The role of small firms in economic growth is widely recognized (Birch, 1979).
They significantly contribute to the local economy through the creation of new jobs.
Therefore, endorsing entrepreneurship has become a major topic of public policy across the
developed and developing countries. In the developed countries, policy discourse centers on the
issue of how to support the creation of new firms which are spin offs from the university or
the research center. Combined with a capability to develop technology, these new firms
contribute not only to the economic growth, but also innovation. On the other hand, endorsing
academic entrepreneurship has recently started as a subject of discussion for policy makers in
the developing countries. Various steps have been taken to stimulate the growth
of entrepreneurship, particularly in the university. However, there are many obstacles in the
way of supporting the academic entrepreneurship. Many universities lack research activities
and outcomes. Most universities focus on teaching, educating and preparing their students to
be workers in the industrial or managerial world. Moreover, there is a lack of
comprehensive policy in supporting the academic entrepreneurship. Apart from universities, other actors
such as government or the existing industries have paid very little attention and thus given
little support to the issue of academic entrepreneurship (Etzkowitz and Leydesdorff, 1997).
From the perspective of students, starting a new firm is a complicated decision due to
high uncertainty and perceived risk. Many studies have revealed that entrepreneurial
intention could be influenced from two sources, internal and external. Internal factors include a
strong motivation and personal characteristics of students while external factors cover the
external environment that may support or hinder entrepreneurial intention. For instance,
the uncertainty in the political and economic situations such as those in developing
countries, may affect the entrepreneurial intention among students. Therefore, to design a good
policy, it is important to know what factors support or prevent the intention of students in
starting their own firm after graduating. While there have been significant researches on the
causes of entrepreneurial propensity, only a limited number of studies have focused on
the entrepreneurial intention especially among students in the developing countries.