Student Entrepreneurial Identity Formation: The Role of Reflection

Birgitte Wraae, Andreas Walmsley

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceedingpeer-review

239 Downloads (Pure)


The overall aim of this empirical paper is to contribute to the understanding of how students through video clips and narration develop their entrepreneurial identities. Literature on entrepreneurial identity development is regularly linked
to either identity theory or social identity theory. Identity theory relates to the notion of roles that an individual assumes. In entrepreneurship education students are in a transition period between roles, i.e. role transformation from student to entrepreneur and/or professional. Furthermore, existing literature suggests how students can both develop and have an entrepreneurial identity while not necessarily starting up a business. Identity formation is further supported by the narrative the student creates with regard to their selves as the student engages in a form of dialogue with themselves but also with
others as part of the entrepreneurial learning process. Upon this backdrop, this study proposes the following problem statement: “How can student self-insights assist with their entrepreneurial identity development journey?” To tackle this
question, we analysed 51 student video clips after students had participated in an entrepreneurship course. Our findings support the theory of identity formation relating to the concept of roles: the self-reflective video clip as a form of assessment creates a means by which the students both raise their self-awareness and, crucially, construct their entrepreneurial identities. The results underline that students’ entrepreneurial identities are formed in a social process and by what happens both inside and beyond the entrepreneurial classroom. These findings will be of interest to researchers and educators as it moves beyond a pure skills or competency approach of understanding the impact of entrepreneurship education.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 15th European Conference on Innovation and Entrepreneurship, ECIE 2020
EditorsAlessandro De Nisco
PublisherAcademic Conferences International
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-912764-68-6
ISBN (Print)978-1-912764-67-9
Publication statusPublished - 16 Sept 2020
Event15th European Conference on Innovation and Entrepreneurship - Rome, Italy
Duration: 17 Sept 202018 Sept 2020
Conference number: 15

Publication series

NameProceedings of the European Conference on Innovation and Entrepreneurship, ECIE
ISSN (Print)2049-1050


Conference15th European Conference on Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Abbreviated titleECIE 2020

Bibliographical note

© ACM}2020. This is the author's version of the work. It is posted here for your personal use. Not for redistribution. The definitive Version of Record was published in ECIE 2020-Proceedings of the 15th European Conference on Innovation and Entrepreneurship.


  • Entrepreneurial career development
  • Entrepreneurial identity formation
  • Entrepreneurship education
  • Higher education
  • Student identity development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation
  • Strategy and Management


Dive into the research topics of 'Student Entrepreneurial Identity Formation: The Role of Reflection'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this