Developing new opportunities, entrepreneurial skills and product/service creativity: A ‘Young Enterprise’ (YE) perspective

Heather McLaughlin, Colm Fearon, Marco Furlotti, Wim Van Vuuren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
10 Downloads (Pure)


The purpose of this research is to investigate how Young Enterprise (YE) student entrepreneurs develop new product/service opportunities, learn decision-making skills and achieve a sense of entrepreneurial self-efficacy. From a national survey of YE participants in the Netherlands, entrepreneurial self-efficacy was found to partially mediate relationships between new opportunity recognition belief and two key product/service creativity characteristics, namely: (a) new product/service novelty and; (b) new product/service meaningfulness. The ability of YE entrepreneurs to re-scale their new venture strategies, and/or re-adapt products and services were also important real options (or strategic decision-making) moderators in a new social cognitive learning framework. This article contributes to a fresh understanding of the opportunity recognition belief and entrepreneurial decision skills literatures from a social cognitive theoretical perspective. This research also provides much needed empirical support for European YE policy-makers, demonstrating that team-based mini-enterprise education initiatives really do benefit entrepreneurial learners!
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1081-1098
Number of pages18
JournalStudies in Higher Education
Issue number6
Early online date7 Oct 2019
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Young enterprise (YE)
  • entrepreneurial self-efficacy
  • opportunity recognition belief
  • real options
  • social cognitive theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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