Entrepreneurial fear of failure among college students: A scoping review of literature from 2010 to 2023

Yuan Gao, Xiao Wang, Jinjin Lu*, Bing Chen, Kirsty Morrin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Entrepreneurial fear of failure (EFoF) is a psychological barrier to college entrepreneurship. Current research on EFoF among college students is at an emerging stage, and relevant evidence, such as the factors influencing EFoF, remains unclear and unsystematic. Most EFoF studies treat college students as general entrepreneurs, neglecting their unique social identities and situational contexts that influence their EFoF, such as parents and education. It is essential to provide a thorough and organized review to comprehensively understand the role of the EFoF in college student entrepreneurship. A scoping review was conducted following the PRISMA-ScR protocol to offer a broad exploration and mapping of the literature. This review identified 35 studies published from 2010 to 2023 through a rigorous search and sift across five prominent databases. Descriptive and thematic analyses revealed 1) the characteristics of the included studies, 2) the exogenous and endogenous factors that influence college students' EFoF, 3) the outcomes of EFoF on college students, and 4) research gaps. By mapping and synthesizing the literature, this scoping review contributes to the theory by providing a comprehensive overview of EFoF among college students and identifying research gaps, which illuminates future research directions. The findings also offer practical insights for entrepreneurship practitioners, including college student entrepreneurs, policymakers, and educators, to better understand the role of EFoF among college students, thus effectively promoting the development of college student entrepreneurship.
Original languageEnglish
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 10 May 2024


  • Fear of failure
  • College students
  • Entrepreneureship
  • Entrepreneurship psychology
  • scoping review


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