A COMPARISON OF YOUTH PERCEPTIONS REGARDING ENTREPRENEURSHIP IN PENNSYLVANIA AND NICARAGUA

Open Access
Author:
Cahill, Michael Scott
Graduate Program:
Agricultural and Extension Education
Degree:
Master of Science
Document Type:
Master Thesis
Date of Defense:
June 28, 2017
Committee Members:
  • Daniel Douglas Foster, Thesis Advisor
  • John Ewing, Committee Member
  • Carl Daniel Azzara, Committee Member
Keywords:
  • Agriculture
  • Education
  • Agricultural Education
  • Student
  • Pennsylvania
  • Nicaragua
  • International
  • Bandura
  • Azjen
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Entrepreneurial
  • Self-Efficacy
  • FFA
  • SAE
  • Supervised Agricultural Experience
  • NGO
  • Perceptions
Abstract:
The purpose of this study was to describe high school agriculture teachers’ and students’ entrepreneurial self-efficacy, perceptions regarding entrepreneurship, and inclinations to pursue business in populations in Pennsylvania and Nicaragua. Furthermore, relationships between the student and teacher populations, Pennsylvanian and Nicaraguan populations, and gender were examined to identify any significant differences. Bandura’s self-efficacy theory and Ajzen’s theory of planned behavior are used as theoretical frameworks for this study. Findings from this study indicate that overall all populations were moderately confident in their ability to successfully complete entrepreneurial tasks such as identifying the need for a new product or service, estimating the amount of start-up funds and working capital necessary to start a business, and training employees. Perceptions regarding entrepreneurship also ranged from moderately high to high with Nicaraguan teachers having the highest perceptions regarding entrepreneurship. Inclinations to pursue business varied with Nicaraguan teachers having the most inclinations to pursue business and Pennsylvania teachers having significantly lower inclinations. A comparison of the populations using gender as a variable indicated that female Pennsylvania agriculture students had significantly higher entrepreneurial self-efficacy and inclinations to pursue business than male students. Implications and recommendations are made based on the findings of this study to key local, state, and national leaders and stakeholders of agricultural education regarding the strengthening of entrepreneurial self-efficacy through school-based agricultural education programming.