Dr.Suhaila Hassan Al Fartoosiy

Imam Ja’afar Al-Sadiq University-Iraq




Purpose – This study aims to explore the presence of entrepreneurial characteristics among Iraqi students at Imam Ja’afar Al-Sadiq University and determine the levels of entrepreneurial characteristics among Iraqi students.

Methods:  An exploratory study was conducted, using a purposive sample of Iraqi students who were studied at Imam Ja’afar Al-Sadiq University.  An online questionnaire was distributed to (120) Iraqi students to obtain socio-demographic data and to assess their entrepreneurial characteristics according to (Entrepreneurship Scale). Descriptive, bivariate and logistic analyses were performed.


The levels of Entrepreneurial Characteristics: the need for achievement and Innovativeness had the highest scores for students.   Characteristics of self-efficacy, risk propensity and need for independence were high levels among Iraqi students too.

Conclusion: The presence of entrepreneurial traits in Iraqi students as well as general entrepreneurial behaviours help them identify strategic directions and entrepreneurial actions that positively accelerate the growth of the business sector, which is meant to be equivalent to an integration with the public sector in promoting sustainable development in society.

Keywords: Entrepreneurial characteristics, Iraqi Students, Sustainability, digital age.

دراسة الخصائص الريادية لطلبة الجامعة في إطار مسارات تحقيق الاستدامة

في العصر الرقمي:  دراسة استكشافية.

مدرس . دكتور.  سهيلة حسان الفرطوسي

جامعة الامام جعفر الصادق- العراق



الغرض – ان الغرض من هذه الدراسة هو استكشاف وجود خصائص ريادة الأعمال بين الطلاب العراقيين من جامعة الإمام جعفر الصادق وتحديد مستويات خصائص ريادة الأعمال لديهم.

منهج الدراسة: أجريت دراسة استكشافية باستخدام عينة هادفة من الطلاب العراقيين الذين درسوا في جامعة الإمام جعفر الصادق. تم توزيع استبانة الكترونية على (120) طالباً عراقياً للحصول على بيانات اجتماعية وديموغرافية وتقييم خصائص ريادة الأعمال وفق (مقياس ريادة الأعمال). وتم إجراء تحليلات وصفية ولوجستية.

نتائج  الدراسة:

حصلت مستويات خصائص ريادة الأعمال: الحاجة إلى الإنجاز والابتكار على أعلى الدرجات للطلاب. وكانت خصائص الكفاءة الذاتية والميل إلى المخاطرة والحاجة إلى الاستقلال بمستويات عالية بين الطلاب العراقيين أيضًا.

الاستنتاجات: توافر الخصائص الريادية للطلاب العراقيين والسلوكيات التي تقودهم بشكل عام إلى تحديد التوجهات الاستراتيجية والإجراءات الريادية التي تساهم بشكل إيجابي في تسريع نمو قطاع الأعمال ، والذي من المفترض أن يكون مرادفًا للقطاع العام ومتكاملاً معه في تعزيز التنمية المستدامة في المجتمع.

الكلمات المفتاحية: خصائص ريادة الأعمال ، الطلاب العراقيون , الاستدامة ، العصر الرقمي.




Entrepreneurship has been the centre of attention for researchers and economists for the last few years.  One factor for this heightened interest is, that entrepreneurship plays important role in boosting economic development. Entrepreneurship brings new life to and catalyzes the slow-growing and stagnant economies. (Zaman, 2013:4053(.The World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report claims that the deep economic downturn brought on by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is still going strong and has a significant impact on socioeconomic development. The research also identified four avenues for stimulating and transforming the economy in the post-pandemic age, including maximizing human capital, developing new employment prospects, and establishing extensive skill-training programs. The value of innovative entrepreneurship was made abundantly obvious in the report.

(World Economic Forum: Colony, Switzerland, 2020).

It is crucial for anybody who wants to launch and manage projects successfully in a variety of settings, whether they are working as an employee or in the public sector, nongovernmental organizations, the education sector, the scientific and technology sector, or social and community businesses. Entrepreneurship education is vital in fostering an entrepreneurial mindset and defining the entrepreneurial traits of students at all educational levels. (Hienka1 et al,2015:1897.( The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization contends that rather than passively seeking employment, university students should be the primary force in creating new work positions. (Su et al, 2021:1).

Additionally, it appears that entrepreneurs with university degrees invest more in their companies than entrepreneurs without university degrees.

(Adnan et al, 110).

Starting a new firm is a fundamental aspect of entrepreneurship. Self-sufficiency and independence encourage people to start new firms, which in turn spurs economic growth, innovation, and job creation that has an impact on society as a whole. (Al-Habib, 2012:1021). A key aspect of becoming an entrepreneur is starting new businesses. Self-sufficiency and independence encourage people to start new firms, which in turn spurs economic growth, innovation, and job creation that has an impact on society as a whole. (Al-Habib, 2012:1021(.

In one of the world’s fastest expanding economies, entrepreneurship research is becoming more widely recognized by academics and researchers.

 (Anwar & Saleem, 2018:283(.Therefore, it is important to identify the personality traits that have the greatest impact on an individual’s decision to launch a business today. The ones that relate to entrepreneurship and behaviours that help people decide on strategic directions and entrepreneurial actions that help positively accelerate the growth of the business sector, which is meant to be synonymous with the public sector and integrated with it in promoting sustainable development in society, are perhaps the most notable of these traits. (  Atiya & Osman,2021:218).

Research problem

 In Iraq, there are still a lot of barriers to the expansion of entrepreneurial initiatives. These limitations include the absence of entrepreneurship education curricula for university students, a lack of fundamental skills, and a lack of entrepreneurial talent. Additionally, there is a lack of information about market prospects and requirements as well as restricted access to finance.

The creation of jobs is currently Iraq’s biggest difficulty, but thanks to its rich, resourceful, and distinctive geographic and demographic advantage, the country has a lot of potentials to innovate and foster entrepreneurship to benefit the economy of the whole country.

Research aims  

The present study aims at identifying the characteristics of potential entrepreneurs among colleges and an assessment of the key chrematistics of potential entrepreneurs. In a study based on a private Imam Ja’afar Al-Sadiq University students in Iraq.

Therefore, the current study aims to

  1. 1 To determine the availability of the entrepreneurial characteristics of Iraqi students in Imam Ja’afar Al-Sadiq University.
  2. Detection of the levels of entrepreneurial characteristics among Iraqi students in Imam Ja’afar Al-Sadiq University.
  3. Assess the levels of the entrepreneurial characteristics of Iraqi students at Imam Ja’afar Al-Sadiq University.

  Research Importance 

The study is particularly significant since it addresses national priorities in Iraq by better utilizing young people’s talents and energies in entrepreneurial endeavours and by creating a conducive atmosphere for them to start their projects. Additionally, the study aids in attempting to pinpoint the entrepreneurial traits of students who are headed for the workforce.

Review of literature

It is believed that entrepreneurship is the phenomenon that has drawn the most attention in recent years. Research on the phenomenon of entrepreneurship is highly sought after on a global scale, not only because of its inevitable significance in increasing the economy and creating jobs but also because of the promise it provides for product and market innovation.(Anwar & Saleem,2018:283). Entrepreneurship is the contemporary engine of growth. Its essence is in innovation and it creates new business. An entrepreneur identifies, creates, and initiates new business opportunities.  (Tausif&Haque,2016:4025). Numerous studies highlight the importance of entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial traits, and the findings of some recent studies suggest that these traits have a significant impact on students’ decisions to launch their businesses. (e.g Al-Habib (2012) According to reports, a person must possess a specific collection of information, skills, abilities, and behaviours to become an entrepreneur. Some of these traits come from his ancestors, while others are learned and trained, making up the qualities of an entrepreneur. (  Atiya & Osman,2021:220). In this field research to define the entrepreneurial profile of students, we test the predictive value of five characteristics: (i) Entrepreneurial self-efficacy. (ii) Risk propensity, (iii) Need for achievement, (iv) Need for independence and (v) Innovativeness. These characteristics are taken into account in the study because they are the ones that are most frequently cited as entrepreneurial characteristics in many studies in the entrepreneurship literature and because there is strong evidence to support their association with entrepreneurship.

 (i) Entrepreneurial self-efficacy

Self-confidence is one of the most essential qualities for an entrepreneur since they take the initiative and make decisions on their own. (Taneja & Gandhi,2015:490). Self-efficacy, or self-confidence in a particular area (like entrepreneurship), is based on how well-aware an individual is of their skills and capacities to carry out a particular course of action within that area or arrive at the intended result. (Karimi et al, 2011:3). The ability of the entrepreneur to take on challenges without giving up and attempt to manage them in light of bringing up the capabilities and issues serves as an example of this quality. Entrepreneurs actively seek out challenging tasks that require higher degrees of confidence in addition to having the belief that they can solve challenges. (Atiya & Osman,2021:222).

(ii) Propensity to take risk

Being willing to take risks is a crucial aspect of entrepreneurship. ( Holienka et al,2015:1882). Risk-taking propensity has been defined as an individual propensity to exhibit risk-taking or avoidance when facing risky situations. Historically, entrepreneurship is associated with risk-taking. (Embi ET AL,2019:7).(Anwar & Saleem,2019:4) demonstrates that the differentiating factor between employed workers and entrepreneurs is the ability of the latter to assume uncertainty and risk.

(iii) Need for achievement

Need for achievement: Among the psychological characteristics which have been presumed to be associated with entrepreneurship. (Embi ET AL,2019:4). It will cause someone to expect more from himself, perform tasks more quickly, or improve upon prior accomplishments or those of others. The entrepreneurial tendency is positively and significantly influenced by the need for achievement. (Kusmintarti et al,2014:26). That significantly and favourably affects the propensity to engage in entrepreneurial activity. ( Kusmintarti et al,2018:470).

(iv) Need for independence

The need to act and speak however one pleases in defiance of social standards might be described as an independent need. Many people quit their regular occupations to start their businesses, according to (Nieman et al, 2003: 30). Laws and regulations are something that entrepreneurs detest. Being their “own boss” and doing their work is important to them. To identify the elements influencing intentions to launch a firm, Douglas and Shepherd (2002) examined business graduates of an Australian institution. They argued that the desire for independence has a significant role in determining one’s career path and desire to launch a business. The need for independence is a crucial factor in determining whether or not someone has company startup aspirations. ( Karimi et al,2011:3)

 (v)   Innovativeness

In essence, entrepreneurs are constantly looking for fresh concepts and business prospects; this behaviour shows that innovation is a key entrepreneurial strategy.(Embi et al,2019:8(.It is necessary to give innovation a broad definition that encompasses the desire to develop distinctive goods or deliver superior quality using contemporary production techniques, as well as strategies for breaking into new markets, locating trustworthy suppliers, and laying the groundwork for fresh business ventures. (Anwar & Saleem,2019:285) .One of the key characteristics used to define the entrepreneur profile is innovation. (  Zaman,2013:4055).

Research design and Methodology

Based on the assumption that a few specific entrepreneurial traits encourage people to become entrepreneurs, the researcher in this study concentrated on studying the entrepreneurial characteristics of university undergraduate students, identifying them as prospective future entrepreneurs. Imam Ja’afar Al-Sadiq University’s Iraqi students provided a sample of (120) students for this study. To achieve the goals of the study, the researcher developed a questionnaire to collect crucial data surrounding the idea among college students and to launch one’s own business. The questionnaire was divided into the following sections:

Section 1: Background information

Section 2: The independent factors influencing entrepreneurial traits were presented here. Based on research by Muhammad (2014), Sultan (2016), and Abdulfatth, the assertions in this section (2016). A five-point Likert scale (1=Strongly Disagree, 1=Disagree, 3=Netural, 4=Agree, and 5=Strongly Agree) was employed in the survey.

Recruitment of Participants, Data Collection Approach and Measures

Data Analysis

For analysis, the data were entered into IBM SPSS Statistics, Version 20 and Microsoft Excel 2010, two statistical packages for the social sciences. The intensity of numerous entrepreneurial traits in the pupils was compared using descriptive statistics: (mean, standard deviation, frequency).

Results:  Response Rate and Participant Characteristics

  1. Socio-Demographic Information

The information of the Iraqi students who took part in the study is included in Table (1) where (120) Iraqi students made up the study sample.

Table ( 1)  the distribution of study participants based on socio-demographic data.

Socio-Demographic Factors

Particulars No. of respondents %


Male 71




49 40.8%



20 years 10


21-25 years




>25 years 31


Academic Performance








48 40%
>80% 37


Prepare to Launch Your Own Business

During College




Immediately upon Graduation




No Plans to own your own Business


25 20.8%
Total   120


Source: SPSS Statistics, Version 20.

  1. Descriptive Statistics of Entrepreneurial Characteristics.

In Table ( 2), descriptive statistics for the survey’s questions are shown as count (n), per cent (%), and weighted mean standard deviation.

Table 2: Descriptive Statistics of Entrepreneurial Characteristics


Mean Standard Deviation


Level of  Characteristics
Self-efficacy 3.99 1.66


Risk propensity

3.90 0.908 High
Need for achievement 4.02 .820

Very High

Need for independence

3.73 1.138 High
Innovativeness 4.76 1.132

Very High

Source: SPSS Statistics, Version 20.


The present study attempted to determine the availability of the entrepreneurial characteristics of Iraqi students at Imam Ja’afar Al-Sadiq University. In the context of the routes to sustainability in the digital age, and detection of the levels of entrepreneurial traits among them. According to the analysis, the results of table (1) provide the profile of Socio-demographic Information characteristics of the Iraqi Students, who participated in the study. The study sample comprised (120) Students:

 (% 59.2) males and (40.8%) females. The participants ranged (8.3%) years were =20, (65.8%) of Students were (21-25) aged and (25.8%) were <25 years. The level of academic Performance of the participants was (29.2 %) 060% and (40%) >70%. Approximately (30.8%) of Students was( >80%). By speciality, (63.3%) of Participants plan to start their own business after graduation. (14.2%) were contemplating launching a business while still in college, (20.8%) specialists that had no plans to own their own Business.

Tables: (2) show the Descriptive statistics 🙁 mean, standard deviation, frequency) of questions of the Entrepreneurial Characteristic of Iraqi Students. These data indicate to availability of the entrepreneurial characteristics of Iraqi students at Imam Ja’afar Al-Sadiq University. According to the data analysis, the results indicated that Table (2), of Iraqi students’ specialized study at Imam Ja’afar Al-Sadiq University.  It was observed that participants had high Entrepreneurial characteristics. The participants had high levels of need for achievement and Innovativeness had high scores. Characteristics of self-efficacy, risk propensity and need for independence were high levels among Iraqi students.


The study reached a set of conclusions and recommendations:

  1. As determined by the mean scores of each of the five characteristics tested on the Likert scale for each feature, the research’s main goal was to examine the presence of entrepreneurial qualities in students.
  2. 2 The study’s findings show that Imam Ja’afar Al-Sadiq University students have high availability of entrepreneurial traits, indicating that these students possess the qualities needed to start their own business.
  3. According to the study’s results, there are more prospects for widespread university-level emphasis on giving such education to undergraduate and graduate students.
  4. 4 These students serve as “sources of future entrepreneurs,” especially when it comes to founding new knowledge- and technology-based businesses, because of their abundance of creative ideas.
  5. 5 The survey assists in identifying patterns among college students who are entering the workforce.
  6. 6 The results of this study can help policymakers create and establish appropriate interventions and policies to encourage and accelerate the growth of entrepreneurship in Iraq, particularly among college students who are about to enter the workforce.

Procedural recommendations

  1. 1 Student can improve social and economic advancement by taking entrepreneurship courses that encourage them to take part in the continuing entrepreneurial process.
  2. 2 The role of the university is to fill the gap and take responsibility for the curriculum and in providing courses to educate students in this area.
  3. Students need a theoretical understanding of entrepreneurship as well as practical experience and instruction from institutions to launch a new firm or business.
  4. Formulating entrepreneurship education policies encouraging student entrepreneurial behaviour.
  5. Promoting students’ involvement in the ongoing process of business through entrepreneurship courses will help the economy and society as a whole.
  6. To better educate students for future entrepreneurship after graduation, universities can host creative entrepreneurship competitions and create startup incubators.


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  4. Holienka, Marian, Holienková, Jana, & Gál, Peter (2015) “Entrepreneurial Characteristics of Students in Different Fields of Study: a View from Entrepreneurship Education”, ACTA UNIVERSITATIS AGRICULTURE ET SILVICULTURAE MENDELIANAE BRUNENSIS, Vol. 63, No.6.
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