Identifying entrepreneurial potential? An investigation of the identifiers and features of entrepreneurship

Laura Galloway, S.W. Kelly

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Abstract. The paper reports a study of entrepreneurship potential amongst students at one university using a quantitative instrument to measure three of the most commonly cited predictors: access to entrepreneurial role models; urgency of entrepreneurial intent; and desire for economic autonomy. The paper reports also on qualitative interviews with those identified as most and least likely to become entrepreneurs by the measure. Results suggest that the measure is effective and that there is variation between those most and least likely to become entrepreneurs and commonalities amongst those most likely to become entrepreneurs. Of the three predictors 'desire for economic autonomy' is most influential, but the generation of this 'desire' involves various internal and external influences. Findings are of interest to educators insofar as they might identify the stage of entrepreneurial development of students and develop appropriate pedagogic responses. It has implications also for policy aimed at encouraging entrepreneurship, and entrepreneurship support.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-24
Number of pages23
JournalInternational Review of Entrepreneurship
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • entrepreneurship
  • entrepreneurial potential
  • education
  • ambition
  • self-efficacy
  • personality
  • environment

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