Entrepreneurial drivers, barriers and enablers of computing students: gendered perspectives from an Australian and UK university

Sally Smith, Margaret Hamilton, Khristin Fabian

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This paper investigates computing students’ entrepreneurial intentions, motivations, recognisable barriers and encouragements towards entrepreneurship, with a focus on gender. Two universities, one in Australia and one in the UK (n = 247), were used as locations for the research to consider two distinct contexts. In each university there were similarly high levels of interest in entrepreneurship among computing students, however some significant differences in responses were found, especially between male and female participants. Job flexibility was a strong motivation for the UK-based female participants; while female participants at the Australian university identified internal barriers (such as lack of confidence and experience). Enablers to entrepreneurial activity were identified, including access to incubators and academic support. Directing such support towards computing students, while recognising gender differences, could increase interest in, and take-up of, entrepreneurship. Recommendations are made regarding how universities can best support would-be entrepreneurs and encourage inclusive entrepreneurship into the future.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages14
JournalStudies in Higher Education
Early online date4 Jul 2019
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jul 2019



  • Entrepreneurship
  • computing
  • students
  • gender
  • IT sector

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