Opportunity serves as the core of entrepreneurship, and opportunity entrepreneurship is an entrepreneurial activity to pursue new opportunities for new value creation. The opportunity-based entrepreneurship is of vital significance for China’s high-quality economic development. Compared with the developed countries, the technological content and innovation component of entrepreneurship in China are relatively low, so more college students with high knowledge level and passion are required to participate in innovative opportunity entrepreneurial activities. There is a lack of endogenous motivation for Chinese college students to start their own businesses. Therefore, it is very important to explore how to enhance their entrepreneurial passion and entrepreneurial intention from the perspective of motivation. However, the existing studies pay more attention to the influencing factors of entrepreneurial intention and the effect of entrepreneurial passion. The specific research on the formation mechanism of college students’ entrepreneurial intention and the source of entrepreneurial passion is relatively rare. Given this, our study integrates Woodworth’s motivation theory, Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory and the motivation differentiation theory, constructing a model of “internal needs-emotion-motivation”, analyzing the relationship between internal needs, including achievement needs and learning orientation, entrepreneurial passion and opportunity entrepreneurial intention, and the moderating role of family financial support, and forming hypotheses based on the model.
The research uses the validated scales to obtain variables, and chooses college students as the research samples, collecting data through questionnaire. Before the formal survey, 76 college students from different regions were selected as the research samples, and the variables and structure of the questionnaire were improved and adjusted according to the survey results and the feedback of the research samples. Finally, 307 useable samples were obtained through formal investigation, and empirical tests were carried out by confirmatory factor analysis, correlation analysis, and hierarchy regression analysis. The robustness of the results was tested by the structural equation method.
The findings show that: （1） The need for achievement, learning orientation and their interaction has a positive impact on opportunity entrepreneurial intention; （2） The need for achievement and learning orientation promotes the formation of opportunity entrepreneurial intention by enhancing entrepreneurial passion; （3） Family financial support positively strengthens the relationship between entrepreneurial passion and opportunistic entrepreneurial intention, that is, the more family financial support, the stronger the positive effect of entrepreneurial passion on opportunity entrepreneurial intention. In sum, this study examines the mediating role of entrepreneurial passion and the moderating role of family financial support.
Our study makes several contributions to the literature: Firstly, taking entrepreneurial passion as the key path, this study explores the influence mechanism of the need for achievement and learning orientation on college students’ opportunity entrepreneurial intention, making up for the deficiency of existing research, and opening the black box of the formation mechanism of college students’ opportunity entrepreneurship intention based on the motivation perspective. Secondly, the study explores the impact of the need for achievement and learning orientation on entrepreneurial passion. It proves the role of entrepreneurial passion in the formation of opportunity entrepreneurial intention, so as to make up for the lack of research on the antecedents of entrepreneurial passion, and expand the research on the role of entrepreneurial passion. Thirdly, this study combines the internal needs of college students with external situational factors to explore the strengthening role of family financial support in the relationship between entrepreneurial passion and opportunity entrepreneurial intention. Therefore, it also provides a situational theoretical explanation for the differences of college students’ entrepreneurial intention.