From Unemployed to Entrepreneur: A Case Study in Intervention
Vol. Volume 5, Number 2 August/2000
Stephen W. Osborne, Thomas W. Falcone, and Prashanth B. Nagendra
A number of programs and studies have focused on different groups of potential, but unlikely, entrepreneurs with respect to their entrepreneurial propensities and activities. This article summarizes the entrepreneurial "potential," training, and success of a group of recently unemployed workers with a wide spectrum of previous occupations and industries. This issue of trying to create jobs for unemployed workers has been addressed in part by a program titled the Self Employment Assistance Program (SEAP). This article offers an overview of the program, provides a profile of the participants, and relates their assessment results to a number of specific entrepreneurial /business start-up outcomes. Hypotheses are developed and tested indicating that entrepreneurs can in fact be developed. However, the pre-selection process of identifying potentially successful candidates is shown to be somewhat problematic. Based on the success criteria mandated by the state of Pennsylvania, this program resulted in a "success rate" of 96%. Using and "up and running" criteria for a successful entrepreneur, a 75% success rate was achieved. A framework for an entrepreneurial training program based on this experience is also presented.
Entrepreneurship education, self-employment, unemployment, business startup, entrepreneurial assessment