Unlocking the Entrepreneurial Potentials of Unemployed Young graduates: Implications for Communication, Education and Policy Implementation in Developing countries

2019-12-11T13:43:59Z (GMT) by Andrew B Koroma
In Sierra Leone unemployed young college graduates explored entrepreneurship as alternatives to formal employment. Qualitative approaches were followed to understand their motivations and the entrepreneurial environment in which they operated. The sample for this study included forty-two unemployed graduates in two regional districts of Sierra Leon and tenkey informants as resource persons. Face-to-face interviews were conducted with the graduates through individual interviews in the city of Freetown, Western district and focus groups in the city of Bo, Southern district. Telephone interviews were conducted with the tenkey informants/resources persons. Using the integrated theoretical frameworks of Azjen’s Theory of Planned Behavior and the Shapero-Sokol Entrepreneurial Event Model the study identified the underlying factors of desirability and feasibility of entrepreneurship with insights into the entry-level experiences in setting up a venture. The data wereanalyzed using the theoretical thematic approach and open coding techniques to identify patterns and trends. Thefindings were then triangulated and validated. Desirability of entrepreneurship was found to begenerallyhigh, but feasibility was generally low and difficult to explore. The inability to secure start-up capital and a generally weak support system for entry level entrepreneurs accounted for the barrierstosuccessful entrepreneurship. Two descriptive models, each on desirability and feasibility, were developed from the findings. Theyexplainthe processes involved in the transmission from entrepreneurial intentions to actions. The findings of this study would contribute to advocacy campaigns for the facilitation of entrepreneurship for unemployed young graduates aspiring for self-employment, inform educational programs about the gaps in entrepreneurial proficiencies, and advice policy interventions to scale-up support for young adults to enable them to create businesses for self-employment in a developing country context.The study suggests collaborative engagements to synergize the actions between communicators, educators and policy actors to facilitate entrepreneurship for unemployed graduates.