Date of Award

Fall 2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


College of Education


Department of Education

Primary Advisor

Dr. Patti LeBlanc

Second Advisor

Dr. Thomas Gollery

Third Advisor

Dr. Katrina Hutchins


Youth entrepreneurship programs provide opportunities to learn and to practice strategies that are necessary to start and grow a business. In the summer of 2018, a nonprofit organization in central South Carolina facilitated a modified two-week entrepreneurship education program for 18 students who recently completed third through twelfth grades. Program managers wanted to conduct a program evaluation to determine the effectiveness of the modified program and its influence on the self-efficacy and life skills of the youth participants. Quantitative data were collected from measures of young people’s self-efficacy and life skills before and after the program, from entrepreneurial knowledge after the program, and from judges’ ratings of business plan presentations at the end of the program. Qualitative data included interviews with a student participant and the instructor. The results of the analyses revealed that the youth reported significantly higher scores on the measure of self-efficacy. There were no significant differences between the pre- and post-test scores on the measure of life skills. The judges’ ratings of the participants’ business plan presentations were consistently above average. Both the instructor and the student interviewee reported that covering the course material in a two-week program was challenging and that future youth entrepreneurship programs would benefit from a division of elementary-age students and secondary-age students.