UCAM Universidad Católica de Murcia (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2015 Proceedings
Publication year: 2015
Pages: 7435-7440
ISBN: 978-84-608-2657-6
ISSN: 2340-1095
Conference name: 8th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 18-20 November, 2015
Location: Seville, Spain
Entrepreneurship is considered as one of the core factors to redefine the role of university in contemporary society [1]. Scientific knowledge must be transferred to society in order to make the university a more fruitful institution for society. The recipe to close the gap between academic arena and society seems to be found in entrepreneurship. As a result, university-based entrepreneurs are receiving more and more attention as key elements to lead the required transformation. Unforeseen obstacles are critical points when facing the development of a new business. If those possible problems are not taken into account, the future of the enterprise could end up collapsing. This is probably one of the reasons why many young firms do not manage to remain more than five years (e. g., [2]). As a result, the incipient entrepreneur should be aware of the true problems she will experience as the enterprise project progresses. On the contrary, failing to detect facilitators related to the creation of a new business might reduce the probability of success of the novel entrepreneur. In this paper we try to identify the most important facilitators and obstacles conditioning the shift from potential to actual entrepreneurship at university. A sample of university professor and research staff was asked to fill in an electronic questionnaire (n = 1268) containing two scales: one to measure perceived obstacles related with business creation and the other to assess the perceived facilitators. Professors were classified into four profiles (general entrepreneurs [n = 362], sustainable entrepreneurs [n = 187], technological entrepreneurs [n = 290] and technology-sustainable entrepreneurs [n = 429]) differentiating if they were actual or potential entrepreneurs. We have used seven different automated structure learning algorithms to develop graphical models relating each entrepreneur profile with obstacles and facilitators (see, for example, [3]). Our results show that most of the entrepreneur shifts (from potential to actual) are related with facilitators. The technology-sustainable entrepreneur is the profile associated with more obstacles and facilitators as compared with the general, the sustainable and the technological entrepreneur. Additionally, several conclusions can be extracted from the automated learned graphs. For example, the general entrepreneur is associated with opportunity detection controlling other related factors. Secondly, the technology-based entrepreneur is directly conditioned by the availability of funds. And, finally, the favoring factor to produce the switch from potential entrepreneur towards actual entrepreneurship in technology-sustainable companies is related with the availability of formation and money to invest. On the other hand, the sustainable entrepreneur profile is highly related with the obstacle involving the perception of a lack of knowledge about the activity sector. These results suggest that the technology-sustainable entrepreneur profile deserves a careful attention because of the number of facilitators and obstacles identified. Our results are also useful because could be used to orient potential entrepreneurs and public/private policies to boost successful entrepreneurship at university.

[1] doi: 10.1038/514297a
[2] doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2370.2006.00125.x
Entrepreneurship, obstacles, facilitators, university, Bayes nets, sustainability, technology.