Entrepreneurial design thinking and business success: Empirical evidence from Nigeria


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Entrepreneurial activities seek to fill the gaps created by the government’s inability to employ their citizens globally. However, design thinking, which is a human-centered and solution-based approach to problem-solving can enhance entrepreneurial success. This study investigates design thinking and business success in Nigeria. The purpose was to determine how design thinking influences business success using the five-stage model of design thinking as its framework. The study employed a quantitative methodology. The design was a cross-sectional survey of 224 out of 350 randomly selected online respondents that were invited. The respondents, who were either entrepreneurs or people with knowledge of entrepreneurial education at the undergraduate or postgraduate levels, were contacted through social media (Facebook and WhatsApp) and a structured questionnaire was used to elicit information from them. The data were analyzed using the structural equation modeling technique. Empathy, problem definition, ideation, prototyping, and product testing were found to be positively related to business success. However, while the positive relationships between empathy, problem definition, prototyping, and product testing were found to be significant at a 1% level, that of ideation was not significant at all; thus, empathy, problem definition, prototyping, and product testing are predictors of business success. Consequently, at a 99% confidence level, it is concluded that empathy, problem definition, prototyping, and product testing, and by implication, entrepreneurial design thinking, are significant predictors of business success.

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    • Figure 1. Design thinking process
    • Figure 2. Design thinking as a non-linear process
    • Figure 3. Proposed model of entrepreneurial design thinking and business success
    • Table 1. Validity tests
    • Table 2. Reliability statistics
    • Table 3. Summary of results
    • Table 4. 95% confidence interval for the coefficients
    • Table 5. Equation level goodness of fit
    • Table 6. Stability analysis
    • Table 7. Categorical variables and respondents’ perception of design thinking
    • Conceptualization
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    • Data curation
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    • Formal Analysis
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    • Investigation
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    • Methodology
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    • Project administration
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    • Supervision
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    • Validation
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    • Visualization
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    • Writing – original draft
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    • Writing – review & editing
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