Engaging the Student entrepreneur building upon a typology of student entrepreneurs


The paper aims to add to the debate on student entrepreneurship and employability. It builds upon earlier work postulating a typology of student entrepreneurs. It studies the motivations of 184 student entrepreneurs using an online survey with refined questions and fresh findings to substantiate three of the original five key typologies of student entrepreneur. These are: the ‘Dabbler’, those who are first time experimenters with entrepreneurship; the ‘Persistent Pursuer’, representing those with previous experience of entrepreneurship and the ‘Family Followers’ presenting a family history of entrepreneurship (Allen 2015) Alternative perspectives on entrepreneur typologies are discussed, which feature: the type of enterprise (Smith 1967); innovation (Risker 1998); inventor (Miner, Smith et al. 1992) and second generation (Masurel and Nijkamp 2004) (Fraboni and Saltstone 1990). These typologies are juxtaposed with comparative studies examining the motivation, attitudes and self perception (Zhao and Wu 2014), (Leon, Descales et al. 2007), (Miner 1997) and comment on the debate surrounding entrepreneur education particularly concerning effectuation (Sarasvathy 2001) and the lean movement approach (Blank 2013) The paper concludes with reflection on a pull approach advocated by (Hammer and Van der Meer 2013) involving entrepreneurs in the pedagogical process. It concludes with the identification of further research opportunities for a longitudinal cohort study of student entrepreneurs.

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Jerry Allen
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