As young people increasingly become the target of entrepreneurial and enterprise policy initiatives and enterprise education in schools increases, so does the need to effectively measure the impact these programs have. A research instrument was designed to measure “enterprise potential” in young people using attitudes toward characteristics associated with entrepreneurship. A control-group cross-sectional design was used to investigate the impact of participation in a Young Enterprise Company Program, which is based on the U.S. Junior Achievement model, in six secondary schools in London, United Kingdom. The study found that participation in a Company Program can foster positive attitudes toward self-employment and that participants displayed greater enterprise potential than nonparticipants. Demographic differences also emerged in enterprise potential between ethnic groups. Young Black people were more positive about self-employment and displayed greater enterprise potential than either White or Asian pupils. A family background of self-employment had a positive influence on pupils’ intentions to become self-employed. Finally, the research raises a conceptual issue concerning the multidimensionality of the construct of “enterprise potential.
Keywords: Enterprise PotentialJunior Achievement ModelMeasurementPolicy InitiativesYouth Engagement