Title: Youth employment in start-up ventures in Jordan: an exploratory study

Authors: Andrea Caputo; Rosa Lombardi; Farah Akeel; Haneen Almallah; Basma Dakkak; Nadia Quabbaj

Addresses: Lincoln Business School, University of Lincoln, Lincoln, Lincolnshire LN6 7TS, UK ' Department of Research, Link Campus University of Rome, Rome, 00133, Italy ' Department of Business Administration, King Talal Faculty of Business and Technology, Princess Sumaya University for Technology, Amman, 11941, Jordan ' Department of Business Administration, King Talal Faculty of Business and Technology, Princess Sumaya University for Technology, Amman, 11941, Jordan ' Department of Business Administration, King Talal Faculty of Business and Technology, Princess Sumaya University for Technology, Amman, 11941, Jordan ' Department of Business Administration, King Talal Faculty of Business and Technology, Princess Sumaya University for Technology, Amman, 11941, Jordan

Abstract: Youth in developing countries are faced with high unemployment rates, even when they possess higher education degrees. In the developing world, small business and entrepreneurial ventures constitute the main drivers of economic development and offer employment opportunities for youth. Nevertheless, when faced with a career decision after their studies, youth seem to prefer careers in established companies over start-ups. As a consequence, start-ups find it more difficult to find and hire the right employees although they are available in the market. This study aims at examining the factors behind youth career decisions to work for a start-up company and provides suggestions for both research and practice. By relying on both entrepreneurship and career decision-making literature, we developed a theoretical model that includes background factors and individual characteristics. Results from a survey on youth graduates from Jordan show that high school education fostered critical thinking, international exposure, creativity and participation to entrepreneurial events, which predicted the willingness to work for a start-up.

Keywords: youth employment; start-ups; Jordan; career decision making; unemployment; entrepreneurship; developing countries; youth career decisions; young people; graduates; high school education; critical thinking; international exposure; creativity; participation; high schools; entrepreneurial ventures.

DOI: 10.1504/IJESB.2016.077574

International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, 2016 Vol.28 No.4, pp.468 - 491

Received: 28 May 2015
Accepted: 26 Aug 2015

Published online: 06 Jul 2016 *

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