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					                                                                                                        ENT 10.1

                       Encouraging Youth to Consider Entrepreneurship
Prepared by: Glenn Muske
             Home-Based and Micro Business Specialist
             Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service
             104 HES, Oklahoma State University
             Stillwater, OK 74078
             (405) 744-9931; (405) 744-1461 (fax)

Peterman, N. E. & Kennedy, J. (2003). Entrepreneurship education: Influencing students; perceptions of
entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 28(2), 129-144.

IMPLICATIONS              FOR       COOPERATIVE               by a trait or personality characteristic. Newer
EXTENSION. Many communities, both large and                   research has focused on a person’s intentions and
small,     are    actively    developing   economic           attitudes towards entrepreneurship. This line of
development plans as the basis to grow and enhance            research has encouraged a look at the entrepreneurial
that part of the community. The idea is that by               intentions of young adults but little information has
growing the economic base of a community, the                 been gathered regarding whether or not youth
other commonly used indicators of quality of life             entrepreneurship education programs will foster
will also increase. In order for many communities to          positive attitudes towards owning one’s own
realize this idea of an increased economic sector, it         business as well as increasing the youth’s intent to
will be important that they look at what they can do          someday be his or her own boss.
to increase entrepreneurship development using the
resources in place. One such resource is the youth in         The purpose of this article was to study the effect of
the community. This study examines on whether or              entrepreneurship education on the perceptions of
not youth entrepreneurship programs can increase              entrepreneurship in adolescents. Based on various
the likelihood of the youth someday opening a                 intention models, it would seem that the decision to
business. The data do support the community’s                 start a business is influenced by perceived
involvement in entrepreneurship education as a                desirability, perceived feasibility, and propensity to
means to increase the desirability of business                act. These three influencing factors can all be
ownership.                                                    influenced by previous exposure to entrepreneurship.

Overview. A key element in the development of a               Methods. The study involved a pre-test/post-test
dynamic economy is the fact that there is a constant          survey of adolescents involved in a enterprise
supply of new businesses starting. For there to be a          education program similar to that of Junior
continual new supply of entrepreneurs requires that           Achievement.     Participants participated in four
there be individuals who have the desire to be their          modules.     The participants received support
own boss. Many of tomorrow’s future entrepreneurs             materials, newsletters and were coached by
are today’s youth.                                            volunteer role model advisers. Participants were
                                                              encouraged to start his or her own business at during
While often suspected that youth are positively               which time the adviser took on a consulting role.
influenced by an early exposure to entrepreneurship,          The program ran for five months. One hundred
there has been little research to confirm those               seventeen adolescents were in the course in total. A
findings. Much of the research has evaluated if               control group of 119 youth was used as a
instead the decision to start a business is influenced        comparison group.

                                               (continued on reverse)
                 Encouraging Youth to Consider Entrepreneurship (continued)

Results. Regarding the decision to participate in    Summary. The results of this study first
the program, adolescents who had broader and         confirmed that prior experience does positively
more positive prior entrepreneurial experiences      influence the adolescents desire to open a
were more likely to enroll. The prior experience     business.    It did not however change the
may have come from their parent/s owning a           perceived feasibility that the youth held towards
business, having known someone else who had          that happening. Those who participated in the in
started a business, having worked in a start-up      the educational program had overall higher
business or having started their own business.       desires to start a business. They also saw that
Regarding the positive feelings, adolescents who     doing so was more feasible than those who had
perceived the perceived desirability to own their    not attended the program. Finally while the
own business found youth feeling more positive       program was able to increase the desirability
towards business ownership.                          among those who had prior entrepreneurial
                                                     experience, those who had had less experience
Youth adolescents who participated in the            or a less positive experience noted even greater
program had greater intentions of starting their     increases in the desire to start a business. In
own business at some time. Adolescents who           summary, the study would support the inclusion
had lower levels of positive prior experiences       of entrepreneurial education in a community’s
showed a greater increase in both the desirability   program of long term economic development.
and feasibility of starting their own business in
the future.

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