Are Girls Less Prepared for Entrepreneurship?

Mark Zuckerberg, Oprah, Elon Musk, Arianna Huffington, Jay-Z…these are each household names who also represent some of America’s most successful entrepreneurs. But who will be the next generation of dreamers to come up with a big idea that will change the world? At EVERFI, we think it’s not enough to just ask these questions. We work side by side with educators to inspire all students to recognize the entrepreneur inside of themselves. We are excited to share our most recent deep dive into one of our most widely used courses, Venture – Entrepreneurial Expedition™. 

Measuring Up – Venture takes a look at survey responses from students throughout the country to understand which students know what it means to be an entrepreneur, who sees themselves as an entrepreneur, and who has the skills to actually make it happen. What did we find out? A few highlights below:

  • Venture helps all students become more knowledgeable and prepared to become entrepreneurs.
  • Before taking Venture, girls felt less prepared than boys to launch a venture. Afterwards, that gender gap closed and the overall level of preparedness increased for all students.
  • Girls were at least as knowledgeable as boys— and in some instances more knowledgeable— before taking Venture.

What did we learn? Entrepreneurship education should be for everyone and our students, specifically young girls, are up to the task! Ensuring greater access and support for this path should be a priority for educators as they think about a broader college and career readiness strategy for their students. We need more young people thinking creatively and independently about how they will solve the problems of tomorrow.

Looking for a few ideas make this actionable at your school and encourage girls in entrepreneurship?

  1. Explore Female Entrepreneurs: We’ve mentioned Oprah and Arianna Huffington, but what other female entrepreneurs have your students not yet heard of? Introduce them to America’s 10 Most Successful Women Entrepreneurs, and create opportunities for researching beyond the top ten.
  2. Take a Female Business Deep Dive: Where are most female business owners? What problems are they focused on achieving? Explore the National Women’s Business Council Fact Sheet on Women Owned Businesses and see what students find most interesting.
  3. Entrepreneurship Education Audit – What are the classes that talk about business and entrepreneurship at your school? Are they required classes or electives?

So what do these findings mean to you? How is your school making classes and instruction related to entrepreneurship available to as many students as possible? We’d love to hear your ideas and best practices about what entrepreneurship education looks like in your community.


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Steve Sandak is a member of EVEFI’s Research team. His work focuses on the impact of our K-12 learning platform. Steve is a former high school educator, and is based in our Boston office.