chapter  1
Pages 14

The story of the lone individual who sets out to make a fortune, often against all odds, is embedded in American mythology. What was once accomplished by heading west, has been reconceptualized in current mythology by the dream of small business ownership. Not only is the dream held by an increasing number of individual "pioneers" but public agencies are seeking a role in encouraging people to make the dream a reality as a solution to economic revitalization in an era of corporate downsizing and economic restructuring (Berkeley Planning Associates, 1994; Kirchhoff & Green, 1995; Manning, Birley & Norburn, 1989; Taub, 1995; White, 1994). While the explosion in small business ownership, especially among women and minorities, is receiving public attention (Byrd, 1994; Mehta, 1996; Pinson & Jinnett, 1992) the academic arena is burgeoning with the cacophony of diverse perspectives attempting to define and analyze the phenomenon (Kasarda, 1994). In this fertile ground, entrepreneurial educational programs have emerged in public and private institutions in response to the demand (Plaschka & Welsch, 1990).