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When asked which entrepreneur teenagers admire most, Apple co-founder and CEO Steve Jobs reigns supreme according to the 2010 Junior Achievement Teens and Entrepreneurship survey (PDF), leaving Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg in the dust. Junior Achievement surveyed 1,000 teens in the United States by telephone to get an idea of which entrepreneurs they admire most. Nearly a quarter of respondents (23 percent) named Jobs as the most admired entrepreneur, albeit down from 35 percent in the 2009 survey.
Even with Facebook at more than half a billion users, and the movie The Social Network taking the world by storm, Mark Zuckerberg only received nine percent of votes for most admired entrepreneur, tying with skateboarding legend Tony Hawk. Teens apparently admire Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling (17 percent), Oprah Winfrey (14 percent) and Jay-Z (13 percent) more than Facebook’s founder and CEO.
When asked which qualities the surveyed teens admire most in these entrepreneurs, wealth and fame earned only 10 percent of their votes. Thirty-one percent of teens admire entrepreneurs who “make a difference in people’s lives” and 31 percent cited “success in multiple fields” as what makes an entrepreneur stand out.
When asked what their incentive for becoming an entrepreneur would be, teens said “doing good” was only the third-ranked response at 15 percent. Topping that was “working for yourself” at 27 percent and “controlling your destiny” at 24 percent.