Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University
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Abstract Details

Our Entrepreneurial Future: Examining the Diverse Attitudes and Motivations of Teens Across Gender and Ethnic Identity
Vol. Volume 9, Number 3 December/2004

Fiona Wilson, Deborah Marlino and Jill Kickul
An analysis was undertaken of the career motivators and perceived leadership skills of 1971 teens reporting high levels of interest in becoming entrepreneurs. Data were drawn from a national study of the career interests of adolescents. Results indicate significant variations across both gender and self-reported race/ethnicity. Overall, interest in entrepreneurship as a career was lower among girls than boys. When analyzed by race/ethnicity, it was found that both African-American and Hispanic girls were more likely to be interested in entrepreneurship than White/Caucasian girls. In addition, girls interested in entrepreneurship were more likely to be motivated in their career choices by social and relational factors, whereas boys interested in entrepreneurship were more motivated by autonomy. Financial gain was a strong motivator for boys in general, and for girls of color. When self-perceptions of leadership skills were examined, it was found that in general, girls rated themselves higher then did boys, with the exception of perceived ability to manage money. The importance of recognizing these different motivations and skills in designing effective educational and outreach programs for future entrepreneurs is discussed.