Entrepreneurial Career Probabilities of Adolescents

The Open Psychology Journal 18 June 2021 REVIEW ARTICLE DOI: 10.2174/1874350102114010104



The extent of new enterprise creation is a key driver contributing to economic, social, individual, and cultural values. Given a relatively low rate of Total Early-stage Entrepreneurial Activity (TEA) in Germany, an understanding of the predictors of adolescent entrepreneurial career preferences is critical in developing ways to foster the interest of young people in entrepreneurship. Although the late precursors of the intention to become self-employed are largely understood, only a few studies have investigated which early individual-level factors affect the subjective probability of becoming an entrepreneur.


The objective of the current study is to identify and statistically examine personality factors that affect the subjective probability of adolescents becoming entrepreneurs.


Based on the German Socio-Economic Panel, we employed logistic regression to research the dependence of the variable “probability of becoming self-employed” on independent variables such as gender, locus of control (LoC), and personality traits for German adolescents aged between 16–17 years.


The study reveals a positive influence of the personality traits conscientiousness, extraversion, and LoC on the probability of being self-employed for German adolescents aged between 16–17 years. Agreeableness and neuroticism were found to have no significant effect on the subjective probability of adolescents becoming entrepreneurs, and openness was found to have no significant impact on high likelihood of being self-employed. For adolescents, being female has a significant impact only on a medium probability to be self-employed.


To the current body of personality models explaining early adolescent entrepreneurial career preferences, we contribute a model which refers to a representative sample of adolescents in German society.

Keywords: Entrepreneurial career preferences, Adolescence, Personality traits, Locus of control, Self-employment, Entrepreneurship.
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