Measuring Entrepreneurial Mindset in Youth
Increasingly, the global economy demands that young people enter the workforce not only with a college degree, but also with a set of transferrable, entrepreneurial skills and attitudes that can help them succeed in almost any job or industry. This includes the ability to take initiative and think on your feet, to critically solve problems, and to communicate effectively. Learning these and other skills that are part of the entrepreneurial mindset is central to becoming career-ready. As a result, entrepreneurial thinking has become the mantra for many organizations interested in preparing youth for the future.
But how do we assess whether young people are acquiring these crucial skills? Until now, there has been little research to guide efforts to accurately measure entrepreneurial mindset. During the last several years, the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) has been working to fill this gap by developing and testing the Entrepreneurial Mindset Index (EMI)—a tool to measure the attitudes, behaviors and beliefs associated with being an entrepreneur. The EMI is currently in use with students in the NFTE entrepreneurship program in schools across the United States and abroad. This paper presents new findings about the utility, reliability and validity of the EMI, highlighting its potential as an innovative, effective assessment tool in the entrepreneurship education landscape.