Entrepreneurial knowledge, skills and attributes of hospitality students in a higher education institution
CLEARANCE CERTIFICATE NUMBER: 2020FOBREC828
The rising unemployment rate is one of many challenges facing South Africa, especially among the youth. Government and business leaders are faced with the task of curbing this epidemic, as it is increasingly affecting the status of the country in terms of slow economic growth and a high crime rate. Entrepreneurship has been identified as an important aspect of many countries’ economic models, to enhance economic activity and create employment for the growing population worldwide. Across the globe, many universities are tasked with increasing their entrepreneurship content in their programmes to create more young entrepreneurs and curb the rising unemployment statistics. Entrepreneurship education and exposure thereof have a positive effect on students’ intention to become entrepreneurial savvy. Entrepreneurship programmes that promote knowledge, skills and a particular set of attributes, have a positive effect on the overall entrepreneurial intention of university students hence this study is guided by the Social Cognitive Theory and Bandura’s Agentic theory which depicts that career goals and choices are self-efficacy related and motivation by self-belief of an individual’s talent and abilities can control their goals. Entrepreneurship education has become a global phenomenon, with the intention to improve societies and the economy. There are various studies done in Asia, America, Europe and central to north Africa regarding entrepreneurship in general and entrepreneurship education, but the literature lacks data, especially from a South African context. This quantitative study sought to investigate the entrepreneurial knowledge, skills and attributes that agile hospitality students require to succeed in the tourism and hospitality industry, especially as entrepreneurs.
The study used a quantitative research approach following a positivist paradigm. The study employed a descriptive cross-sectional research design, incorporating a quantitative survey using an online questionnaire. First, the researcher conducted documentary reviews in the form of Hospitality Management learning guides to familiarize and identify the entrepreneurship outcomes, teaching methods and modalities in the module. The reviews along with the literature review helped the researcher develop an understanding of the module and develop a list of entrepreneurial questions included in the questionnaire.
The study focused on hospitality management students as a sample, at an institution of Higher Learning offering Hospitality Management. The questionnaire was distributed to a total of 400 students and the response was 228, thus giving a response rate of 57%. The data gathered was analysed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences version 28. Descriptive and inferential statistics were then presented, followed by a confirmatory factor analysis and regression model.
The study sample showed that there were more female than male students (73%). Together, the average age of the respondents was between 21 and 25 years (62%). The results from the questionnaire showed out of the three years of study, first-year students dominated by 46% above second- and third-year students. With regards to ethnicity, there was a vast difference between the groups where African participants were a majority of 82%. The participants needed to notify whether the choice of hospitality management was their first, second or third choice, just over half of the respondents indicated it as their first choice (58%). The factor analysis showed 7 factors that need to be taken as those that influence entrepreneurial knowledge, skills and attributes. From the data collected, information regarding their knowledge, skills and attributes was questioned. Information such as business aspirations mainly indicated the student’s intention to start a business was because they believe in themselves (60.09%), the know they are hard workers (55.26%), passion is what drives them (51.75%) and above all the students advocate determining their own future (64.91%). The students felt that entrepreneurship education in the hospitality management course has developed a need for achievement in them (49.12%), time management ability (48.25%) and problem-solving ability (47.81%). Data was collected to understand how entrepreneurial teaching methods have enhanced the students’ capabilities in the course, and students regarded mentorship by entrepreneurs and industry interaction as a significant aspect (40.79%). Teaching techniques enhancing the student’s mindset entrepreneurial capabilities indicated that students would prefer to interact more frequently with small business development agencies (39.91%), interact with successful entrepreneurs (38.60%) and felt that adding the entrepreneurship component to more than one subject would be beneficial in stimulating the mind towards a future in entrepreneurship (38.16%). The participants have shown an understanding concerning their entrepreneurship mindset based on their learning, for example knowing that running a business takes a lot of hard work and sacrifice (77.63%), also the confidence in their abilities like being able to assess strengths and weaknesses of a business (51.32%), students are confident in understanding the mindset of consumers (50.88%) and can see themselves starting a business (67.98%).
The main findings revealed that entrepreneurship education influences self-efficacy, attitude towards becoming and entrepreneur and entrepreneurial confidence coupled with an entrepreneurial mindset. The responses also showed that more students would rather have a programme that incorporated more practice and influence of outside stakeholders, like mentors and entrepreneurs with profitable businesses. Generally, higher education institutions should develop programmes that incorporate entrepreneurial capabilities, that foster knowledge, skills, and attributes that would encourage students to become entrepreneurial.
Is this dataset for graduation purposes?