Sociocultural factors and social entrepreneurial intention during the COVID-19 pandemic: Preliminary evidence from developing countries

Walid Simmou*, Ibrahim Sameer, Khaled Hussainey, Samira Simmou

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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While previous studies on social entrepreneurial intention have evolved more from emotional and cognitive features, far less attention has been devoted to sociocultural factors, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Relying on planned behavior theory and entrepreneurial event model, this study investigates how the university's environment and support system affect the social entrepreneurial intention of university students, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. Data were collected from 530 business students from Bahrain, the Maldives, and Morocco via an online questionnaire and analyzed using partial least square (PLS-SEM) methodology. The findings show that empathy and self-efficacity, which are most responsive to the university's environment and support system, significantly impact social entrepreneurial intention. However, no evidence has been found on how gender diversity impacts the university's environment and support system to raise social entrepreneurial intention. Finally, this paper highlights the relevance of considering sociocultural factors, namely the university's environment and support system, for policymakers, especially those involved in higher education, to boost students' social entrepreneurial intention, particularly in developing countries.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Entrepreneurship and Management Journal
Early online date5 Apr 2023
Publication statusEarly online - 5 Apr 2023


  • Business students
  • COVID-19 pandemic
  • Developing countries
  • Gender differences
  • Social entrepreneurship intent
  • University's environment and support system

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