Purpose: Promoting entrepreneurship within agri-food sectors in developing countries can be a viable strategy towards economic development. Predicting which factors will foster entrepreneurial behaviour is somewhat complex. Specifically, a deeper understanding of precursory effects on entrepreneurial behaviour is required to enhance entrepreneurship in the agri-food sectors. This paper aims to explore what predicts the entrepreneurial decisions in the dairy industry of Pakistan.
Design/methodology/approach: The research used an integrative framework built on the entrepreneurial event model and determinants of entrepreneurial intention. Using a partial least square approach to structural equation model estimation, this study tested a conceptual model and its hypotheses based on 174 cases sampled from Pakistan’s dairy industry.
Findings: The research showed that intention is a strong predictor to start entrepreneurial activities in the Pakistani dairy industry. Amongst precursory factors, perceived feasibility, readiness and conviction were found strongly linked to intention when explaining the causes of entrepreneurial start-ups. Surprisingly, the impact of attitude and triggering event was not significant in explaining the phenomenon under investigation.
Practical implications: The findings suggest that training and education programmes can enhance critical perceptions such as desirability, feasibility and conviction among farmers to become entrepreneur. For this purpose, government should establish dairy incubation centres in different cities and transform agricultural extension department to help farmers understand market-oriented dairy farming businesses and build their capacity in farm entrepreneurship.
Originality/value: This research attempted to shed light on fostering entrepreneurship in the context of agri-food sectors in developing countries such as Pakistan’s dairy industry.