneurial education, access to start-up capital and business provider services were found among the key factors impeding youth entrepreneurship, alongside societal attitudes and a regulatory framework.

Previous research showed that the formation of potential entrepreneurs through education and entrepreneurial training can help economic growth. The entrepreneurs' support system through entrepreneurship education can stimulate and facilitate entrepreneurial activities that can reduce the extent of unemployment, increase the formation of new businesses and reduce the number of business fail (Hatten & Ruhland, 1995; Ronstadt, 1985; Hensemark, 1998). Dana (1993) maintained that entrepreneurial training and education provided to the entrepreneurs will be able to contribute to their knowledge, skills and experience. The study by Upton, Sexton & Moore (1995) found that there is a relationship between entrepreneurship education and training on the tendency to start a business and the success of a business. Apart from the attitude of entrepreneurs who constantly upgrade their skills and knowledge in entrepreneurship education, entrepreneurs must have the ability to take risks in carrying out their entrepreneurial activities. Accordingly McConnell (2003) explained that the training will be more effective if the training need analysis is carried out comprehensively in advance.

In line with these suggestions, the present study is an attempt to identify the training need for entrepreneurial development among youth belonging to Kashmir Valley.

Need for the Study

Employment has always been a central issue in the development of nations. Providing jobs for a growing population is one of the most pressing challenges for all the governments in the world. One of the major reasons for lack of jobs is the swell in the proportion of youth within the population. Kashmir is not an exception to this trend. 71% of the population in Kashmir is under the age of 35 years and a large chunk among them are unemployed (GOI-Census, 2013). The consequences of unemployment are manifold all around the globe. Idle youth find themselves isolated, incur feelings of failure and experience depression, to name a few. However, in Kashmir these negative consequences are compounded by the episodic conflicts and instability experienced by people. These conflicts have created a deep sense of uncertainty about future.

The concept of self-employment among youth in Kashmir is naive due to lack of experience, information or inability to take risks. However, the private sector, public sector and civil society in Kashmir have the potential to nurture and shape a vibrant culture of youth entrepreneurship (Mercy Corps, 2011). In the light of this, a need was felt to explore those factors which have a bearing on the attitude of youth towards entrepreneurship in Kashmir.

Research Methodology

The present study is a cross-sectional one. The respondents belong to Central, North and South Kashmir. Demographics included to test in the study are: gender, nature of the family, educational qualification and region.

Objectives

The primary objective of this study is to assess the attitudes of youth towards entrepreneurship. The secondary objectives include:

* To understand the impact of various demographic factors, e.g. gender, age, qualification and region (North, South and Central Kashmir) on youth entrepreneurship.

* To identify the role of nature of family on youth entrepreneurship.

* To develop guidelines and recommendations on encouraging positive attitude of youth towards entrepreneurship.

Research Instrument

The instrument used in the study was a standard questionnaire adapted from "Attitudes of the Youth towards Entrepreneurs and Entrepreneurship: A Cross-Cultural Comparison of India and China", developed by Vohra and Goel (2007). The instrument comprises 10 items eight of which are scale based (4-point Likert scale) and two rank-based statements.

Data Collection & Sample

The sampling technique used for this research study is non-probability (convenient) sampling. In this technique the total population was divided into three geographical areas viz, South Kashmir, Central Kashmir and North Kashmir and respondents in these regions were approached on the basis of convenience. The data was utilised to generate descriptive information and also subjected to various statistical tests.

Data collection was done over a period of three and a half months from March, 2014 to Mid-June, 2014. The survey was carried out by means of a questionnaire. Researchers have administered the questionnaire personally by visiting different colleges, campuses and universities. At all occasions, questionnaires were filled in the presence of the researchers and at certain occasions researchers interacted with the respondents. This helped them to delve deeper into the state of entrepreneurship in Kashmir. Some of the comments from the respondents have been discussed in the forthcoming paragraphs.

Questionnaires were administered on 1384 respondents from three regions viz; Central, South and North Kashmir. 1254 responses were received, out of which only 1200 were found complete in all respects. These were found fit for analysis making it a response rate of 87%. Such response rate is considered to be satisfactory for this type of sampling frame. The profile of respondents is presented below in Table 1.

Data Sources

The data for this study have been collected from both primary and secondary sources. The mode of collection from primary sources has been discussed in detail in the above section. For secondary data sources various studies related to entrepreneurship were scanned in various libraries and electronic databases. Major part of secondary data has been collected from library of Jammu and Kashmir Entrepreneur Development Institute (JKEDI).

After completion of the questionnaires, a thorough procedure to clean the data was followed. Some questionnaires with missing responses or wrongly filled were discarded. All the data was coded and entered in the SPSS package for further analysis.

Analysis

Respondents were divided on the basis of demographics like age, educational qualification, nature of family and regions and comparisons were made accordingly. However...

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