Recent days, entrepreneurial development has become an extremely vital factor and it is considered as a key feature of economic development through contributing to reduce the unemployment rate, inequality, and poverty. In Sri Lankan context, entrepreneurs have become the seeds of development to provide greater opportunities, increase per capita income and revenue to the Government by the way of taxes and other levies. Despite its importance, Sri Lankan Government employs several entrepreneurial development programmes to enhance the entrepreneurship intention and behaviors among the university students. In this context universities focus more on delivering the entrepreneurial education programmes to the undergraduate and postgraduate students to transform them as the entrepreneurs who can contribute the economic prosperity of the country. However, reviewed literature reveals that how entrepreneurship intention mediates the relationship between perceived behavioral control and start-up preparation has not been empirically tested in Sri Lankan context. Hence, this paper aims to examine the relationships among perceived behavioral control, entrepreneurship intention and start-up preparation and the mediating effect of entrepreneurship intention on the relationship between perceived behavioral control and start-up preparation. In order to achieve the study objectives, primary data were collected from 60 postgraduates from a selected state university in Sri Lanka. The simple mediation analysis was used to test the research model. Findings of the study revealed that, there are positive and significant relationships exist among the study variables. Moreover, empirical finding of the study indicated that entrepreneurship intention mediates the relationship between perceived behavioral control and start-up preparation. The current study is considered to be vital in understanding the empirical knowledge regarding the relationships among perceived behavioral control, entrepreneurship intention and start-up preparation.
Keywords: Perceived behavioral control, Entrepreneurship intention, Start-up preparation, Theory of planned behavior, Sri Lanka