Images of Entrepreneurs and Start-ups Perceived by High School Students
Data from previous studies show Entrepreneurs do not hold respectable positions in the Japanese society, and that constricts the activities to create and to open new businesses.
The researchers conducted a questionnaire survey to reveal how high school students perceived images of entrepreneurs before anentrepreneurship education program was launched at a school. Respondents were 172 high school students. Twenty two students were experimental group; the others in control group. Though the result of the survey showed that the students had a sense of respect for entrepreneurs, most of them had neither willingness nor confidence to become entrepreneurs. They did not consider the entrepreneurs as a good option for their career, even when they had a sense of respect for entrepreneurs.
One year later, the researchers conducted the same questionnaire survey for the students. Though the result of the experimental group showed their high regard to entrepreneurs, about 70% of the students made their self-esteem to be an entrepreneur lower compared to the result of pre-survey. The researchers found by interviewing the participants that simulated experience to run a start-up business was so formidable that the students had lost their willingness and confidence.
We also ascertained, however, most of the students had an intention to be a member of a start-up if they were asked by the founder. The students had successful group activities in the simulation, and that made them believe the power of working together to meet their challenges.
An entrepreneurial society needs not only founders, but people who support the start-ups. Therefore the aims of the entrepreneurship education for high school students should include cultivating both entrepreneurs and their supporters.