Abstract

If entrepreneurship is to continue to deliver its promise of future prosperity (Finkle and Deeds, 2001) it is essential to maintain or grow the supply of entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurship education takes many forms and is a major and growing academic discipline world wide (Katz, 2003). Whether directly instrumental, role modeling or simply raising entrepreneurial awareness, cognition theory and the social construction of entrepreneurship explain the decision to become entrepreneurial is contingent upon perceptions of the attractiveness of being entrepreneurial. One recent study found 78% of young people saw business as “cool” (JA-YE, 2006), but did not tap into what meanings they attributed to entrepreneurship. Understanding meaning seems vital if we are to know how and why enterprise is attractive or repugnant. Through analysis of metaphors young people used to describe entrepreneurship this paper addresses this issue, posing the question how do young people perceive entrepreneurship?

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