In Battle of the Tech Titans, Steve Jobs Most Admired Entrepreneur for Teens, Leaving Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg in the Dust

Junior Achievement Survey Shows Few Teens Esteem Facebook Founder Despite Widespread Use of Social Media

Oct 06, 2010, 05:20 ET from Junior Achievement

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., Oct. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- When asked which entrepreneur teens admire most, Steve Jobs reigns supreme in the 2010 Junior Achievement Teens and Entrepreneurship survey sponsored by Sam's Club. Nearly a quarter of respondents (23 percent) named Apple founder Steve Jobs as the most admired entrepreneur, down from 35 percent in the 2009 survey. Even with Facebook at more than half a billion users, and the recently released movie about its origins, The Social Network, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg only received nine percent of votes for most admired entrepreneur. Who beat him out? Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling at 17 percent, Oprah Winfrey at 14 percent and music mogul Jay-Z at 13 percent. Zuckerberg tied with skateboarding legend Tony Hawk.

So what qualities do these teens admire most in these entrepreneurs? Riches and fame? Those responses earned a mere 10 percent of teens' votes. Top for teens is making a difference and being successful in multiple fields. 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.

While most teens admire entrepreneurs who make a difference, when asked what their incentive for becoming an entrepreneur would be, doing good was only the third-ranked response at 15 percent. Above it was working for yourself at 27 percent and controlling your destiny at 24 percent.

"Junior Achievement aims to teach students not just the basic tenets of entrepreneurship, but we help them own their own future success through connecting them with influential mentors and imparting to them those skills that will make them not only financially successful, but also meaningful contributors to today's society and global marketplace," said Jack E. Kosakowski, president and CEO of Junior Achievement USA.

Learning about entrepreneurship is an important lesson for all teens, but how do thoughts on entrepreneurship break down between the sexes? For starters, the top entrepreneur chosen by female respondents was J.K. Rowling at 23 percent. Oprah followed close behind with 21 percent, with Steve Jobs in third at 17 percent for most admired celebrity among girls. For boys, Steve Jobs topped the list at 29 percent, followed by Jay-Z at 17 percent and Tony Hawk at 14 percent.

Also, girls were more concerned with making a difference in others' lives, with 36 percent choosing that as their most admired quality, versus 26 percent of males. Boys chose being successful in multiple fields as their most admired quality at 33 percent. Also, when asked why they'd want to become an entrepreneur, 21 percent of girls wanted to raise money for good causes, versus only nine percent of boys.

What's the deciding factor for teens becoming entrepreneurs in the future? Key responses point to their environment and having strong role models. Organizations such as Junior Achievement not only provide those role models, but it gives students a chance for hands-on exposure to entrepreneurial activities.

"Supporting the growth of young men and women into successful entrepreneurship is something we greatly value," said Sharon Orlopp, senior vice president, Sam's Club People Group. "They will be tomorrow's business owners, and by providing them with essential tools for success today through Junior Achievement, we're helping them to achieve future success."

Many of these role models take the responsibility one step further by volunteering for JA Company Program®, which gives students real-life experiences by organizing and operating an actual business enterprise with their own products. Find out more about this engaging opportunity for students and adults here: For more information on Junior Achievement and to learn how to get involved, visit

About Junior Achievement® (JA)

Junior Achievement is the world's largest organization dedicated to inspiring and preparing young people to succeed in a global economy. Through a dedicated volunteer network, Junior Achievement provides in-school and after-school programs for students which focus on three key content areas: work readiness, entrepreneurship, and financial literacy. Today, 126 individual area operations reach more than four million students in the United States, with an additional 5.7 million students served by operations in 122 other countries worldwide.

About Sam's Club

Sam's Club is a division of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. The first Sam's Club opened its doors in Midwest City, Okla., in 1983. Today, Sam's Club serves more than 47 million U.S. Members with locations nationwide, as well in Brazil, China and Mexico. Sam's Club saves its members on average 30.4 percent over grocery and specialty retailers by offering superior values on quality merchandise and services for home or work. Saving is made simple at Sam's Club. Visit for more information.  

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Stephanie Bell

JA Worldwide®

(719) 540-6171

Twitter:  @jaworldwide

SOURCE Junior Achievement