When asked which entrepreneur teens admire most, Apple CEO Steve Jobs reigns supreme in the 2010 Junior Achievement Teens and Entrepreneurship survey sponsored by Sam’s Club. Nearly a quarter of respondents (23%) named the Apple co-founder as the most admired entrepreneur, down from 35% in the 2009 survey.
Even with Facebook at more than half a billion users, and the recently released movie about its origins, “The Social Network,” Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg only received 9% of votes for most admired entrepreneur. Who beat him out? Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling at 17 %, Oprah Winfrey at 14% and music mogul Jay-Z at 13%. Zuckerberg tied with skateboarding legend Tony Hawk.
So what qualities do these teens admire most in these entrepreneurs? Riches and fame? Those responses earned a mere 10% of teens’ votes. Top for teens is making a difference and being successful in multiple fields. Thirty-one percent of teens admire entrepreneurs who make a difference in people’s lives and 31% cited success in multiple fields as what makes an entrepreneur stand out.
While most teens admire entrepreneurs who make a difference, when asked what their incentive for becoming an entrepreneur would be, doing good was only the third-ranked response at 15%. Above it was working for yourself at 27% and controlling your destiny at 24%.
“Junior Achievement aims to teach students not just the basic tenets of entrepreneurship, but we help them own their own future success through connecting them with influential mentors and imparting to them those skills that will make them not only financially successful, but also meaningful contributors to today’s society and global marketplace,” says Jack E. Kosakowski, president and CEO of Junior Achievement USA.
Learning about entrepreneurship is an important lesson for all teens, but how do thoughts on entrepreneurship break down between the sexes? For starters, the top entrepreneur chosen by female respondents was J.K. Rowling at 23%. Oprah followed close behind with 21%, with Steve Jobs in third at 17% for most admired celebrity among girls. For boys, Steve Jobs topped the list at 29%, followed by Jay-Z at 17% and Tony Hawk at 14%.
Also, girls were more concerned with making a difference in others’ lives, with 36% choosing that as their most admired quality, versus 26% of males. Boys chose being successful in multiple fields as their most admired quality at 33%. Also, when asked why they’d want to become an entrepreneur, 21% of girls wanted to raise money for good causes, versus only 9% of boys.
Junior Achievement is the world’s largest organization dedicated to inspiring and preparing young people to succeed in a global economy. Through a dedicated volunteer network, Junior Achievement provides in-school and after-school programs for students which focus on three key content areas: work readiness, entrepreneurship, and financial literacy. Today, 126 individual area operations reach more than four million students in the United States, with an additional 5.7 million students served by operations in 122 other countries worldwide.