Student Entrepreneurial identity formation: the role of reflection

Birgitte Wraae, Dr. Andreas Walmsley

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


The overall aim of this empirical paper is to contribute to the understanding of how students through video clips and narration develop their entrepreneurial identities.
Literature on entrepreneurial identity development is regularly linked to either identity theory or social identity theory. Identity theory relates to the notion of roles that an individual assumes. In entrepreneurship education students are in a transition period between roles, i.e. role transformation from student to entrepreneur and/or professional. Furthermore, existing literature suggests how students can both develop and have an entrepreneurial identity while not necessarily starting up a business.
Identity formation is further supported by the narrative the student creates with regard to their selves as the student engages in a form of dialogue with themselves but also with others as part of the entrepreneurial learning process.
Upon this backdrop, this study proposes the following problem statement: “How can student self-insights assist with their entrepreneurial identity development journey?” To tackle this question, we analysed 51 student video clips after students had participated in an entrepreneurship course.
Our findings support the theory of identity formation relating to the concept of roles: the self-reflective video clip as a form of assessment creates a means by which the students both raise their self-awareness and, crucially, construct their entrepreneurial identities. The results underline that students’ entrepreneurial identities are formed in a social process and by what happens both inside and beyond the entrepreneurial classroom. These findings will be of interest to researchers and educators as it moves beyond a pure skills or competency approach of understanding the impact of entrepreneurship education.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Conference on Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 17 Sept 2020
Event15th European Conference on Innovation and Entrepreneurship (ECIE20) - Online, Rom, Italy
Duration: 17 Sept 202018 Sept 2020


Conference15th European Conference on Innovation and Entrepreneurship (ECIE20)
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