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Investigating higher education graduates’ entrepreneurship in Greece

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Author(s): Vassilis Kostoglou | Errikos Siakas

Journal: Annals of Innovation & Entrepreneurship
ISSN 2000-7396

Volume: 3;
Start page: 1;
Date: 2012;
Original page

Keywords: entrepreneurship | university graduates | labour market | self-employment | Greece

ABSTRACT
This paper aims to analyse the issues and challenges related to university graduates’ entrepreneurship and self-employment. An extensive literature review analyses the relevant situation in European Union and Greece. Additionally, an institutional survey has been carried out concerning the career paths of a large number of graduates from Greek higher technological education. A detailed structured questionnaire was designed to collect rigorous data and to obtain deeper understanding of student choices. The randomly selected unbiased sample represented nearly 30% of the total population of recent graduates of five consecutive years. The method of telephone interviews was selected as the most efficient tool for collecting the required information. This paper reports on the analysis of the responses of 197 self-employed graduates regarding the motivation to start a business, the process through which they started their business, and financial issues concerning the start-up. The detection of significant effects towards graduates’ entrepreneurship through multivariate statistical analysis revealed that the most important factors are gender, degree grade, acquisition of a postgraduate degree, as well as the faculty and the specialty of the bachelor studies. The original results of the survey provide important insight into graduates’ self-employment. The paper also demonstrates the need for a systematic national strategy that will take advantage of innovative potentials, increase competitiveness and enhance the collaboration between government, educational and research institutions, as well as the industry.

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