With more schools offering classes on how to start and run a business, students in fifth through 12th grade are very optimistic about becoming entrepreneurs one day.
According to findings from the 2012 Gallup-HOPE Index, a joint project to encourage entrepreneurial development among youth, based on a nationally representative survey of 1,217 students, 43% said they plan to start their own businesses.
The poll also found that students understood the value of education, with 93% agreeing that there is a relationship between the level of education and earning potential.
Fifty-nine percent said their school offers classes on how to start and run a business.
“The results from this year's Gallup-HOPE Index show that there's a lot of entrepreneurial spirit among our young people, but we need to provide them with better access to the tools they need to succeed,” said Jim Clifton, chairman and CEO of Gallup.
Many of the students surveyed were familiar with credit unions. Fifty-four percent said they have a credit union or bank account. The 26% of students in grades nine through 12 who said they work at a paying job, likely park their earnings in those accounts. Seven percent of all students polled said they are currently interning with a local business.
The study also found that 32% of students surveyed said their parents or guardians have started a business.
“Educated, engaged, hopeful kids are the future entrepreneurs of America,” said John Hope Bryant, founder and CEO of Operation HOPE. “This information helps us tailor programs to foster young entrepreneurs, helping them develop an idea into a business,” he added on the Gallup-HOPE Index.
Initiated in 2011, the GHI is part of Gallup's 100-year commitment with Operation HOPE to assess the attitudes and behaviors often ascribed to entrepreneurs and to provide government and business leaders with data about student sentiment nationwide, the organizations said.