Understanding the Entrepreneurial Motivations and Barriers for Aspiring Entrepreneurs: a case of religious education institutions’ students in Pakistan
Unemployment is a global challenges and economists and scholar have recommended entrepreneurship as a solution to it. Motivations for, and barriers to, entrepreneurship play a major role in aspiring young graduates to becoming entrepreneurs.In this regard, numerous studies have focused on students’ intentions and perception to be entrepreneurs. However, there is little to no research available to understand the motivation and challenges of Pakistani religious education students to become entrepreneurs so far. Therefore, this study aims to identify the perceived entrepreneurial motivations and barriers among students of the religious education institutions in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. Data for this study was collected through focus group interviews from twenty (20) final year students of religious studies, who expressed interest in starting their own businesses in the near future. The study identifies seven factors, namely the lack of employment opportunity, better earning, more autonomy (freedom or independence), more flexibility, family business background, better living standards, and fulfilling ones dreams, as motivators for religious scholars to take up entrepreneurship. It also identifies six major barriers, namely financial barriers, lack of business information, lack of government support, marketing challenges, rising competition, the English language, and lack of technological knowhow, that hinder entrepreneurship in this cohort. The present study contributes to the literature by exploring the motivators and barriers that affect business formation among students of religious education institutions. Furthermore, it will help policy makers and academicians to ease the market access and present potential solutions to entrepreneurial challenges to bring these students into economic circle.