Good practices in Hungary to promote student entrepreneurial intentions

Száva Zsigmond-Heinczinger
Budapest Business School University of Applied Sciences

Szilárd Németh
Budapest Business School University of Applied Sciences

Entrepreneurship is generally regarded with a positive attitude around the world, but Europe is lagging far behind the rest of the globe when it comes to the question of choosing entrepreneurship as a career. Despite enterprises’ dominant role in the national economy and employment, to become an entrepreneur as a career goal is quite far behind on the list of desirable professions. Youngsters and university students are also taking entrepreneurship as a kind of contingency plan. Even for those few, who are still interested in entrepreneurship, dissuasion is frequent by the negative social perceptions of entrepreneurs.

Recent researches in the subject of entrepreneurship highlighted, that several, well and clearly defined reasons can be identified as barriers of starting a business. Lack of professionalism and theoretical background, ineptitude, inexperience, lack of general business knowledge and awareness, lack of perseverance and motivation are defined as such negative factors. And however, there is a never-ending discussion concerning the lack of equity being a barrier (or not) of starting a business, it is a commonly mentioned factor and recurring problem. At the same time, entrepreneurial intentions are also influenced by several individual factors, such as demographical indicators, individual competences and attitudes, cognitive ability, skills, the impact of the environment and national culture, previous experience, social acceptance and reference groups, as well as preparedness for self-responsibility and the ability or lack of resources. The influencing factors are including those that are easily changeable and rapidly influenceable (1), such as acquisition of resources; but also those, requiring long intervention and incorporation times (2), like the development of individual attitudes, the build-up of the necessary support systems and infrastructure.

In this situation, the development of innovation capacities (1), familiarisation (2) and introduction of startup culture (3) could play an important role in the spreading of entrepreneurial mindset, in which system student enterprises themselves are intended to increase entrepreneurial willingness of university students. The reinforcement process of entrepreneurial spirit and attitudes, the promotion of benefits in self-employment, and choosing entrepreneurship as a career goal should begin at latest at the tertiary level. Fortunately, there are several initiatives in Hungary at the higher educational level, where student entrepreneurs, wannabe entrepreneurs and enterprise-oriented students are supported in the frames of different programmes.

Our research was conducted with a series of semi-structured interviews with representatives of Hungarian higher education institutes according to a predefined aspect and framework. All participants of the survey could be characterised by several initiatives aiming to increase entrepreneurial intentions. In the sample of the survey, both public and private owned higher education institutions with a varied portfolio – not only economical and business faculties – were involved. The interviews were analysed with the help of mind mapping and visual noting. In our poster presentation, we will introduce four of the many good practices involved into the research. As a result of the research, recommendations were made in three areas: intra-, inter-, and non-institutional levels. Interinstitutional activities include a distinction between curriculum-related ideas, as project- and idea based courses; as well as curriculum-independent recommendations, like setting up an in-house coordinating organization (1), supporting student organizations and college for advised studies initiatives (2), scholarship programs (3), role-model setting (4), establishment of awards (5) and brand-building activity in order to become as an entrepreneurial university (5).