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On the Relation between Green Entrepreneurship Intention and Behavior

Department of Business, Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences, European University of Lefke, Lefke 99770, Northern Cyprus, Turkey
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2021, 13(13), 7474;
Submission received: 16 May 2021 / Revised: 16 June 2021 / Accepted: 20 June 2021 / Published: 5 July 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Green Energy, Energy Innovation and Environmental Economics)


This study investigated the relationship between green entrepreneurship intention (GEI) and green entrepreneurship behavior (GEB). The study explored how university education support and green consumption commitment (GCC) moderate the relationship between green entrepreneurship intention and the GEB of university students in Ghana. The researcher used a quantitative approach. A total of 420 responses from the university campuses in Ghana were acquired through a purposive sampling method. A structural equation model was established with the help of AMOS 18. Confirmatory factor analysis was used to assess the goodness of fit of the hypothesized model, the construct validity was evaluated, and the model had an acceptable fit. The results indicated that GEI positively influenced GEB. High university education support yielded a more substantial effect. This finding supports the notion that UES and GCC moderate the relationship between GEI and GEB. The research was limited to a survey questionnaire. The researcher acknowledges that the research was carried out in Ghana, and for generalization purposes it is recommended that the pool of university students surveyed should be extended to cover more countries in Africa, or a comparative study should be conducted that includes Ghana and some European countries.
JEL Classifications:
I23; Q42; Q52; Q56; Q01; l26

1. Introduction

It is worth noting that much of the literature on green entrepreneurship is devoid of empirical research. Theoretical debates that have erupted in recent years as a result of increased interest in this subject have undoubtedly contributed to a better understanding of the phenomenon. According to ecological theory, individuals cause damage that needs to be curtailed. According to estimates, environmental degradation costs Ghana 10% of its GDP. Air pollution alone was equivalent to 42% of its GDP in 2017.
The cost of environmental degradation to Ghanaian society is estimated to be USD 6.3 billion, or 10.7% of the country’s 2017 gross domestic product. Carbon emissions cost the global community an average of USD 2.3 billion per year, or 3.9 percent of Ghana’s GDP [1]. This offers a set of directions on how “greening” the agriculture, energy, and forestry sectors can catalyze and transition them to green businesses, leading to a green economy. It is expected that green economy policies will provide 200,000 to 400,000 jobs if they are well utilized [1]. However, most existing energy supply and use practices are unsustainable [2]. Many parts of the world lack stable and safe energy sources, limiting economic growth, although environmental degradation caused by energy usage thwarts long-term development in others, hence the need for the adoption of environmentally friendly business practices that provide opportunities for green entrepreneurs [3].
The concept of “green entrepreneurship” has been given significant attention by academics, who push for “going green” to be captured as a measure to raise environmental sustainability [4]. Give this direction, researchers [5,6] view green entrepreneurship as the answer to ecological and social problems. This concept suggests that the world can become environmentally friendly when individuals pay attention to the “going green” environment [7]. Green entrepreneurship is a new area in academia, both in research and policy forums in Ghana, and is thus no longer a clumsy business, but a charitable social action with the aim of safeguarding and conserving natural resources [8]. According to [9] (Dincer and Rosen, 2005), green energy resources and innovation are critical components of sustainable development. They have lower environmental impact than other forms of energy. Green energy services come in a wide range of forms, allowing for a wide range of application. Many developing countries are rapidly expanding their power supply due to green business infrastructure, as policymakers and investors around the world have increasingly realized power as a critical component in raising living standards and maintaining economic growth [10,11].
Given the long-term global trends, such as those in education, health, and sanitation, universities are being transformed to teach entrepreneurship [12]. To keep pace with sustainable, social, and economic development, green entrepreneurship serves as a conduit to save the environment from degradation [13]. Sometimes students have the zeal to embark on green entrepreneurship, but due to individual and financial constraints, they rescind their decision to pursue a green career [14,15]. This study makes a unique contribution to the related literature, since green entrepreneurship intention [GEI) is an uncharted field that needs to be investigated [12].
With this intention, preliminary research has been administered to examine green entrepreneurship in distinct circumstances [16]. Even firms in non-emerging countries are heading toward being “green” [17]. The essence and inspiration for green entrepreneurship, as well as environmental, economic, and social values, have been discussed in past research. More still needs to be done to solve numerous questions that have not been answered [18]. This paper fills the research gap by examining the relationship between green entrepreneurship intention (GEI) and green entrepreneurial behavior (GEB) with the moderating role of university education support (UES) and green consumption commitment (GCC). The current paper selected university students who live in Ghana and study at Legon, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi Technical University, and Sunyani Technical University as respondents, with the results contributing to higher education institutions [19]. Participants from higher education institutions of learning are those in knowledge-based centers that equip students with research and skill training, thereby supporting their green entrepreneurship intention and innovation [20]. We expected to find previous studies aiming to build upon the intention–behavior link to expose their relationship in order to provide a solution to this [21]. However, as determined by a previous study, intentions do not always imply behavior, and there is an “intention–behavior gap” in entrepreneurship [22]. According to Armitage and Conner [23] entrepreneurship researchers cannot depend exclusively on data from other domains to validate intention as a predictor of start-up behavior.
The purpose of this study is to analyze the factors that influence students’ movement from green entrepreneurship intention to green entrepreneurship behavior. To fulfill this purpose, two variables, university education support and green consumption commitment, were incorporated to moderate the relationship.
According to Zulfigar and Thapa [24], the creation of green entrepreneurs is not yet viewed as a priority in academic or policy discourse. This generation feels that if given the opportunity, they can contribute significantly more to society. According to Pendrani and Ferguson [25], researchers have turned a blind eye to green entrepreneurship, which may have influenced whether people support green businesses. A review of seminar papers and key meta-reviews revealed that there is no specific empirical evidence in previous research on the relationship between entrepreneurial intention and green entrepreneurship behavior that incorporates green university education support and green consumption commitment as a moderator of university students in Ghana and, most likely, in international settings. This study will therefore help to fill the research gap.
The study is significant since no national-level studies of university students’ intentions to engage in green entrepreneurship have been conducted in Ghana. The findings of this study will help to inform crucial policy interventions aimed at increasing GEI among university students and promoting sustainable development through the adoption of “going green” practices. This study might also be used to conduct a cross-country analysis of university students’ GEIs in order to increase them, and hence their GEBs in the context of Ghanaian university students in emerging economies. The scope of this article is limited to examining university students’ GEIs as a barrier to Ghana’s green adoption. We also examine two moderators, university education support and green consumer commitment, to see if they could affect the transition from GEI to GEB. As a result, the findings should not be used to draw broad conclusions.
Research Question 1: (RQ1): What are the major factors that influence the relationship between green entrepreneurship intention and green entrepreneurship behavior? Research Question2: (RQ2): Does university education support significantly moderate the relationship between green entrepreneurial intention and green entrepreneurship behavior? Research Question 3: (RQ3): Does green consumption commitment moderate the relationship between green entrepreneurship intention and green entrepreneurship behavior? This study will contribute to the existing literature in two ways: green entrepreneurship as a newly emerging field of research is unique, and green entrepreneurship study remains essentially descriptive and theoretical to a considerable extent.
The aim of the paper is to explain how green entrepreneurship intention is developed among university students and how they employ this novel solution to better address existing environmental issues. Therefore, the study attempts to examine the relationship between green entrepreneurship intention and green entrepreneurship behavior in educational settings and then the contribution of these intentions to solve environmental problems to improve health and minimize health hazards.
According to Yi [5] and Qazi et al. [26], further research is needed to shed light on the connection between GEI and GEB of university students. Previous research revealed that while students may desire to become entrepreneurs, effort may not be realized because they lack resources to accomplish this endeavor [15]. Universities can support students by sharing their capacities, such as knowledge, skills, and networks, and by guiding them to start businesses [27]. Commitment is a concern or willingness to fulfill a short-term goal to benefit the relationship developed over the long-term [28]. Previous research focused on the link between committed intention and behavior, although students with high green consumption commitment preferred eco-friendly products/services more than those with low commitment [29].
The remainder of the paper is structured as follows: Section 2 provides a discussion of how the reviewed literature captures the theoretical connections and hypotheses. Section 3 explains the sample, the variables, and the measurement tools. Section 4 reports the statistical results, and Section 5 discusses the hypotheses by providing a theoretical contribution and managerial implications where relevant. Section 6 provides the conclusions and recommendations for future research.

2. Literature Review and Hypothetical Development

2.1. Green Entrepreneurial Intention and Green Entrepreneurship Behavior

According to OECD [30], a “green entrepreneur is someone dedicated to making his business green and adopting environmentally friendly production technology or someone who enters a green business by actually involved in producing environmental production”.
Entrepreneurship behavior is defined as “a combination of ideas, capital, and resources, as well as a creative and empowerment component” [31]. Among the useful tools for fostering a green economy is green entrepreneurship [32]. A green entrepreneur is concerned about environmental preservation and renovation. Green entrepreneurs are those who provide the hotbed for starting and maintaining a green economy by offering green products and services, implementing the six greener production methods, increasing demand for green products and services, and generating green jobs, according to the International Labour Organization [33].
In green entrepreneurship literature, green entrepreneurship intention is the most notable conterminous predictor of green behavior [34]. According to Bae et al. [35], the best predictors for planned behavior are intention and action. Researchers have identified intention-based models to explain the entrepreneurial paradox, and provided evidence of why people initiate entrepreneurship behavior [21,36]. Among the most significant theories, the theory of planned behavior [TPB] is the most applied theory in predicting behavior intention. According to Bae et al. [35], the application of the idea of planned behavior explains intention as “an individual’s readiness to accept entrepreneurship behavior as a desire towards developing a new business”. The higher the intention to transmit, the more likely is that the obligation will be fulfilled [37]. Looking at the indications from prior research [38,39], the present study confirmed that GEI can predict GEB invariably; the extent to which a business is set up should be conditional.
Green entrepreneurship in the shared economy was investigated by Grinevich et al. [16]. There were only two studies that looked at student intentions for green entrepreneurship [5], and no further research in this direction has taken place, demonstrating that there is a paucity of research on green entrepreneurship around the world in the current literature.
According to Shinnar et al. [38], the theory of planned behavior clearly shows that intentions have a substantially positive impact on subsequent entrepreneurial behavior: the greater an individual’s intention to engage in entrepreneurial behavior, the more likely they are to actually do so [21] The individual’s development process is explained by entrepreneurial behavior research as a deliberate and intentional decision to start a new company [39]. The individual’s development process is explained by entrepreneurial behavior research as a deliberate and intentional decision to start a new company [40]. Green entrepreneurship, on the other hand, is a deliberate and planned behavior, a multi- stage process in which an individual first becomes a green entrepreneur as a result of a certain degree of green entrepreneurial purpose. Therefore, the following hypothesis is proposed:
Hypothesis 1 (H1).
Green entrepreneurial intentions of university students are positively related to green entrepreneurship behavior.

2.2. Moderating Role of University Education Support

University education support (UES) can enhance fast growth and create value by taking opportunities for presumptuous liability and resolving the entrepreneurial puzzle by setting up green products [41]. University education support plays a critical role in supporting innovation and entrepreneurial activities, as UES can specify the conditions and facilitate the talent that will promote a rise in new green ideas. This will also be put to practical use by maintaining the deal flow, which will provide more opportunities for university students to invest in venture capital and facilitate the growth of green entrepreneurship ventures [41].
Previous research has shown that university education prepares students for jobs defined by others. It is essential that within this unreliable condition, UES needs to equip students for careers that define themselves by offering curricula, facilities, and inducement to design a generation of green entrepreneurs who will set up firms to produce green products [41]. This is the change required to be demonstrated by university education, a change that will revamp universities to reconstruct the careers and industries needed for sustainability. Students demand green entrepreneurship courses that will help them in their future, and green entrepreneurial skills are required to shape this process [41]. It has been noticed that numerous universities are accelerating the green concept in their distinct environment and, additionally, undertaking environmentally friendly business.
According to Suwartha and Sari [42], university positioning has evolved into a global setting in which universities’ responsibility is to energize and support students so that after completing their university education, they can consider and start their own green businesses. Following a review of the literature, Rothaermel et al. [28] discovered two main fields of support that assist in implementing the entrepreneurial role of universities: the first is usually linked to an organization’s responsibilities, and the second is linked to the support offered to businesses and other entrepreneurial actions. The first is university support for GEI through the GEB, achieved by providing an entrepreneurial incubation base, developing technology parks, and constructing innovative fields. The second area is concerned with providing ecologically based entrepreneurship education and assistance. According to Ginanjar [43], education is a vital factor in developing an entrepreneurial intention among university students. As a result, university education support has a significant and positive impact on students’ entrepreneurial intentions and subsequent behaviors, particularly if it is based on experiential learning, as it provides them with practical experience to effectively comprehend entrepreneurship.
According to Demirel et al. [44], GEI empowers and advances students’ discernment and behavior when turning GEI into GEB. The university support system is critical in transforming students’ entrepreneurship intentions into green entrepreneurial behavior. According to Wong et al. [45], university education in entrepreneurship studies has a critical positive impact on students’ entrepreneurial behavior. This successful program has a significant positive impact on students. Through its active participation program, it provides a productive approach for educational institutions to impact students’ entrepreneurship behavior and strengthens the venture formation. In this regard, university education support serves as a guide to transform university students’ GEIs into real GEBs. Hence, this research acknowledges university education support as the moderator. Based on this discourse, the following hypothesis is proposed:
Hypothesis 2.
University education support moderates the relationship between green entrepreneurial intentions of university students and green entrepreneurship behavior, such that when university education support is high, the impact of GEI on GEB will be stronger than when it is low.

2.3. Moderating Role of Green Consumption Commitment

The concept of green consumption adopted in this research is consumption that focuses on consumers’ perception and preferences only for products with green attributes [46]. According to Lin and Chang [47], the main reason for motivating consumers to adopt green consumption practices is related to the perspective of environmental concern, the perspective of economic reality, and the social perspective. The green consumption commitment (GCC) is defined as “a consumer’s readiness and support behavior to spend money and time on green products and services” [48]. Eco-friendly products/services may be incorporated into such intense efforts [29]. The organizational science literature describes commitment as a stage in which workers show their appreciation for their employers [49]. According to Anderson and Weitz [28], commitment is a concern or desire shown by associates to achieve a short-term goal that benefits the long-term relationship. A commitment can be classified into three types: affective, normative, and calculative. Customers’ passionate attachment to a firm and a sense of being a part of a firm are described as affective dedication. The obligations that a person may feel to re-establish their connection with a firm is referred to as normative commitment. Finally, calculative commitment refers to a person’s intention to endure a relationship, because the sacrifice they would have to make to end it would be too big [28,50]. By increasing the contrast between the level of reasoning and many years of significant and natural benefits, individuals with a great level of concern about natural results will have greater enthusiasm for engaging in green consumption behavior [51]. Previous empirical research has indicated that individuals with high environmental concerns are willing to offer more green products [52]. One of the studies disclosed that commitment is practical and a strong predictor of affecting behavior [53]. Previously, less attention was paid to the role of consumption commitment in the relationship between green entrepreneurship intention and behavior, and the current study can fill that gap. In this frame, the following hypothesis is proposed:
Hypothesis 3.
Green consumption commitment moderates the relation between green entrepreneurial intentions of university students and green entrepreneurship behavior, such that when green consumption commitment is high, the impact of GEI on green entrepreneurship behavior will be more substantial than when it is low.

3. Materials and Methods

3.1. Participants

According to the National Accreditation Board [54] database, the total population of tertiary students in Ghana at the time was 496,150. Out of these figures, 274,131 were males and 222,019 were females. The ongoing study took place between April 2020 and June 2020. Participants were recruited through a purposive method. All research participants were recruited, and confirmed that they would take part in the study. Information for students regarding gender, study level, age, and experience in data collection was obtained. Out of 600 questionnaires distributed among students at the three universities in Ghana, 460 were received, and 39 questionnaires were rejected due to missing and incomplete responses. All the questions were distributed during the students’ lecture hours; data were collected later and checked for missing values. Of the responses, 70% provided data suitable for analysis. The students were purposive selected from the University of Ghana-Legon, located in Accra; Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, located in Kumasi; and Sunyani Technical University, located in Sunyani. Purposive sampling methods were used for the selection because research data were acquired at the time of the COVID-19 pandemic, and travelling was restricted in many parts of the country. The first university was selected because it was the premier university with the highest student population, the second university was selected because it had the second-highest student population in Ghana, and the third university was selected because it was considered to be one of the polytechnics, and was newly converted into a technical university. These universities also were chosen because they represented three different regional capitals. Depending on the topic, studies at the level of the nation-state, community, institutions, enterprises, and industry may be necessary. Priorities should be defined for studies below the global level based on the ability to obtain a better understanding of the global picture or to make significant reactions to global change. As a high-priority study, it could be one that focuses on a country that contributes considerably to global change. As a result, we can see that Ghana is underrepresented in research and popular literature, and we plan to close that gap, and foresee that researchers will consider that it will serve the purpose of the study.

3.2. Methods

The study aimed to determine the green entrepreneurship intentions, green entrepreneurship behaviors, university education support, and green consumption factors that influenced students’ decisions to adopt green entrepreneurship behavior in Ghana. To achieve these objectives, we first selected three universities in Ghana using a regional and premier perspective.
The variables were measured on a 5-point Likert scale, ranging from 1 (strongly disagree) to 5 (strongly agree). For green entrepreneurship intention, a seven-item scale developed by Liñán and Chen [55] and Hsu and Wang [56] containing the following statements was utilized: “I am willing to do anything to become a green entrepreneur”; “I had a preliminary idea for a green enterprise to implement in the future during my university studies”; and “My professional goal was to become a green entrepreneur during my university studies”. For green entrepreneurship behavior, a three-item scale adapted from Kautonen et al. [21] based on the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) was used. The items were: “Written a green business plan” and “Started green product/service development and attempted to obtain a green business”. For university education support, a four-item scale adapted from Yi [5] was used. The sample items were “My University offers courses on green entrepreneurship” and “My University motivates students to start a green business”. For green consumption commitment, a four-item scale was adapted from Zeithaml et al. [57]. Sample items included: “I would like to purchase green products in the future”; “I would like to recommend green products to friends or others”; “I would say positive things about green products to others”; and finally, “I would encourage others to buy green products”. All items of the scales are given in Appendix A.

3.3. Validity and Reliability of Scales

It is good practice in studies of this nature to ensure that the constructs pass appropriate validity and reliability tests. The validity of the scales was checked by convergent and divergent validity. Indicator reliability (Cronbach’s alpha) and internal consistency values were determined for the control of reliability, and the results are presented in Table 1.
The average variance extracted (AVE) values of latent variables green entrepreneurship intention, green entrepreneurship behavior, university education support, and green consumption commitment, as seen in Table 1, were 0.743, 0.901, 0.738, and 0.875, respectively. Cheung and Wang [58] stated that the latent variable would have convergent validity if the AVE values were not significantly less than 0.5. The AVE scores indicate significant convergent validity. Indicator reliability (Cronbach’s alpha) and internal consistency (CR) values greater than the threshold of 0.7 indicate that the scales are reliable [59]. The results obtained showed that the variables in the measurement model were valid and reliable. In addition, confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) of the model was performed with the help of AMOS 18, and the construct validity was evaluated. The analysis results showed that the model had an acceptable fit (CMIN/DF = 3.256, GFI = 0.891, AGFI = 0.888, NFI = 0.881, IFI = 0.911, TLI = 0.902, CFI = 0.879, and RMSEA = 0.033 Byrne) [60].

4. Results

The correlations among the study variables, their means, and standard deviations are reported in Table 2. The measure with the highest mean was green consumption commitment. Examination of the correlation in the table showed that all the variables were significantly and positively correlated.
Table 3 provides regression analysis of the impacts of the two moderators (university education support and green consumption commitment) on the relationship between green entrepreneurship intention (GEI) and green entrepreneurial behavior (GEB). Model 1 indicated that the impacts of GEI (β = 0.54; p < 0.001) and UES (β = 0.31; p < 0.001) on GEB were positive and significant. When the interaction term between GEI and UES was added into the model, Model 2, UES was found to moderate the relationship between GEI and GEB with the significant interaction term (β = 0.17; p < 0.001). Thus, Hypotheses 1 and 2 were supported.
Model 3 indicated that the impact of GEI (β = 0.66; p < 0.001) and GCC (β = 0.18; p < 0.001) on GEB were positive and significant. When the interaction term between GEI and GCC was added into the model, Model 4, GCC was found to moderate the relationship between GEI and GEB with the significant interaction term (β = 0.19; p < 0.001). These results demonstrated that GCC played a moderating role between GEI and GEB. Thus, Hypothesis 3 was supported.
To investigate the interaction term further, simple slope regression lines of the GEI regressed on green GEB for high and low levels of UES and GCC; i.e., +1 and −1 SD from the mean, were examined [61]. As indicated in Figure 1, the simple slopes between GEI and green GEB were found to be significantly lower for low UES conditions than high UES. This result indicated that GEI positively affected GEB. Still, low UES was likely to yield a weaker impact of intention on behavior, while high university support may have supported a stronger effect. Figure 2 shows a similar simple slope between GEI and GEB for low and high GCC conditions. These results indicated that the interaction between GEI and GEB was weaker for low GCC than when GCC was high. These findings supported the notion that UES and GCC moderated the relationship between GEI and GEB.

5. Discussion

The current study’s findings help to supplement and provide novel insight into the link between green entrepreneurial intention and behavior. Green entrepreneurial intention and green entrepreneurship behavior were examined in the study framework at the same time. The study contributes to the understanding of how entrepreneurial intentions can be transformed into a green venture for students.
The TPB has been globally indicated to predict entrepreneurial behavior. The theory does not account for the boundary conditions of the link between intention and behavior. It is shown by all indications that UES and GCC moderate the relationship between GEI and GEB. The current research draws on the current literature to comprehend the intention–behavior link. Furthermore, these determinants have a two-way interaction with entrepreneurial intentions that enhances an individual’s interest in start-up activities.
The development of entrepreneurial intentions is the first stage of entrepreneurial activity, and it is regarded as a key determinant of green entrepreneurial behavior. H1 supports this viewpoint, a finding that is consistent with previous research from various contexts [22]. According to the results of the first hypothesis, GEI-GEB shows a positive relationship between GEI and GEB. This is consistent with the work of [44], and H2 is supported. The findings also indicate that GEI is a strong predictor of GEB.
In terms of the current study, the results of this paper are consistent with those of the previous work of [5]. Students with a green entrepreneurship intention recognize favorable circumstances and take initiatives and action. As a result, students become interested in pursuing such opportunities in the adoption of green entrepreneurship [62]. Students with entrepreneurial aspirations are eager to participate in projects that benefit society. Similarly, students with green entrepreneurial intentions acknowledge that protecting the environment is very critical, and hence they are motivated to choose green entrepreneurship.
However, recent research examining the entrepreneurial intention–behavior link has revealed that the link is weak. Numerous factors influence this relationship, including age, gender, family background, university, and climate [63]. There is a device to demonstrate why others act on their intention while some do not participate in the short run. Using UES, the present study expresses that while entrepreneurial intentions have advanced individuals with high expectations of support, they must act quickly to address entrepreneurial challenges in a bid to reduce the possible UES from the action. Hence, high UES may support a stronger effect, while low UES is likely to yield a weaker effect on behavior.
The relationship between GEI and GEB is moderated by UES, according to UES, GEI, and GEB. The findings of previous research by Yi [5] were close to our results. The important and positive partnership shows that it is crucial to ensure that university officials who are willing to educate students about green businesses are inspired to pursue green entrepreneurship. Thus, students’ GEI will grow as a result of the support they obtain from university education. This, however, will help to reduce the unemployment rate in countries where graduate students are likely to face difficulties in finding jobs.
The current study investigated why and when green entrepreneurial intention transforms into green entrepreneurship behavior. First, we explored the mechanisms of using GEI to influence GEB, employing the principle of expected behavior [37]. This research supports TPB, which links entrepreneurial intention to entrepreneurial behavior for nascent green entrepreneurs. The findings of this study supported the notion that as university students’ green entrepreneurial intentions grow, so will their green entrepreneurial behaviors; this was consistent with the work of [38,39], and hence H1 was supported.
Moreover, the present study expands on the understanding of the influence of GEI on GEB by demonstrating that UES moderates the relationship. That is, UES is the intermediate mechanism that offers profiteering for how GEI impacts GEB. A previous investigation has shown that UES increased students’ GEI [21,38,39,45,63], and GEI also increased GEB [38,40]. Hence, H2 was supported. However, no study has examined how UES and GCC intervene in GEI impacts on GEB among university students in Ghana, which makes this study important. Our study results, however, show that there exists a gap between the intention and actual behavior. Our results also provide contributions to the literature on a wider scale regarding the gap between intention and behavior in general. In fact, our study took the cognitive view to investigate the moderators that help close the gap between intention and behavior [64]. This study contributes to empirically reinforcing the determinant role in explaining behavior, while also explaining theoretical inconsistencies between them [65].
The objective of this study was to learn how UES and GCC interact with GEI to determine the overall GEB. The results of the hierarchical regression model indicated that the impact of GEI on GEB was dependent on the UES and GCC. Our study may be the first of this kind to test such contextual variables in Ghana, where UES and GCC were applied together as a combined moderator to influence the relationship between GEI and GEB. The study also incorporated university education support and green consumption commitment as moderators to identify what role students’ GEIs play in fostering green entrepreneurship behavior. Previously, researchers emphasized entrepreneurial intentions for the sake of improving the economy, decreasing unemployment, and promoting small business, but none focused on the green aspects of entrepreneurship. To date, we still lack knowledge regarding students’ green entrepreneurial intentions and how the concept of green can be promoted among university students.

6. Conclusions and Policy Direction

The present study also focused on GEI in relation to university students, which could allow university authorities to manage and serve university students better. These study findings could help decision-makers to design effective green entrepreneurial intention policies and investment plans to enhance the GEB of university students.
On the basis of the empirical findings mentioned above, we can confirm that managerial implications toward GEI by university students were significantly linked to GEB. Based on the theoretical implications of the literature review, three hypotheses were tested through a hierarchical regression model. According to the findings, GEI directed at university students significantly predicted GEB. Organizations were required to observe and assess how students turned their entrepreneurial intentions into green entrepreneurship behavior. However, a university’s strategy for promoting students’ green products should not be exclusively based on individual learning strategies. As a result, the relationship between green entrepreneurial intention and green entrepreneurship behavior will vary depending on an individual’s green consumption commitment and university education support levels. Thus, universities should take a unique approach to encouraging students to start green businesses. The findings of this paper are important not only in the context of this research, but also in a global context where Ghanaian university education is comparable with other countries’ education. Based on the findings, universities should promote green entrepreneurship among students through active environmental initiatives that foster positive intentions to start green or environmentally friendly businesses.
Given that intentions are highly significant predictors of actions, policymakers in the public sector should implement behavior-change initiatives with a better understanding of the obstacles to changing intention. Policymakers and businesses alike must place a high priority on the development of university students in order to improve their capacity in order to innovate and devise strategies that will inspire and motivate them through grant initiatives, allowing them to grow a strong interest in green entrepreneurship. Given that intentions are a highly significant predictor of behavior, policymakers in the public sector should begin their behavior change through programs with a better understanding of the barriers to changing intentions. A change should be prioritized by various parties in society, including local communities and peer groups [65]. People should be involved in raising public awareness in the field of social change and in developing green businesses to generate jobs for the benefit of society.
Although it is widely recognized that intentions are an important antecedent of actual behavior, the relation between entrepreneurial intentions and behavior has received little attention [39]. This necessitated additional research to confirm the link between entrepreneurial intentions and behavior in various contexts, thus contributing to the research in this field [22,39,40]. Moreover, intentions do not always translate to actual entrepreneurial behavior, as the relationship is influenced by several contingent factors. The present study introduced two new factors that moderate the relationship between intentions and entrepreneurial start-up activities, and that indicated that UES and GCC positively moderated the relationship. The current study introduced two new variables that moderate the relationship between green entrepreneurial intentions and green entrepreneurship behavior, and it was found that both UES and GCC positively moderated the relationship. These results contribute to the increasing body of literature with the conditions that influence the transformation from entrepreneurial intentions to action. Our findings shed light on a gap between intention and behavior in green entrepreneurship. Hence, future research might look at other moderating variables and other contextual variables that moderate the relationship between GEI and GEB. To sum up, this research is a first step toward determining how university students can increase their GEI toward GEB for the benefit of their businesses, as well as the global context. Our research is the first to identify and evaluate some key contextual factors that influence the relationship between GEI and GEB by incorporating UES and GCC. This contributes to the body of knowledge on green entrepreneurship in general by defining key conditions that aid in closing the intention–behavior gap, a field that has been described by various academics as needing further study.
Creating an enabling environment by incentivizing green investments and entrepreneurship, as well as cultivating a green business culture by fostering knowledge among entrepreneurs about opportunities arising from green business models, can prove effective in removing the existing bottlenecks in the creation of a sustainable and green market scenario in Ghana. Institutional support for emerging entrepreneurs is also needed, in the form of financial and technical assistance such as business development services and microfinance for start-ups.
This study used a field survey as a research design, but it is recommended that future studies should include longitudinal and experimental research. This will help the researcher directly establish the cause–effect nature of the relationship between variables, avoiding uncertainty and, by so doing, helping to control all other extraneous factors. This study used data from Ghanaian university students, and it is suggested that future research should include other African university students or conduct comparative studies between selected African and European countries to gain deeper insights.
There were several limitations to this study that provide guidance for the future. Green entrepreneurship intentions among university students appear to be a critical factor in reducing harmful environmental effects. However, other aspects that influence green entrepreneurial intention among university students, such as green citizenship behavior, green official behavior, and green interpersonal behavior, have not been thoroughly investigated. As a result, future research should look into the other factors that influence green entrepreneurship intention among university students. Thirdly, the data for this study was gathered during the COVID-19 pandemic when travel was restricted, and data were obtained from a limited number of participants. To strengthen our findings, future studies should collect and test data after the pandemic.
This study disclosed the significance of the interactive effects of university education support and green entrepreneurial intention, as well as the interactive effects of green consumption commitment and entrepreneurial intention, by making a comparison with the previous literature. The study was relatively established by the theory of planned behavior, in which individual contextual factors related to “entrepreneurs” based on GEIs and GEBs were considered. In addition, contextual factors dealt with UES and GCC. This research was established on the notion that GEB is willing and compelled by reasonable instruments. In addition, the current study results add to the green entrepreneurship literature by indicating that GEI influences GEB through moderation of UES and GCC. After examining the direct relationship between GEI and GEB, this study empirically analyzed the moderating effect of GEI on GEB. Under this view, studies tend to consider green entrepreneurial intention as the same or highly correlated with green entrepreneurship behavior [66].

Author Contributions

The second author is a supervisor to the first author, who provided guidance and support throughout the whole process, from the introduction to the drafting. Conceptualization, J.A., methodology, J.A., data analysis, H.S., writing—original draft, J.A. All authors have read and agreed to the published version of the manuscript.


The research received no funding.

Institutional Review Board Statement

Not applicable.

Informed Consent Statement

Not applicable.

Data Availability Statement

Data are not publicly available, but may be made available upon request from the corresponding author.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Appendix A

Scale Items.
Table A1. Green entrepreneurial intentions.
Table A1. Green entrepreneurial intentions.
Adapted from Liñán and Chen (2009) and Hsu and Wang (2018)
GEI1: I am ready to do anything to be a green entrepreneur.
GEI2: My professional goal is to become a green entrepreneur.
GEI3: I will make every effort to start and run my green firm.
GEI4: I am determined to create a green firm in the future.
GEI5: I have very seriously thought about starting a green firm.
GEI6: I was willing to do anything to become a green entrepreneur during my study at university.
GEI7: I will act as a professional manager and get involved in the management of a social enterprise through promotion. Preparation during my study at university.
Table A2. Green entrepreneurship behavior.
Table A2. Green entrepreneurship behavior.
Adapted from Kautonen et al. (2015), Shirokova et al. (2016), and Neneh (2019)
GEB1: Written a green business plan.
GEB2: Started green product/service development.
GEB3: Attempted to obtain external funding.
Table A3. University education support.
Table A3. University education support.
Adapted from Yi (2020)
UIS1: My university offers courses on green entrepreneurship.
UIS2: My university motivates students to start a green business.
UIS3: My university offers project work focused on green entrepreneurship.
UIS4: My university provides students with the financial and policies means to start a new business.
Table A4. Green consumption commitment.
Table A4. Green consumption commitment.
Adapted from Zeithaml et al. (1996)
Gcc1: I would like to establish green product in the future.
Gcc2: I would like to recommend green products to friends and others.
Gcc3: I say positive things about green products to others.
Gcc4: I would encourage others to establish green product.


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Figure 1. Interactive effects of university education support and green entrepreneurial intention.
Figure 1. Interactive effects of university education support and green entrepreneurial intention.
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Figure 2. Interactive effects of green consumption commitment and green entrepreneurial intention.
Figure 2. Interactive effects of green consumption commitment and green entrepreneurial intention.
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Table 1. Validity and reliability.
Table 1. Validity and reliability.
VariableItemLoadingIndicator Reliability
Internal Consistency
Convergent Reliability
Green entrepreneurship intentionGei10.9110.9320.9510.743
Green entrepreneurship behaviorGeb10.9470.9450.9650.901
University education supportUs10.8730.9410.9180.738
Green consumption commitmentGcc10.9130.9520.9650.875
Table 2. Means, standard deviations, and correlations.
Table 2. Means, standard deviations, and correlations.
1. GEI2.591.071
2. GEB2.411.180.60 **1
3. UES2.691.050.66 **0.57 **1
4. GCC2.871.210.62 **0.52 **0.63 **1
** p < 0.05.
Table 3. Results of regression analyses of green entrepreneurship behavior.
Table 3. Results of regression analyses of green entrepreneurship behavior.
VariablesGreen Entrepreneurship Behavior
Model 1Model 2Model 3Model 4
Education year−0.03−0.05−0.02−0.02
GEI0.54 ***0.47 ***0.66 ***0.54 ***
UES0.31 ***0.28 ***
GEI × UES 0.17 ***
GCC 0.18 ***0.22 ***
GEI × GCC 0.19 ***
F176.197 ***162.984 ***165.625 ***158.825 ***
Note: The entries in the table are standardized βs. *** p < 0.001.
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