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Papers and Reports

Research Papers 

"How Entrepreneurial Intentions Influence Entrepreneurial Career Choices: The Moderating Influence of Social Context" (2020)

Azzurra Meoli, Riccardo Fini, Maurizio Sobrero, Johan Wiklund 

In this paper, we build on social cognitive career theory to examine the relation between entrepreneurial intention and new venture creation (i.e., the entrepreneurial career choice). We model how contextual influences at different levels may favor or inhibit the translation of entrepreneurial intentions into new venture creation. Using unique longitudinal data from almost the entire population of Italian university graduates, we are able to assess how the immediate (i.e., the influence of relevant others) and larger context (i.e., organizational and environmental influences) affect new venture creation. Our research contributes to the emerging literature of the intention–behavior link in entrepreneurship.

Policy Reports 

"Graduate Entrepreneurship" (2019)

Maria Assunta Chiarello, Riccardo Fini, Silvia Ghiselli, Claudia Girotti, Azzurra Meoli, Maurizio Sobrero

The role played by companies started by University students has gained considerable attention in recent years. The visibility of several iconic companies such as Dell, Yahoo!, Google and Dropbox and the personal stories of their founders have attracted great attention and universities have sought to increase their efforts to promote entrepreneurship. A few studies based on samples collected from specific universities have attempted to document the phenomenon more formally. In this report, we present the first study conducted at a national level using primary and secondary data over an extensive period of time. It documents Italian university students’ entrepreneurial activities and impact matching the data of 2,891,980 individuals who graduated between 2004-2018 with the company data of 236,362 ventures founded in the same period. The study is the result of a collaborative effort between AlmaLaurea Interuniversity Consortium, the Department of Management of the University of Bologna and Unioncamere.


"Student Entrepreneurship: Demographics, Competences and Obstacles" (2015)

Riccardo Fini, Azzurra Meoli, Maurizio Sobrero, Silvia Ghiselli and Francesco Ferrante

In this report, we use a population-based approach to explore the entrepreneurial activities of 61,115 students, alumni of the 64 Italian universities that are members of the AlmaLaurea consortium, in the second half of 2014. Data were collected through a newly developed section of the AlmaLaurea survey, which will be consolidated in future rounds to allow to continue mapping student entrepreneurship in Italy and to provide robust empirical evidence to longitudinal analyses. Our results show that student entrepreneurs represent 2.7% of the sample whereas nascent entrepreneurs and non-entrepreneurs account for 3.8% and 93.5%, respectively. We profile and compare the three groups across several dimensions, such as demographics, mobility, the field of study, sources of stimuli and competences, perceived obstacles, and support for entrepreneurship. The results shed light on the timely and relevant, yet understudied, phenomenon of student entrepreneurship, offering implications for both policy and practice.