Launched through a historic 100-year commitment from Gallup, the Gallup-HOPE index is a joint project focused on measuring the economic energy of America’s youth. The index is a nationally representative study of U.S. students in grades 5-12.

The latest study results, first highlighted at the Annual Meeting in January 2016,  suggest that America is failing to recognize and maximize the entrepreneurial talents and aspirations of its youth. The national data show that more than four in 10 youth plan to start their own business and believe they will invent something that changes the world. However, when asked about their current engagement in the economy, only 5% say they are currently interning with a local business, and just 3% say they run their own business now.

Similar to findings from previous years, the Gallup-HOPE Index indicates that less than half of all potential future business owners — today’s students — are learning at school how to start and run a business. Operation HOPE believes that by giving students the opportunity to express and nurture their pre-existing aspirations, they will be more likely to stay in school, graduate, succeed, lead dignified lives and enrich America’s economy and communities.

Below are results highlighting HOPE school-based entrepreneurial programs vs. the National average:



2015 National Gallup-HOPE Index Results*[1] 2015 HOPE School Gallup-HOPE Index Results**[2]
% Agree % Agree
I plan to start my own business. 42% 79%
I will invent something that changes the world. 42% 66%
My school teaches me about money and banking. 86% 91%
% Yes % Yes
Do you have a bank or credit union account with money in it? 52% 39%
Are you currently interning with a local business? 5% 14%
Have either of your parents or guardians ever started a business? 36% 43%
Do you run your own business now? 3% 9%


* National sample: N = 1,001; representative sample of U.S. students in grades 5-12
** HOPE sample: N = 93 HOPE Schools; sample of HOPE School students in grades 4-12
[1] Note: The national poll is conducted via telephone, while the HOPE School poll is conducted via Web. This may result in mode bias.
[2] Note: The HOPE School sample consists largely of lower-income and minority students in Title I schools across the country. Therefore, the results may be more robust than they initially appear when compared with the national sample. Similarly, where there is no increase from the national sample to the HOPE School sample, this suggests that the baseline for the HOPE School sample is lower than that for the national sample as a result of the lower-income, minority status of a majority of the respondents.

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