Author ORCID Identifier


Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Public Policy & Administration

First Advisor

Dr. Elsie Harper-Anderson

Second Advisor

Dr. Susan T. Gooden

Third Advisor

Dr. Nancy Stutts

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Van R. Wood


This study used a mixed methods research design to examine the impact of entrepreneurship training on entrepreneurial mindset and economic well-being using the RVA Works Entrepreneurship Training Program as a case study. With human capital theory as a theoretical framework, a combination of 55 interviews and 36 surveys were used to answer the research questions. The study found that entrepreneurship training positively impacts an entrepreneurial mindset. The impact of the training on entrepreneurial mindset differed by participants age and educational level. Study participants applied their entrepreneurial mindset to their businesses, jobs, and other aspects of life. Participation in the program’s alumni network further enhanced the entrepreneurial mindset. The study also found that study participants reported higher levels of economic well-being after program participation than before. This study’s results could have important public policy implications regarding the allocation of greater resources towards entrepreneurship training as a driver for enhanced economic well-being.


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Available for download on Tuesday, September 15, 2026