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Attitudes-to-Enterprise test identifies likely entrepreneurs

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January 21, 2010

Attitudes-to-Enterprise test identifies likely entrepreneurs

Attitudes-to-Enterprise test identifies likely entrepreneurs

A test that could help identify the next generation of entrepreneurs has been devised by an academic at Kingston University in South West London. As well as spotting students who are more likely to start their own business, the Attitudes to Enterprise test also aims to find out which young people show a flair for self-employed enterprise or through running their own community project. Researcher Rosemary Athayde of Kingston’s Small Business Research Centre developed the test to find budding business leaders among school pupils aged 15-18 and to evaluate whether schemes for young entrepreneurs had any impact on pupils’ ambitions. She has also adapted the test to suit undergraduates.

Researcher Rosemary Athayde of Kingston’s Small Business Research Centre developed the test to find budding business leaders among school pupils aged 15-18 and to evaluate whether schemes for young entrepreneurs had any impact on pupils’ ambitions. She has also adapted the test to suit undergraduates.

“The test I’ve developed is really about measuring enterprise potential in young people,” she said. “Being creative and intuitive, showing good leadership skills and having a desire to achieve are all characteristics that show an individual is more likely to set up their own enterprise,” Ms Athayde said.

The test, which has been used in the UK, Australia and South Africa, includes 30 questions assessing pupils’ intuition, creativity, leadership skills and desire to achieve as well as the amount of control they feel they have over their future.

Ms Athayde has also added six questions on attitudes to risk-taking for a new version of the test aimed at undergraduates which is currently being used by eight London universities, as well as the University of Zagreb in Croatia, and Kettering University in Michigan, USA. Both the school and university tests have a second section which asks the respondents’ ethnic group, gender, parents’ occupation and whether anyone in their family has ever owned a business.

The test was developed through four studies involving 18 secondary schools and almost 1,000 pupils aged 15-18. One study compared a group of pupils taking part in a Young Enterprise programme with a control group that did not take the programme. The study found that the enterprise programme improved pupils’ attitudes to self employment.

Overall the studies revealed that boys, private school pupils and young black people were more positive about self-employment than other groups. Ms Athayde said: “It’s generally self-confidence that gives pupils that extra enterprise potential but the key point is that the test needs to be seen in the context of pupils’ background and culture.” She hoped the findings would persuade enterprise programme providers and the government to give more thought to how and where enterprise programmes are delivered.

1 Comment

I think the "Young Enterprise" referred to in here is known as Junior Achievement where I'm from. The company program they have here involves a bunch of high school students who elect their own president and vice presidents, design their own product, then produce and sell the product.

The concept of the company program is great but I've seen diminishing interest in it lately. It would be nice to see the program being promoted more. Having a larger amount of students would be great for forming a bit of competition between the multiple companies that are formed.

In the economy today, it is near impossible to compete with the larger and better established companies but the company program provides great experience and shows students that a new business is possible.

They have a conference each year where top performing students in the company program from all over the world meet up and I think that's great. It would be better if they used the internet and made it possible for companies all over the world to compete with one another. This way when a company does well, they'd be able to get support from the community when the media informs the community of their successes so far.

Dailen McDonald
28th January, 2010 @ 06:54 pm PST
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