This study introduces an individual’s perception of their entrepreneurial potential in terms of their age (age-based self-image) to complement chronological age as a predictor of entrepreneurial behaviour. The principal hypothesis is that a positive age-based self-image enhances the likelihood of individuals turning their intention to start a business into actual behaviour. The empirical analysis based on data collected on the general adult population of Finland in 2011 and 2012 (n = 672) supports this hypothesis. The analysis further shows that this positive effect is independent of the individual’s chronological age, and it is thus applicable to both age groups that are under-represented in entrepreneurship: ‘youngsters’ and ‘seniors’. Promoting the development of a positive age-based self-image is a prospective policy option for fostering entrepreneurship among younger and older age groups. More in-depth research, especially concerning the antecedents of positive age-based self-image, is required for the effectiveness of such policy interventions.
- Entrepreneurial intentions
- Occupational choice