The relevance of the study of students 'readiness for entrepreneurial activity is due to the identification of the students' activity potential and their orientation toward entrepreneurship in modern market conditions that set the regime of increased dynamics. The objectives of the study were the analysis of factors influencing the potential of students' readiness for entrepreneurship, in particular the role of the educational environment of the university, as well as determining the contours of the personal portrait of the future entrepreneur, which is formed in the representations of polytechnic students in the learning process. The results of a sociological study among students of Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University (April-May 2019, methods – online survey and focus group) made it possible to establish a significant potential for readiness, which is associated with the growing interest of students in entrepreneurship, the need for relevant knowledge and practical skills in this area, value and ethical aspects of preparedness. The survey showed that almost half of the students plan to do business, almost a quarter of the respondents already have experience in running their own business. Surveys revealed a positive relationship between the behavioral type and intentions to engage in entrepreneurship. According to students, the university actively promotes the development of skills in working with information, stress tolerance, diligence and determination, the ability to be responsible for their own actions. Relations between the university and students today are characterized by a high level of communicative density and an increased temperature of mutual expectations for maintaining activity, enterprise and developing a change orientation, which implies a focus on professionalism, responsibility, willingness to take risks, creativity, as well as self-organization skills. In reflecting the course of these processes, a key role is played by sociological studies that allow for feedback and current measurements.