Alternative Title

Post-evaluation of an entrepreneurship program for inner-city youth


LaRon Doucet


This study evaluated program graduates of National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship 1 to years after completing the program in inner city schools of Los Angeles, California. Twenty-seven out of 150 graduates participated in 2 semi-structured interviews in Northern and Southern California, or long semi-structured telephone interviews for graduates in distant places, using the same questions. Data was tape recorded, transcribed and coded utilizing traditional qualitative analysis techniques. Primary findings were that the program encouraged all the prior students to complete high school (100%), to start a business (100%), rid the fear of public speaking, self-esteem boost and foster self-confidence (69%). Eighty-nine percent of the graduates had begun a business during or after the program and continued to be an entrepreneur. Over half of these indicated that the program was solely responsible for their decisions. An additional graduate was in the process of developing a business and 2 others never initiated a business. Interestingly, 26% enrolled in the program because of influence of family, counselors, teachers, or friends and 15% replied "an interest in business." Graduates repeatedly commented how the activities in the program fostered more mature decisions, including focus on schoolwork, relating to family, and completing projects. Their student decision-making moved toward accepting responsibility for personal decisions, actions, and consequences. Knowledge and skills gained included obtainment of college scholarships, budgeting and saving money, recognizing financial losses, paying bills on time, and making financial choices from options. Graduates revealed that the program buoyed their self-esteem and promoted a "can do mentality " as they had to present a business plan, speak before business prospects, and network their ideas. Graduates argued that this curriculum should be available in all schools, both urban and rural. However, they suggested that the curriculum should be expanded as they perceived they were "just getting the idea" and the program be offered in prior grades, not just the senior year, and to supply online supplemental resources during and after the program. Policymakers should promote this curriculum in middle and high schools across the country as a means to encourage at-risk students to participate in this country`s entrepreneurial spirit.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship; Urban youth -- Education (Secondary) -- California; Dissertations (EdD) -- Organizational leadership

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Hiatt-Michael, Diana B.