Social Entrepreneurial Intention Change by Gender during the COVID-19 Pandemic

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This study investigated the change in social entrepreneurial intention (SEI) by gender before and during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. In particular, we examined the effects of environmental and personal factors on SEI. The mediating effect of positive psychological capital (PsyCap) was tested on the relationship between environmental factors and SEI during COVID-19. Survey data were collected from two cohorts of graduating senior business college students at a Sino-American University in China. Two samples of responses were received before (249) and during (253) the pandemic. Results indicated that the COVID-19 pandemic affected SEI differently by gender. Females were more likely to change their perceptions of environmental factors than males. Also, results showed positive psychological capital served as a mediator in the relationship between environmental factors and self-efficacy improvement (SEI), irrespective of gender disparities and the context of a pandemic. Notably, the variable of hope emerged as a positive and universal psychological construct that created and sustained SEI regardless of the pandemic situation and gender. Our study makes new, valuable contributions to the literature on social entrepreneurship and provides meaningful implications and recommendations for developing important educational and public policies to promote and link social entrepreneurship with solving societal problems.

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Journal of Social Entrepreneurship



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