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The Significance of Social Welfare Attitudes in Young People’s Entrepreneurial Intentions



The present study analyses young people’s entrepreneurial intentions in Finland and Poland. Previous surveys have shown that the desire to become an entrepreneur is stronger in between Polish people than in between Finnish people.

By exploring the social psychological factors that explain young people’s entrepreneurial intentions, the study particularly sought to determine whether the differences in entrepreneurial intention can be explained by social welfare attitudes. Survey respondents were 725 Finnish and 887 Polish students.

Finnish and Polish young people approach entrepreneurship in quite different ways. Finnish young people appreciate entrepreneurs at a general level, but do not consider becoming entrepreneurs themselves, while the Poles think about entrepreneurship in the opposite manner. Furthermore, the results show that Finnish people’s trust in society is much stronger than that of their Polish counterparts.

Influencing young people’s confidence in their abilities and skills is more important than trying to influence general attitudes about entrepreneurship. Thus, entrepreneurship education has a key role in supporting young people’s entrepreneurship. National differences in intentions and in appreciation of entrepreneurship can be explained by societal and historical factors.

Entrepreneurial intention is typically explained by psychological, economic, and cultural factors, and by social capital. Study results show that social political factors are also important in explaining entrepreneurial intentions.


entrepreneurial intention, Theory of Planned Behaviour, social attitudes, social welfare



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