Original Research

A qualitative approach to the entrepreneurial education and intentions nexus: A case of Zimbabwean polytechnic students

Takawira M. Ndofirepi, Patient Rambe
The Southern African Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management | Vol 10, No 1 | a81 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajesbm.v10i1.81 | © 2018 Takawira Munyaradzi Ndofirepi, Patient Rambe | This work is licensed under Other
Submitted: 22 April 2016 | Published: 04 October 2018

About the author(s)

Takawira M. Ndofirepi, Department of Business Support Studies, Faculty of Management Sciences, Central University of Technology, South Africa
Patient Rambe, Department of Business Support Studies, Faculty of Management Sciences, Central University of Technology, South Africa

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Background: Owing to the popularity of entrepreneurship as an alternative to formal employment, entrepreneurship education has become the main instrument for equipping graduates with survivalist and innovative skills for new venture creation in their post-college life. However, despite the growing body of literature on the entrepreneurship education–entrepreneurial intention nexus, there are limited studies based on qualitative methodologies covering this relationship.

Aim: This article develops an in-depth understanding of the interface between exposure to entrepreneurship education and the entrepreneurial intention of students.

Setting: The study draws on the perceptions of 27 purposively selected national certificate level students at a Zimbabwean polytechnic.

Methods: The study used an interpretive qualitative research design, with data being collected through focus group discussions.

Results: Findings suggest that while passive learning and teaching methods were critical to orienting students towards the entrepreneurship field, over-dependence on theoretical content, teacher-dominated delivery, the absence of deep practical orientation and engagement with industry undermined the significance of tertiary level entrepreneurship education.

Conclusion: To enrich the development of potential entrepreneurs, the implication of these findings is that educators and policymakers should address various aspects of the entrepreneurship education value chain (from content creation, delivery strategy, enhancing practical orientation of the subject, and developing lasting relations with industry long before entrepreneurship starts) that potentially affect students’ willingness to engage in future entrepreneurship.


Entrepreneurship Education; Theory of Planned Behaviour; entrepreneurial intention; students; qualitative research


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