Testing enterprising potential

An enterprising tendency is defined as the tendency to start up and manage projects - highly enterprising people do this more often and are more innovative in their approach. Enterprise may be expressed by starting your own business, operating as an intrapreneur within an organisation or setting up community ventures. This self assessment test should take you about ten minutes to complete and will give you an idea of your enterprising potential. Your ability to express your enterprising potential may depend on the changing constraints and contexts in your life and career. Your enterprising tendency may also change in response to challenges you face at different key phases of your life and career development. There is much academic debate about the most important characteristics of enterprising people. This test suggests an emphasis on the following key characteristics:

Motivation

The enterprising person is highly motivated, energetic, and has a capacity for hard work. They are busy, driven, dynamic and highly committed to getting things done. Their high motivation levels are characterised by a high need for achievement and for autonomy, manifesting as the desire to lead, shape and complete projects.

Creative tendency

The enterprising person is restless with ideas, and has an imaginative approach to solving problems. They tend to see life in a different way to others, spotting opportunities around them. Their innovative tendency helps them to develop ideas to create new products, services and systems, new intellectual property and artistic outputs, and new businesses and ventures across sectors.

Calculated risk-taking

The enterprising person is opportunistic and identifies goals they wish to pursue. This will usually involve some risk to them– their time, finances and personal relationships. They may be willing to take risks in some or all of these areas. They seek information and expertise to assess if it is worth pursuing the opportunity, although the nature of calculated risk-taking means there is a risk and they may be proved wrong. They also need to convince their investors and supporters to take a calculated risk.

Locus of control

The enterprising person has an internal rather than external locus of control which means that they believe they have control over their own destiny and make their own 'luck'. This means that they confidently seek to exert control over life, draw on inner resources and believe that it is down to them if they succeed through their own efforts and hard work.


Note that the test is not definitive and it should only be used as an educational aid for thinking about enterprise. You could discuss your responses with a supportive group of students, teacher or friends. Try getting involved with setting up and managing projects, then take the test again to see if your scores change. If you are not happy with your test scores, personal transformation is an open door! If you want to be enterprising then you are half-way there!

What does it mean to be enterprising?

Learn more about the characteristics of enterprising people

Enterprise

What is an enterprising person?

The description of the enterprising person is drawn from what is known about entrepreneurs; the idea being that the enterprising person shares entrepreneurial characteristics. Just as there are different types of entrepreneurs, distinguished by their growth orientation, motivation, type of business, involvement with new technology, association with business owner management, and so on, there are different enterprising people. An enterprising tendency is defined as the tendency to start up and manage projects.The most enterprising people set up projects more frequently; set up more innovative projects; and are more growth-oriented, which means that they have to be opportunistic and good at utilising resources, including human, technological, physical and organisational resources.

A person who is highly enterprising has the following qualities:

  • Have a strong need for achievement;
  • Like to be in charge;
  • Seek opportunities and use resources to achieve plans;
  • Believe that they possess or can gain the qualities to be successful;
  • Are innovative and willing to take a calculated risk.
High Need For Achievement

What is a high need for achievement?

The enterprising person is highly motivated, energetic, and has a capacity for hard work. They are busy, driven, dynamic and highly committed to getting things done. Their high motivation levels are characterised by a high need for achievement, manifesting as the desire to lead, shape and complete projects.

A person with a high need for achievement has the following qualities:

  • An orientation towards the future;
  • Self-reliance on own ability;
  • An optimistic rather than a pessimistic outlook;
  • A strong task orientation;
  • An effective approach to time management;
  • An orientation towards results, which applies to self and others;
  • A restlessness, with a strong drive and high energy levels;
  • Opinionated and ready to defend ideas and views;
  • A determination to ensure objectives are met, even when difficulties arise;
  • Responsible and persistent in the pursuit of aims;
  • Goal–orientated, setting challenging but realistic goals;
  • Willingness to work long and hard when necessary to complete tasks.
High Need For Autonomy

What is a high need for autonomy?

The enterprising person is highly motivated, energetic, likes to lead, shape and do things their way. They are independent, driven, dynamic and may have to be number one or work solo.

A person with a high need for autonomy has the following qualities:

  • Independence, preferring to work alone especially if they cannot be top dog;
  • Strong self-expression, feeling the need to do what they want to do in their way, rather than work on other people's initiatives;
  • Individualism, being able to stand alone even when pressurised by people and groups;
  • Leadership orientation, preferring to be in charge and disliking taking orders;
  • Unconventional, being prepared to stand out as being different to others;
  • Opinionated, and having to say what they think about issues;
  • Determination, being strong willed and stubborn about their interests.
Creative Tendancy

What is creative tendency?

The enterprising person is restless with ideas, and has an imaginative approach to solving problems. They tend to see life in a different way to others, spotting opportunities around them. Their innovative tendency and need for achievement helps them to develop ideas to create new products, services and systems, new intellectual property and artistic outputs, and new businesses and ventures across sectors.

A person with a creative tendency has the following qualities:

  • Imagination, with an inventive or innovative tendency to come up with new ideas;
  • Intuition, being able to synthesis ideas and knowledge, and make good guesses when necessary;
  • Change-orientated, preferring novelty, change and challenge, with a dislike of being locked into routines;
  • Versatility, being able to draw on personal resources for projects or problem solving;
  • Curiousity with an interest in new ideas.

Growth-oriented enterprises tend to be very innovative. If you have an enterprise and would like to assess how innovative it is, try the Open2-Innov8ion rating tool, also developed by the author.

Calculated Risk Taking

What is calculated risk-taking?

The enterprising person is opportunistic and identifies goals they wish to pursue. This will usually involve some risk to them– their time, finances and personal relationships. They seek information and expertise to assess if it is worth pursuing the opportunity. They also need to convince their investors and supporters to take a calculated risk.

A calculated risk-taker has the following qualities:

  • Decisive, being able to act on incomplete information and good at judging when incomplete information is sufficient for taking action;
  • Self-awareness with the ability to accurately assessing their own capability;
  • Analytical, being good at evaluating the likely benefits against the likely costs of actions;
  • Goal-oriented, setting challenging but attainable goals;
  • Effective information management, using information to calculate the probability of success.
Internal Locus Of Control

What is an internal locus of control?

The enterprising person has an internal rather than external locus of control which means that they believe you have control over own destiny and make their own 'luck'. This means that they confidently seek to exert control over life, draw on inner resources and believe that it is down to them if they succeed through their own efforts and hard work.

A person who has an internal locus of control has the following qualities:

  • Opportunistic, seeking and taking advantage of opportunities;
  • Self-confidence with the belief that they have control over their destiny and make their own luck, rather than being controlled by fate;
  • Proactive, taking personal responsibility to navigate the problems that arise to achieve success on their terms;
  • Determined, expressing a strong will, and effort to control their life;
  • Self-belief, equating the results achieved with the effort made.

Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to some of the most common questions we receive

What does it mean to be enterprising?

Understanding of the enterprising person is largely drawn from what is known about entrepreneurs; the idea being that the enterprising person shares entrepreneurial characteristics...

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Why does the test only allow tend to 'agree' or 'disagree'?

You might prefer to answer that you 'sometimes' or 'slightly' agree on occasion. You may dislike tests that require you to decide if you tend to agree or disagree with statements....

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Does GET2 predict what I might do in the future?

Although GET2 has proved useful as an aid to education and personal reflection about enterprising tendency, predictive validity has not been established. However, GET2 may help you ....

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My GET2 test results suggest I am enterprising - should I start a business?

Perhaps you already have experience in business, or have undertaken projects at school, or within employment as an intrapreneur, or within your community....

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My GET2 test results suggest I am not enterprising - what does this mean?

Sorry that this result seems negative. Organisations and communities need more enterprising people, but it would not be ideal if everyone was enterprising....

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What is the difference between an 'entrepreneur', 'intrapreneur' & 'voluntrapreneur'?

These are all people with enterprising characteristics, but ones who operate in different contexts. The 'Entrepreneur' starts up and runs their....

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Is GET2 a Psychometric test?

GET2 works in a similar manner to psychometric tests, in that it asks a series of cross-referenced questions aimed at determining certain characteristics....

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Users Speak About GET2

Many thanks for all the comments we receive about the GET2 Test.
Here are just a selection of the responses, showing how the test is used.

GET2Test Users

Since the General measure of Enterprising Tendency (GET) test was developed in 1988 at Durham University Business School, it has generated a lot of interest amongst academics, working internationally in the areas of entrepreneurship and innovation. In recent years it has generated interest amongst educationists and researchers working in higher educational institutions and universities, as well as development consultancies*, for its potential as both an educational and research tool. The map and list below identifies the key institutions around the world who have, over the years, requested to use the GET2 test for research, development and educational purposes. In addition this site hosts some 1,000 users a month who use the GET2 test online.

The description of the enterprising person is drawn from what is known about entrepreneurs; the idea being that the enterprising person shares entrepreneurial characteristics. GET2 assumes that enterprise is a wider concept that includes more than business owner-managers and entrepreneurs, recognising that there are different types of entrepreneurs, distinguished by their growth orientation, motivation, type of business, involvement with new technology, association with business owner management, and so on. The enterprising person may be an entrepreneur, or an intrapreneur, working within organisations, or the voluntrapreneur who sets up and leads voluntary projects in the community. An enterprising tendency is defined as the tendency to start up and manage projects.

The many institutions who have used GET2 are presented on the map above and are listed below:

Europe

  • Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark
  • Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, England
  • Bordeaux École de Management, Bordeaux, France
  • Business School Ostrava, Vysoká škola podnikání, a.s., 710 00 Ostrava-Slezská Ostrava, Czech Republic
  • Careerserve, Earls Colne, Colchester, England
  • Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning, Glyndwr University, Wrexham, Wales
  • Coventry University, The Innovation Centre, Coventry, England
  • Cranfield University, Cranfield, England
  • University of Pavol Jozef Šafarik Košice, Faculty of Arts, Department of Psychology, Kosice, Slovak Republic
  • Department of Strategy and Entrepreneurship, Comenius University, Bratislava, Slovak Republic
  • Dublin City University Business School, Dublin, Ireland
  • Durham University Business School, Durham, England
  • Eastern Mediterranean University, North Cyprus
  • Edinburgh Napier University, Business School, Craiglockhart Campus, Edinburgh, Scotland
  • Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Department, The Hive, Nottingham Trent University, Burton Street, Nottingham, England
  • Enterprise, Microfinance and Local Development, ILO International Training Centre, Turin, Italy
  • Henley Management College, University of Reading, Whiteknights, Reading, England
  • Hull University, Hull, England
  • IGNITE, The Old Chapel, Greenbottom, Chacewater, Truro, TR4 8PQ, Cornwall, England (see here)
  • ILO International Training Centre, Enterprise, Microfinance and Local Development, Turin, Italy
  • Institute Of Teacher Education (ITE) Batu Lintang Campus, Jalan College, Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia
  • J.J. Strossmayer University, Sveucilište Josipa Jurja Strossmayera U Osijeku, Osijek, Croatia
  • Karlstad University, Universitetsgatan 2, 651 88 Karlstad, Sweden
  • Kingston University, Small Business Research Centre, London, England
  • Leeds Business School, Leeds Metropolitan University, Leeds, England
  • Loughborough University, Careers and Employability Centre, Loughborough, England
  • Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands
  • Manchester Metropolitan University, Careers and Employability Service, Manchester, England
  • Millionaire Milano Newspaper, Milan, Italy
  • UCMK: University Campus, Milton Keynes, England
  • Newcastle University, Newcastle, England
  • Nottingham University, Nottingham, England
  • Newcastle Business School, Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne, England
  • Open Business School, Open University, Milton Keynes, England
  • Oxford Brookes University, Oxford, England
  • Oxford Innovation Ltd, Oxford Centre for Innovation, New Road, Oxford, OX1 1BY, England
  • PerMicroLab Onlus (www.permicrolab.it) Member of Youth Business International (www.youthbusiness.org), Via Maria Vittoria 38, 10123, Torino, Italy
  • Poznan University of Economics, Poznan, Poland
  • Preston College, Preston, England
  • Robert Gordon University, Garthdee Campus, Aberdeen, Scotland
  • Richardson Howarth Llp - Management Consultant, Durham, England
  • Tallinn Technical University / Jacobs University Bremen, Germany
  • Teesside University, Business School, Middlesbrough, Tees Valley, England
  • Tower Hamlets College, (SFEDI accredited Business advice and standards setting for business enterprise), East London, England
  • TSM Business School and Management Consulting of the University of Twente, Enschede, Netherlands
  • TUI Travel plc, Education division, West Sussex, England
  • Università  Commerciale L. Bocconi, Milan, Italy
  • Universitetet i Agder, University Campus, Kristiansand, Norway
  • University College Cork, Cork, Ireland
  • University of Bradford, Bradford, England
  • University of Bradford, School of Management, Bradford, England
  • University of Edinburgh, Business Studies, Edinburgh, Scotland
  • University of Northumbria, School of Computing, Engineering & Information Sciences, Newcastle, England
  • University of Plymouth, Plymouth, Devon, England
  • University of Rome 'Tor Vergata', Rome, Italy
  • University of South Wales, Cardiff Campus, Adam Street, Cardiff, Wales
  • University of Southampton, Institute for Entrepreneurship, Southampton, England
  • University of Stirling, Scottish Enterprise Foundation, Scotland
  • University of Surrey, School of Management, Guildford, England
  • University of Szent István, Godollo, Hungary
  • University of València, Àrea d'Estudis i Anàlisis OPAL, Amadeu de Savoia, València, Spain
  • University of York, York, England
  • Vilnius University, Faculty of Philosophy, Department of Educology, Centre in Educational Researches Scientific Centre, Vilnius, Lithuania
  • Warwick University, Student careers and skills, Warwick, England
  • Waterford Institute of Technology, School of Science, Waterford, Ireland
  • Westminster University, London, England

Asia

  • Adana Science and Technology University, Adana, Turkey
  • Anadolu University, Faculty of Economics and Administrative Science, Yunusemre Kampusu, Eskisehir, Turkey
  • Doon University, Uttarakhand, India
  • Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India (EDII), Gujarat, India
  • Far Eastern University, Manila, Philippines
  • Guruji, Mahim, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
  • International Business and Entrepreneurship, University of Malaya, Malaysia
  • JAIST (Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology), Japan
  • Manipal University, Manipal 576104, Karnataka, India
  • Marmara Universitesi, Anadoluhisari Istanbul, Turkey
  • Mindanao - the Mindanao State University - Iligan Institute of Technology (MSU-IIT), University of Phillipines, Phillipines
  • National Chiao Tung University, 1001 University Road, Hsinchu, Taiwan
  • National Institute of Development Administration (NIDA), Bangkok, Thailand
  • Prestige Institute of Management and Research, Indore, India
  • Raichur University, University of Agricultural Sciences, UAS, Karnataka, India
  • Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, India
  • Tokyo Institute of Technology, Ookayama, Meguro, Tōkyō, Japan
  • Universiti Brunei Darussalam, State of Brunei, Borneo
  • Universiti Putra Malaysia, Faculty of Human Ecology, Malaysia
  • Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka, Centre for Continuous Learning, Malaysia
  • Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka, Centre for Languages and Human Development, Melaka, Malaysia
  • Uttarakhand Open University, School of Management Studies and Commerce, Haldwani, Uttarakhand, India
  • Wadhwani Centre for Entrepreneurship Development, Indian School of Business, Hyderabad, India
  • Waseda University, Totsukamachi, Shinjuku-ku, Tōkyō, Japan

Oceania

  • Curtin Business School, School of Management, Curtin University, Perth, Australia
  • Shellharbour City Council and Illawarra Regional Development Agency, Shellharbour, New South Wales, Australia
  • The University of Western Australia, Centre for Entrepreneurial Management, Crawley, WA, Perth, Australia
  • University of Auckland Business School, Auckland, New Zealand

North America

  • Capella University - University, Minneapolis, USA
  • Iowa State University, Office of Social and Economic Trend Analysis (SETA), Rural Development Initiative, 2229 Lincoln Way Ames, IA 50011, United States
  • IUPUI University Library, 755 W Michigan St Indianapolis, IN, United States
  • Morgan State University, School of Social Work, Baltimore, MD, United States
  • University of Georgia, Department of Workforce Education, Leadership and Social Foundations, Athens, GA, United States
  • University of the Incarnate Word, San Antonio, Texas, USA

South America

  • Escola de Administração, UFRGS / Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil
  • Escola de Propaganda do Museu de Arte de São Paulo [School of Advertising of Art Museum of São Paulo] (MASP), São Paulo, Brazil
  • Federal University of Pelotas, Engineering, Pelotas, Brazil
  • UNIP - Universidade Paulista, São Paulo, Brazil
  • 'UABC - Colonia Nueva, Universidad Autónoma de Baja California, Segunda, Mexico
  • Universidade Federal de Mato Grosso, Brazil
  • Universidade Federal de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil
  • UNIFESP - Univesidade Federal de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil

Africa

  • Creative People Solutions (CPS), Cairo, Egypt
  • False Bay College, Muizenberg, Cape Town, South Africa
  • North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa
  • The Louis Group Business Academy, in association with the University of Stellenbosch, Century City, South Africa
  • The South African Breweries Limited, Sandton, South Africa
  • University of Africa, Thorn Park, Lusaka, Zambia
  • University of Dar es Salaam, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
  • University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa
  • University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa

* Please note this list may not be complete and does not imply these institutions endorse the GET2 test materials.
If your Institute is using GET2 but is not yet on this list, please contact us.

Academic

The GET test

The General measure of Enterprising Tendency (GET) test was developed in 1987-1988 by Dr Sally Caird and Mr Cliff Johnson at Durham University Business School with funding from the University Grants Council whose functions have now been taken over by the Higher Education Funding Council for England. The research followed a literature review to identify key psychological characteristics of entrepreneurs which could be applicable to other enterprising people. Psychological tests were reviewed and a bank of entrepreneurial descriptive statements was assembled from the literature on entrepreneurs, the psychological tests of key entrepreneurial characteristics and pilot testing with entrepreneurs.

Construct validity and reliability was established by testing the measure on occupational groups finding that entrepreneurs were significantly more enterprising than teachers, nurses, civil servants and clerical workers and lecturers and trainers, using t-tests for statistical analysis (p0.005) (Caird, 1991 a&b). A more complex picture of the differences between occupational groups emerged when specific enterprising characteristics were examined. Entrepreneurs scored significantly higher than lecturers and trainers on the following enterprising characteristics: need for achievement and internal locus of control, but not on the characteristics: need for autonomy, creative tendency and calculated risk taking (p0.001). Entrepreneurs scored significantly higher than teachers, nurses, and civil servants on the following enterprising characteristics: need for achievement, need for autonomy, internal locus of control, calculated risk taking but not creative tendency (p0.001). Entrepreneurs scored significantly higher than clerical workers on all enterprising characteristics (p0.001).

As expected entrepreneurs do not have the monopoly on enterprising characteristics, but are generally more enterprising than the other occupational groups in the study.

Further Developments of the GET test

The original GET test was developed as a paper-based research tool with little interpretation for application in classroom face-to-face assessment. The GET test was later adapted for use by Training Enterprise Companies (TEC) in the form of a knowledge-based system to contribute to training business owner-managers. Over the past 30 years there has been considerable worldwide interest in the General measure of Enterprising Tendency (GET test) which has applications in education, research, development and training in higher education, further education and training and school contexts. Due to this interest and the volume of requests for the test, I created this website which is freely available to people who wish to test their enterprising tendency, or for educational and research purposes. This is based on the original GET test with slight revisions to modernise some questions together with considerable development of the educational resources to provide detailed interpretation and feedback.

The basic premise of the test is that the enterprising person shares entrepreneurial characteristics. The psychological literature has different views on entrepreneurial characteristics and which ones are important. The approach we took involved the identification of the key characteristics of entrepreneurial people associated with entrepreneurial behaviour, and entrepreneurship itself. The key entrepreneurial characteristics identified were: strong motivation, characterised by a high need for achievement and for autonomy; creative tendency; calculated risk-taking; and an internal locus of control (belief you have control over own destiny and make your own 'luck'). People set up an enterprise because they are highly motivated (to achieve something themselves) by a good idea and will manage risks, information and uncertainties because they believe they can set up the enterprise successfully.

The test provides an indicative not definitive measure of enterprising potential, however, and would benefit from further development and testing. It should primarily be used as an educational aid for stimulating personal reflection and discussion about enterprise. Longitudinal research could establish whether it has predictive validity.

The GET2 test is now being used by Oxford Innovation Ltd. in the 'IgniteCornwall' programme to support business start-ups and economic regeneration in the South West of England.

The following journal articles, reports and book chapters are the main references to the GET2 test, providing details of how it was developed and tested.

Reports and book chapters

Caird, S. (1989a) Enterprise Competencies. Scottish Enterprise Foundation, Occasional Paper Series No. 65189.

Caird, S. (1989b) An Initial Approach To Defining, Teaching And Assessing Enterprise Competencies. Scottish Enterprise Foundation, Working Paper Series No. 03/89.

Caird, S. (1992) Testing Enterprising Tendency In Occupational Groups. DUBS Occasional Paper, 9205, ISBN NO 1 85773 017 8 (Reprinted by permission of John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, from the original publication in the British Journal Of Management, Volume 2, pp. 177-186.)

Caird, S. (2006) General measure of Enterprising Tendency Version 2 (GET2), Appendix in T. Mazzarol, Entrepreneurship and Innovation Australia: Tilde University Press. May.

Journal Articles

Caird, Sally (1990a) What does it mean to be enterprising? British Journal of Management, 1(3), pp. 137–145. Available online

Caird, Sally (1990b) Enterprise competencies: an agenda for research. Journal of European Industrial Training, 14(7), pp. 3–8. Available online

Caird, S. (1991a) Self Assessments On Enterprise Training Courses, British Journal Of Education And Work, Volume 4, No. 3, pp. 63-80.

Caird, Sally (1991b) Testing enterprising tendency in occupational groups. British Journal of Management, 2(4), pp. 177–186. Available online

Caird, Sally (1991c) The enterprising tendency of occupational groups. International Small Business Journal, 9(4), pp. 75–81. Available online

Caird, S. (1992) Problems with The Identification Of Enterprise Competency with the Implications For Assessment And Development, Management Education And Development, Vol 23, Part 1.

Caird, Sally (1993) What do psychological tests suggest about entrepreneurs? Journal of Managerial Psychology, 8(6), pp. 11–20. Available online

Caird, Sally (1994a) How important is the innovator for the commercial success of innovative products in SMEs? Technovation, 14(2), pp. 71–83. Available online

Caird, Sally (1994b) How do award winners come up with innovative ideas? Creativity and Innovation Management, 3(1), pp. 3–10. Available online

Media

Business Cornwall, 'Ignite entrants GET ready' article. Aug 1, 2013 (see here)

Contact Us

We would welcome constructive comment or feedback via our online user-satisfaction survey as to how you have used and found the GET2 test.

Dr S.Caird,
The School of Engineering and Innovation,
Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths,
The Open University,
Walton Hall,
Milton Keynes,
MK7 6AA, UK

 

GET2 test Web development: Dr S.Hallett