IDS Bulletin 48.3

Programme-Induced Entrepreneurship and Young People’s Aspirations

Published on 22 May 2017

This article unpacks the experiences of 52 young men and women from relatively poor households who received a grant of US$125 from a research project to start a business. Only 26 per cent aspired to
be entrepreneurs while the remainder were either interested in business as a side activity or as a stepping stone towards employment. Using the concept of programme-induced entrepreneurship, the article explores interventions aimed at promoting entrepreneurship in contexts where young participants have a diversity of career aspirations, only some of which involve entrepreneurship. It argues that for those young people whose career aspirations do involve entrepreneurship, these interventions may be important gateways, whereas for youth whose aspirations do not, they are at best stepping stones and at worst distractions. As such, programme induced entrepreneurship can fragment youth aspirations. The article calls for a more holistic approach to the promotion of entrepreneurship that takes explicit account of youth aspirations and family dynamics.


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published by
Institute of Development Studies


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