The next generation: who will take over from you?

The Attitudes to Enterprise test, developed by researcher Rosemary Athayde of Kingston’s Small Business Research Centre, aims to spot students who have a flair for enterprise and are more likely to start their own business.

“The test I’ve developed is really about measuring enterprise potential in young people,” says Athayde.

She 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 30-question test assesses pupils’ intuition, creativity, leadership skills and desire to achieve, as well as the amount of control they feel they have over their future. The test was developed through four studies involving 18 secondary schools and almost 1,000 pupils.

One study compared a group of pupils taking part in a Young Enterprise programme with a control group that didn’t. 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.

“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,” Athayde explains, adding that she hopes the findings would persuade the government to give more thought to how and where enterprise programmes are delivered.

A shortened version of the test is available here – maybe you should get your kids to try it out?

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