Ilse E. Plattner*, Mmakgosi Lechaena, Wame Mmolawa and Bagele Mzingwane
This paper seeks to draw attention to the need for psychological maturity before young people can begin their own business and succeed as entrepreneurs. A study with 349 undergraduate students at the University of Botswana investigated students’ career aspirations and their career-related self-concept. Only eight students considered entrepreneurship as a career option but many students mentioned careers that would provide them with an opportunity for self-employment. However, the majority of students lacked a positive self-concept and believed that their careers would depend on “connections” with the “right” people, luck, or the government (external locus of control). The findings suggest a decline in students’ self-concept and job expectations throughout the course of their studies. Recommendations are made with regard to the role of the university in empowering students not just academically but also psychologically so that they can compete successfully in entrepreneurship.
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