Jiang, N. (2020). Influential factors for young entrepreneurial success: A Delphi study on high school entrepreneurs. The Young Researcher, 4 (1), 188-207.
While previous literature has shown how certain internal and external factors have contributed to the accomplishments of adult entrepreneurs, there is little research that focuses on young entre- preneurs. Along with a growing entrepreneurial interest among adolescents, this study examines what factors have contributed to the success of high school entrepreneurs in Ontario, Canada. Employing a Delphi study, experts and non-experts in the field were invited to participate in this study. Three categories of experts include current high school entrepreneurs, high school teachers of entrepreneurship, and successful adult entrepreneurs. One category of non-experts consists of seven students who aim to become future entrepreneurs while in high school. In the first stage, a contextual survey was used to collect subjects’ information about personality, family background, and financial support in terms of their entrepreneurship. In the second stage, a three-round Delphi study was conducted among the group of experts. In the third stage, an interview was constructed among the group of non-experts. Then, their responses were compared with the experts’. As a result, the identifiable factors influencing the success of high school entrepreneurship were summa- rized as the PITF model – Personality, Institutional support, Timing perception, and Family back- ground (ranked by the subjects in the order of importance). Notably, two results stand out from the previous studies: 1) it is found that Open to Experience defined by the “Big-5 model” is the most dominant personality trait that determines entrepreneurial success. 2) Significant differences of perceptions were shown between experts and non-experts in terms of the amount of timing and financial support needed for establishing a business.
Keywords: youth entrepreneurship, high school students, Big-5 model, Delphi Study.