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Fostering youth entrepreneurship: Preliminary findings from the Young Entrepreneurs Study

Publication Authors: 
John G. Geldhof, Tenelle Porter, Michelle Weiner, Heather Malin, Kendall Cotton Bronk, Jennifer Agans, Megan. K. Mueller, William Damon & Richard M. Lerner
Publication Year: 
Publication Journal: 
Journal of Research on Adolescence 24(3) 431–446. DOI 10.1111/jora.12086

Special Issue: Forward Thinking: Preparing Our Youth for the Coming World

Entrepreneurship offers a viable and proven pathway to economic growth and personal fulfillment. However, the number of individuals engaged in entrepreneurial behaviors remains low. This discrepancy between entrepreneurial attitudes and action underscores the need for programs that foster the development of entrepreneurship in today’s youth. We argue that a relational developmental systems approach can help researchers understand and facilitate the development of entrepreneurship. In this study we triangulate across quantitative and qualitative data from the Young Entrepreneurs Study, showing that self-regulation skills, financial risk tolerance, innovation orientation, and the presence of entrepreneurial adults may be especially important for promoting entrepreneurial intent in older adolescents and young adults. We discuss limitations of the present data set and future directions for research.