Entrepreneurial intent has been defined as the state of mind that precedes turning one’s attention to becoming an entrepreneur and taking the actions needed (Moriano et al., 2012).
Source: Moriano JA, Gorgievski M, Laguna M, Stephan U, Zarafshani K. “A Cross-Cultural Approach to Understanding Entrepreneurial Intention.” Journal of Career Development. April 2012;39(2):162–185. doi:10.1177/0894845310384481.
Entrepreneurial Intent Assessment
Case: Leslie Bowen, PhD
Description: 41-year-old Leslie Bowen is an associate professor and neuroscientist with a research idea she thinks is marketable. She discusses it with Laila Robinson from her university’s Technology Transfer Office.
Scenario, Part 4: In this assessment, Leslie evaluates her intention to engage in entrepreneurship via the entrepreneurial intention section of the entrepreneurial intent questionnaire (Liñán & Chen, 2009). This is only one part of the questionnaire. Leslie’s answers are indicated with checkmarks below.
|Entrepreneurial Intention|| 1|
Neither Agreement Nor Disagreement
|I am ready to do anything to be an entrepreneur.|
|My professional goal is to become an entrepreneur.|
|I will make every effort to start and run my own business.|
|I am determined to create a business in the future.|
|I have very seriously thought of starting a business.|
|I’ve got the firm intention to start a business someday.|
Leslie’s Average: 4.5 out of 7
Interpretation: Leslie’s score falls between 4 (Neither Disagreement Nor Agreement) and 5 (Agreement). It looks like Leslie may not currently be ready to commit to entrepreneurship but has a fairly strong intent to be an entrepreneur in the future. Many successful entrepreneurs say that having passion and ambition are important to succeed as an entrepreneur. They say these qualities keep you moving forward as you keep your vision in mind. Such people would average above 5 (Agreement) on questions like these.
Source: Liñán F, Chen Y-W. “Development and Cross-Cultural Application of a Specific Instrument to Measure Entrepreneurial Intentions.” Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice. May 1, 2009;33(3):593–617. doi:10.1111/j.1540-6520.2009.00318.x.
Discussion of Leslie’s Results
Scenario: At their next meeting, the Technology Transfer Office (TTO) staff, Laila, and Leslie meet to assess Leslie’s entrepreneurial intent (EI), or interest level in forming a startup. She has the results of Leslie’s entrepreneurial intent questionnaire. She wants to use it to help Leslie further her clarity about being an entrepreneur and advance her development as an entrepreneur if that is her choice.
Hello, Leslie. I’m interested in discussing your entrepreneurial intent results. I hope to help address potential barriers it identified and correct misconceptions. For example, you did not agree that you are ready to “do anything to be an entrepreneur” or “make every effort.” Can you tell me more about what limits you may have?
I mostly meant I would not break the law or be unethical. But also, right now, with a toddler at home, it’s not a good time to work long hours.
Of course, it is good to have firm boundaries about breaking the law or being unethical. Let’s talk about hours though. Starting a business can involve long hours—for example, near a proposal deadline or when a deliverable milestone is due. That can be challenging if you have academic responsibilities. Sometimes a department chair will ease the academic assignments for a promising researcher or potential business. Some professors use their sabbatical to launch a business.
Unfortunately, I already used my sabbatical to develop my research. But I could talk with my department chair about my schedule to see if they might relieve me of a few lectures while I write my SBIR proposal. However, the long hours will continue for a while if my proposal is funded and I launch the business. What about the long term?
Yes, the long hours can continue in a business startup. There are ways to ease your load, though. For instance, if your business has the potential to succeed and support your income, you can minimize your academic role and focus your time on the business.
I would love to be an adjunct professor giving only a lecture or two per term and spending most of my time focusing on research and business success.
If you did succeed on that level, you would have more options to set things up in the business to meet your needs. For example, if you have children, you can determine the flex time and family leave policies and even have on-site daycare.
That would really help. Starting a business is looking more attractive!
- NIH Videos – NIH YouTube videos, including NIH fundamentals, Apply for Grant Funding, Advice for New and Early Career Scientists, NIH Policy and Compliance, Peer Review, Small Business Education and Entrepreneurial Development, Electronic Research Administration (eRA), and more.
- Women-Owned Small Businesses General Services Administration (GSA) Info – Some contracts are reserved for women-owned small businesses in industries where these businesses are underrepresented.
- The surveys presented in this case are available for you to take on this website:
Francisco Liñán, David Urbano & Maribel Guerrero (2011): Regional variations in
entrepreneurial cognitions: Start-up intentions of university students in Spain, Entrepreneurship & Regional Development, 23:3–4, 187–215.
Entrepreneurial Intentions. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice. May 1, 2009;33(3):593–617. doi:10.1111/j.1540-6520.2009.00318.x.
McGee J, Peterson M, Mueller S, Sequeira J. “Entrepreneurial Self-Efficacy: Refining the Measure.” Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice. July 1, 2009:965–988.
Wei J, Chen Y, Zhang Y, Zhang J. “How Does Entrepreneurial Self-Efficacy Influence Innovation Behavior? Exploring the Mechanism of Job Satisfaction and Zhongyong Thinking.” Frontiers in Psychology. 2020;11. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2020.00708.