An exploration into the main barriers to entreprenurship, from the perspective of students
This dissertation seeks to explore the barriers to entrepreneurship from the perspective of prospective entrepreneurs, specifically students. Despite an abundance of research on the general topic of barriers to entrepreneurship, there is a notable lack of research on prospective entrepreneurs, those who intend on becoming entrepreneurs but have not yet done so. Therefore, this study seeks to address this gap by exploring the main barriers as perceived by Edinburgh based final-year business students, by conducting in-depth semi structured telephone interviews. A review of the literature highlighted twenty key barriers to entreprenurship, which provided the basis of barriers explored in the interviews. The subsequent responses were then analysed thematically and compared with the existing literature, in doing so the findings showed strong concurrence with the existing literature, limited disagreement, and two emergent themes. From these results, some key findings were, the main three barriers as perceived by the participants being, ‘Lack of capital’, ‘Lack of experience’ and ‘Lack of support’. The gap between student’s intentions to become an entrepreneur and their behaviour, as coined the ‘intention-behaviour’ in the literature; was clearly illustrated in this study as all participants had some interest in entreprenurship yet none were planning on acting on this in the next twelve months, illustrating the inhibiting impact of barriers. An emergent theme of this study was that, if the main barrier ‘lack of capital’ was alleviated this would increase in ‘fear of failure’. This is significant for the governmental entrepreneurship support, leading to a recommendation for future study. A key thread throughout the results was a strong psychological focus, considering barriers such as ‘uncertainty’ and ‘personality type’ for example, almost never considered in the literature. Therefore, a further recommendation is a future study in this area encapsulating both business and psychology theory. Keywords: Entrepreneurial Intention (EI), Lack Of Capital (LOC), Planed Behaviour Theory (PBT).