Confidence and Character The Future of Women’s Entrepreneurship Education?

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Mark W. Pruett


Entrepreneurship education research shows that women and men often differ in entrepreneurial attitudes, motives, barriers, circumstances, and actions.  Drawing on such research, we explore the role of intrinsic, internal, psychological dimensions.  First, female students often report lower entrepreneurial self-efficacy, and are less likely to report entrepreneurial aspirations and intentions.  Second, intrinsic motives and barriers, not extrinsic ones, play a significant role in the entrepreneurial aspirations of women.  Third, evidence suggests that faculty often do not share the same perceptions as female students of issues related to entrepreneurship. 

By strengthening curricula and programs to address intrinsic, internal, psychological factors may bring positive outcomes—more successful support for entrepreneurial interest among women students, more effective education, and students with stronger psychological attributes beneficial for entrepreneurship. We offer an unusual and intriguing place to look for inspiration—the character and confidence-building techniques of military academies.

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