Earlier research (Mayhew, James, Chankseliani, & Laczik, 2013) found that WorldSkills training helped competitors develop the necessary confidence, self-esteem and people skills to become entrepreneurial. Building on these findings, in this project we focus specifically on the entrepreneurial experience of young people who have represented the UK at the WorldSkills Competition (WSC).
Entrepreneurs have been compared to Olympic athletes who break new barriers (Kuratko, 2007), and so have the WorldSkills competitors who are the participants in this study. We interviewed a sample of 40 WorldSkills competitors to learn about their entrepreneurial experience and motivations and how their training for and participation in WorldSkills might have contributed to these. We aimed to understand how and in what contexts young people who have achieved excellence in selected vocational professions utilise psychological capital, human capital, and social capital to discover, evaluate, and exploit opportunities to create future goods and services. This includes firm creation as well as entrepreneurship within existing organisations, which we refer to as intrapreneurship. This study used the evidence obtained from in-depth semi-structured individual interviews with WorldSkills competitors to answer the following main research question:
How does WorldSkills experience facilitate the discovery, evaluation, and exploitation of opportunities to create future goods and services?
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