Youth entrepreneurship in the EU – values, attitudes, policies

The level of youth unemployment remains very high in several EU Member States, and there is increased awareness of the economic and social consequences associated with long-term disengagement from the labour market. In light of the high potential of entrepreneurs to create employment and sustainable growth, promoting youth entrepreneurship and making Europe more entrepreneur-friendly has recently become a priority in the EU policy agenda.

This project provides an overview of youth entrepreneurship in Europe in terms of socio-demographic characteristics of young entrepreneurs and the characteristics of their businesses. It also looks at factors that influence the decision to become self-employed and examines the individual and social attitudes of young people towards entrepreneurship, comparing Europe with other parts of the world. To identify the specific traits that characterise the ‘entrepreneurial personality’, it investigates work values and personality traits of young European entrepreneurs as compared with young employees.

Furthermore, the project analyses selected policy measures aimed at fostering youth entrepreneurship in five EU Member States (Finland, Hungary, Ireland, the Netherlands and Spain) organised around three main support pillars:

  • fostering an entrepreneurial mindset and culture among young people,
  • removing perceived practical and logistical barriers,
  • providing information, advice, coaching and mentoring to young would-be entrepreneurs.

The report was published in April 2015. An executive summary is also available.

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