Entrepreneurship Training and Self-Employment Choices of Graduates: Experience from Selected Tanzanian Universities
Keywords:Entrepreneurship, Graduates, GETs, MSMEs, Self-Employment, Tanzania
For the past few years entrepreneurship training programmes have been conducted in some universities in Tanzania, with an objective of positively reforming the students’ mindsets regarding self-employment opportunities in the micro, small and medium sized enterprises (MSMEs) sector. However, to date, it has not been easy to determine the extent to which these initiatives have been fruitful. This study aimed at examining the extent to which Tanzanian university students are being equipped with General Enterprising Tendencies (GETs), which are important in enabling them to become active players in the private sector. Quantitative data was collected using the GETs test from 118 university graduates and qualitative data was collected from some of them through 3 focus group discussions and 6 in-depth interviews. Generally, the findings indicated that graduates’ possession of GETs is only moderate. The results revealed scores which were slightly above average on tendencies related to need for achievement (60.3%), independence (51.0%) and drive and determination (57.5%). However, the scores were below average on tendencies related to innovation and creativity (44.5%) and calculated risk taking (46.2%). These findings imply that the causes of below average GETs scores and hence poor motivation self-employment motives amongst graduates are attributable to weak entrepreneurship teaching and learning processes, perceived unfriendliness of the Tanzanian business environment to MSME entrepreneurs and the culture of graduates and their parents/guardians respecting employment in the public sector than in MSMEs. The paper recommends that in order to enhance graduates’ appreciation of self-employment and operations of MSMEs, the above mentioned issues have to be addressed.