Emergence of entrepreneurial behaviour: The role of age-based self-image

Teemu Kautonen, Isabella Hatak, Ewald Kibler, Thomas Wainwright

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

45 Citations (Scopus)


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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-51
JournalJournal of economic psychology
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Age
  • Self-image
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Inclusiveness
  • Entrepreneurial intentions
  • Occupational choice


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