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. 2012 Nov;48(6):1719-26.
doi: 10.1037/a0029168. Epub 2012 Jul 2.

Who Becomes an Entrepreneur? Early Life Experiences as Predictors of Entrepreneurship

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Who Becomes an Entrepreneur? Early Life Experiences as Predictors of Entrepreneurship

Ingrid Schoon et al. Dev Psychol. .

Abstract

Taking a longitudinal perspective, we tested a developmental-contextual model of entrepreneurship in a nationally representative sample. Following the lives of 6,116 young people in the 1970 British Birth Cohort from birth to age 34, we examined the role of socioeconomic background, parental role models, academic ability, social skills, and self-concepts as well as entrepreneurial intention expressed during adolescence as predictors of entrepreneurship by age 34. Entrepreneurship was defined by employment status (being self-employed and owning a business). For both men and women, becoming an entrepreneur was associated with social skills and entrepreneurial intentions expressed at age 16. In addition, we found gender-specific pathways. For men, becoming an entrepreneur was predicted by having a self-employed father; for women, it was predicted by their parents' socioeconomic resources. These findings point to conjoint influences of both social structure and individual agency in shaping occupational choice and implementation.

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