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The IUP Journal of Entrepreneurship Development :
Understanding the Entrepreneurial Intentions of the Indian Millennials: A Pilot Study
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Millennials are considered the most entrepreneurial generation among the workforce. The millennials are not merely confined to traditional career paths; they look for innovative ways to combine profit and purpose as illustrated by concepts like social entrepreneurship. Given the unique traits and characteristics of this generation, understanding and predicting entrepreneurial intentions among millennials will go a long way in facilitating new venture creation and start-up culture in the country. The paper is based on Krueger’s view that entrepreneurs are not born out of luck or the right opportunity. Instead, entrepreneurship should be regarded as a result of planned, deliberate behavior. For definitive results, the study of factors that lead millennials towards entrepreneurship must be rooted in theory-driven models. Two such models are the Theory of Planned Behavior and the Theory of Entrepreneurial Events. An integrated approach using both the models has been used in the Indian context to understand the entrepreneurial intentions of millennials. A pilot study has been conducted on a group of 60 millennials to understand their entrepreneurial intentions using the questionnaire method. The findings from the study will be used to determine the scope and nature of a full-fledged study on the entrepreneurial intentions of the Indian millennials.

 
 
 

Entrepreneurs are the ‘engines of economic growth’. They bring enormous positive contributions to a country’s economic growth and social development. Entrepreneurs play the role of innovators who can fully explore the complete potentialities of the country’s available resources of labor, technology and capital. Today, entrepreneurship is regarded as one of the best economic development strategies to develop country’s economic growth and sustain the country’s competitiveness in facing the increasing trends of globalization (Keat et al., 2011).

Entrepreneurship and small business creation are cornerstones of economic development throughout the world. The objectives of industrial development, regional development, regional growth and employment generation depend upon entrepreneurial development. Entrepreneurs are, thus, the seeds of industrial development, facilitating greater employment opportunities to unemployed youth, increase in per capita income, higher standard of living, increased individual savings, revenue to the government in the form of taxation, and balanced regional development (Charantimath, 2007).

Entrepreneurship in India has been traditionally viewed as being solely under the influence of the ecosystem or the state of the economy. Robust ecosystem has been long considered to be responsible for promoting and sustaining entrepreneurship in the country. However, it needs to be pointed out that development does not occur spontaneously as a natural consequence when economic conditions are favorable. Also, a robust ecosystem alone cannot guarantee high level of involvement of individuals in venture creation. A catalyst or agent is always needed (Meier and Baldwin, 1957). Identification of right opportunities is the key to sustained venture creation.

Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) project differentiates between ‘necessity entrepreneurship’ which refers to creation of ventures due to lack of viable alternatives and ‘opportunity entrepreneurship’ where individuals embark on venture creation as they perceive an unexploited or underexploited business opportunity. In the Indian context, the focus needs to be on opportunity entrepreneurship. This is because necessity entrepreneurship has no impact on economic development, while opportunity entrepreneurship has a positive and significant impact (Acs, 2006). Traditionally, necessity entrepreneurship has been largely favored in India with opportunity entrepreneurship taking a backseat. The latter needs serious attention to promote venture creation at a large scale.

Present conditions in India are found to favor venture creations in the sectors like retail, technology, investment management and e-commerce aided by capital generation and resource gathering initiatives by many public and private entities. It is suggested in this paper that entrepreneurship development across the country may prove to be effective if the efforts are focused on the Indian millennials. The millennials are not merely confined to traditional career paths; they look for innovative ways to combine profit and purpose as illustrated by concepts like social entrepreneurship. Given the unique traits and characteristics of this generation, understanding and predicting Entrepreneurial Intentions (EI) among millennials will go a long way in facilitating new venture creation and start-up culture in the country. Studies that facilitate deep understanding of attitudes and beliefs of millennials towards entrepreneurship will help in promoting venture creation.

 
 
 

Entrepreneurship Development Journal, Successful Entrepreneurial Career, Traditional career paths,The most entrepreneurial generation among the workforce, Innovative ways to combine profit and purpose