Entrepreneurship as a Pathway to Positive Youth Development

Authors: 
Richard M. Lerner; [William Damon]; Heather Malin; Kendall C. Bronk; [Timothy S. Reilly]; Tenelle Porter; Megan K. Mueller

Roundtable 3-054: Positive development has been operationalized as productive development, which involves the processes through which individuals come to contribute to economic well-being, civil society, and the social good. During this time of economic uncertainty it is particularly important to understand the development of youth entrepreneurship. Although millions of youth around the world have been involved in entrepreneurship education programs, and both undergraduate and graduate training in entrepreneurship exist in scores of universities, to date there has been little longitudinal study of the development of youth entrepreneurship. This roundtable will explore the theoretical bases of entrepreneurship within human developmental science, point to the empirical information about the covariates of entrepreneurship, and discuss how this research may inform theoretically and socially important research identifying the processes leading to the development of entrepreneurship and to contributions of youth entrepreneurs to economic well-being and social justice. The roundtable will bring together scholars of entrepreneurship development who have begun new longitudinal research about youth entrepreneurship development. Outcomes of the roundtable will be a specification of the potential processes of entrepreneurship development, the place of entrepreneurship within the child and adolescent developmental system and, in regard to optimization, the potential individual and societal benefits of promoting entrepreneurship development among diverse youth.