Entrepreneurship and higher education: an overview of the Iowa State University alumni survey
Entrepreneurship is a hot topic both in academic and policy circles. There is a growing recognition that entrepreneurship is a driving force in economic growth development in both established and emerging economies. There is also an increasing body of evidence suggesting entrepreneurship that stems from a high level of human capital and creativity is the most likely to produce the goods, services and ultimately the jobs that fuel economic growth development and competitiveness. If human capital and innovation are important for growth entrepreneurship, then higher education should have a significant role to play in fostering entrepreneurship. In this report we present a descriptive overview of the entrepreneurial activities of graduates from Iowa State University -- a medium-sized public university in the United States. The data were obtained from a random sample of 25,000 Iowa State University bachelor's degree recipients between 1982 and 2006. The survey requested information on graduates' employment history, further education, income, entrepreneurial activity and community involvement. The on-line survey was conducted in 2008 and produced 5,416 usable responses -- a response rate of 21.6 percent. Survey details are presented in Appendix I.