EMCC European Monitoring Centre on Change

Spain: ERM comparative analytical report on Public support instruments to support self-employment and job creation in one-person and micro enterprises

  • Observatory: EMCC
  • Topic:
  • Published on: 12 January 2012



About
Country:
Spain
Author:
m.lopez
Institution:

Disclaimer: This information is made available as a service to the public but has not been edited by the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions. The content is the responsibility of the authors.

Spain has a strong presence of ‘micro enterprises’ (94.5% of enterprises and 43.3% of employment) as well as a considerable percentage of self-employment (16.99%). Self-employment has been an issue of the labour market policy since the 1980s, but the labour market policy for the creation of employment has not been linked to the size of enterprises. The economic recession sparked off the debate on the already familiar problems that arise due to the lack of finance for small and medium-sized enterprises. Measures have been developed with a focus on tax reduction and the removal of constraints limiting economic activity with the aim to support enterprises.

QUESTIONNAIRE

Part 1: Overall policy context

This section aims at giving a brief overview of the general development and status quo of the policy discussion and thereof resulting instruments, measures or initiatives in the field of fostering self-employment and job creation in one-person and micro enterprises (less than 10 employees). Focus is mainly on the developments during the last decade, that is before the global recession. In addition we are asking for your indication of change of policy focus since the recession.

1. General policy approach in the area of self-employment, one-person and micro enterprises at the national level


1.1. Has there been a policy focus/debate on the specific challenges facing entrepreneurship as tool for job creation before the global recession? If so, since when and for how long?

Self-employment as a tool for job creation has been an issue of the employment policy since 1985, when measures were developed which allowed the use of unemployment benefits as start-up capital for unemployed people. In 1986, measures allowing access to finance, advice and counselling, and lump-sum payments as a start-up aid were implemented. Recent reforms facilitate access to unemployment benefits as start-up capital.

Hiring the first employee was not an issue before the recession. Several measures endorsing the creation of open-ended employment have been developed since they were first introduced in 1997. Measures such as social security incentives and lump-sum payments have been implemented until now with the aim of promoting open-ended employment.

Table 1: Presence of policy focus/debate on entrepreneurship as facilitation for job creation before the crisis
 

Yes, continuously since xx? (Please indicate year)

Yes, on and off in the last 10 years

(Please indicate ‘X’ where it applies)

Yes, has been in focus, but since xx it is no longer part of the policy focus (Please indicate year)

No, it has never had policy focus before the recession

(Please indicate ‘X’ where it applies)

Self-employment

Focus on public policy for job creation since 1985/1986

     
Hiring the first employee      

X

Hiring additional employees/creating additional jobs in micro enterprises

Since 1997, but focused on open-ended contracts and on all enterprises (no available data on the share of micro firms implementing measures)

     


1.2. What is the main focus in policy documents or strategies in relation to public or social partner based support instruments for fostering self-employment or job creation in one-person and micro enterprises? (Please indicate ‘X’, multiple answers possible)

Table 2: Main focus in the policy documents or strategies
 

Entrepreneurship (Business development in general)

Job creation (Employment)

Growth (Competitiveness)

Others (please specify)

Self-employment

X

X

 

Maintain employment

Hiring the first employee  

X

 

Creation of open-ended employment

Hiring additional employees/creating additional jobs in micro enterprises  

X

 

Creation of open-ended employment


1.3. Please elaborate on the answer given above (with a focus on those developments aimed at employment creation and growth) and indicate if the financial recession has caused a change of focus:

Measures to endorse self-employment are focused on entrepreneurship as a way of developing business in the economy and also as a way of reducing unemployment. The target population for these measures is mainly unemployed people. This has been the case before and after the recession. Several studies show that self-employment is a ‘refuge option’ in the case of high rates of unemployment, when the unemployed take advantage of different aids to keep working and to return, when possible, to employee status (Cueto, 2008, and González Morales, 2009). This is not the case for the self-employed who come from inactivity or employee status, who maintain the business even if they have the chance of switching into employment status.

On the other hand, Royal Decree 1300/2009 introduced new incentives in social security contributions for the self-employed who take on a first employee. The measure seeks to create employment and is linked to the provision of an open-ended contract.

In general, measures focusing on hiring additional employees do not provide for micro enterprises or SMEs. The measures apply to all enterprises and centre on job creation and open-ended employment. The only measure is Law 26/2009, which established a tax deduction for the self-employed and for enterprises which maintain or create employment and which employ fewer than 25 workers and obtain a profit of less than € 5 million. A recent development (Law 1/2011) introduced other criteria with regard to the size of the firm, with deductions to social contributions in some cases (75% in firms with 250 or more workers, and 100% in firms with fewer than 250 workers).

Table 3: The policy content and significance of the financial recession
Self-employment
Elaboration of content (please describe and also indicate whether it is treated explicitly/implicitly)

Single payment of unemployment benefit as start-up capital with a maximum of 60% of the amount of unemployment benefit, which is raised to 80% for those who have not yet been reached the age of 30, or the age of 35 in case of women.

Explicitly for self-employed

Change due to the financial recession

Please tick:

Yes: X

No: □

If ‘Yes’, please elaborate:

Law 1300/2009 increased the maximum amount for certain groups and removed the time unemployed as a condition of access.

Hiring the first employee
Elaboration of content (please describe and also indicate whether it is treated explicitly/implicitly)

Measure explicitly addressed to the self-employed for the creation of open-ended employment.

Change due to the financial recession

Please tick:

Yes: X

No: □

If ‘Yes’, please elaborate:

Measure developed in 2009 in the context of employment destruction and to support job creation.

Hiring additional employees/creating additional jobs in micro enterprises
Elaboration of content (please describe and also indicate whether it is treated explicitly/implicitly)

These measures specifically affect enterprises with fewer than 25 workers and a profit of less than € 5 million; and enterprises with fewer than 250 employees.

Measures focused on job creation and employment maintenance for self-employed and reduced size enterprises.

Change due to the financial recession

Please tick:

Yes: X

No: □

If ‘Yes’, please elaborate:

Law 26/2009 introduces a tax reduction for enterprises which employ fewer than 25 workers and obtain a profit of less than € 5 million which maintain or create employment.

Law 1/2011 introduces the size of enterprise in the incentives, that I social security contributions (75% in firms with 250 or more workers, and 100% in firms with fewer than 250 workers).

Law 26/2009 introduces a tax reduction for self-employed workers with employees and reduced size enterprises (firms with sales figures up to €10 million) that maintain or increase employment.

2. Disincentives for self-employment and job creation

The following two questions will investigate whether there has been a change in the political agenda which has forced new political initiatives that may result in disincentives for job creation and business development (e.g. considerations regarding public budget).


2.1 Have public measures (e.g. with the aim to increase public revenue or cut public spending) led to disincentives for self-employment or job creation in one-person or micro enterprises before the financial recession? (Please briefly describe the major developments/initiatives (max. 300 words)

Before the recession, disincentives for self-employment and job creation in one-person and micro enterprises were linked to some restrictions in the access to unemployment benefits as start-up capital, to the lack of finance for small and medium-sized enterprises, to the increase in transport costs and to changes in the tax system, which affected SMEs. Administrative constraints have also been highlighted as a problem for enterprise creation.

The unemployment benefits granted to the unemployed as start-up capital in order to facilitate the transition to self-employment was restricted to those who had been unemployed for at least 12 months. This restriction was a major disincentive that hindered the transition given that the lack of initial financing thwarts entrepreneurship.

Chronic problems affecting the Spanish economy include the lack of finance for SMEs, as well as the administrative burdens for start-ups. Measures developed by the Spanish Official Credit Institute (Instituto de Crédito Oficial, ICO) focusing on micro enterprises and the self-employed have progressed in this regard (Crecente, 2009) although problems still persist.

The increase in transport costs is also considered a problem, especially for SMEs. No information is available regarding the effect of the increase on micro enterprises and the self-employed, yet data from National Statistics Institute (Instituto Nacional de Estadística, INE) show that from 2005 to 2008 transport fares increased by 12.31%.

Finally, the 2008 tax system reform based on modules for the self-employed and SMEs was the object of public debate because it implied a tax increase, although it also introduced a tax deduction for investment and a deduction for employees and for employment creation.


2.2 Have public measures (e.g. with the aim to increase public revenue or cut public spending) led to disincentives for self-employment or job creation in one-person or micro enterprises as a result of the financial recession? (Please describe – max. 300 words)

According to Crecente (2009) the economic recession exacerbated the financing problems affecting the self-employed and SMEs. These problems have not been solved in spite of an increase in ICO credit funds, and the implementation of other measures.

Furthermore, another of the main problems has arisen due to the increase in energy costs, which significantly affects self-employed workers and micro enterprises, despite the fact that no information is available concerning the specific consequences. Data provided by the National Statistics Institute (Instituto Nacional de Estadística, INE) show that the price of fuel and energy products increased by 26.78% from 2007 to 2010.

3. Representation of/lobbying for self-employed and micro enterprises


Are self-employed and micro enterprises in your national context explicitly or implicitly (e.g. entrepreneurs or SMEs in general) represented by the following types of organisations (e.g. for lobbying, defending their interest etc.)?

Table 4: Representation of self-employed and micro enterprises
 

Self-employed

Micro enterprises

Employers’ organisations

Yes, explicitly.

National Federation of Self-Employed Workers Associations (Federación Nacional de Asociaciones de Trabajadores Autónomos, ATA)

Spanish Federation of Self-Employed Workers (Federación Española de Autónomos, CEAT)

Yes, explicitly

Spanish Confederation of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (Confederación Española de la Pequeña y Mediana Empresa, CEPYME)

Employees’ organisation

Yes, explicitly

Spanish Union of Self-Employed and Professionals Workers (Unión de Profesionales y Trabajadores Autónomos, UPTA), linked to the General Workers Confederation (Unión General de Trabajadores, UGT).

Yes, implicitly

Trade Union Confederation of Workers’ Commissions (Comisiones Obreras, CCOO). The union also includes self-employed workers who are financially dependent on an employer in the specific sector or branch of their activity, without drawing any distinctions.

No specific organisation for employees of micro enterprises can be cited. They are represented by general unions.

Not-for-profit organisations

No

No

Others

No

No

Part 2: Identification and description of relevant recent support instruments

The following section asks for the identification of public or social partner based support instruments initiated during or after the recent economic crisis (that is, 2008 onwards). These measures might have, but must not necessarily have been triggered by the recession. Measures may also have been initiated earlier, but changed in order to adapt to the recession or other recent developments. Rather than a comprehensive list of all instruments available at national, regional or local level, the most important, most innovative, most interesting and most effective tools are to be described. Thereof, a selection of up to three ‘Good Practices’ to be described in more detail is to be made.

1. Selection of region(s) when total coverage of the entire regional and local level is too comprehensive

When providing the brief overview and the three ‘Good Practices’ in this section of the questionnaire, measures and instruments at national level have to be included. We would in addition ask you to include regional and local level initiatives where relevant. Nonetheless, a complete coverage of regional and local levels may not be possible for all countries (e.g. because of a high degree of decentralisation resulting in a wide range of respective measures characterised by considerably heterogeneity). At the same time, it can be assumed that for instruments targeting at supporting self-employment and the creation of employment in one-person and micro enterprises the local administrative level is of considerable importance. If so, such measures will be designed to fit to the local characteristics and needs, resulting in a wide variety of different approaches. In this case, one or few local areas or regions may be selected to be covered in this report. Details on the selection are given in table 5.

Table 5: Administrative level/region(s) covered for the following research (max. 50 words per region)

Administrative level relevant for the rest of the questionnaire

National level

Regional Level

If a specific regional/local are is selected, please provide the following information

Name of region

Catalonia

Motivation for selecting this region

The region represents 17.3% of total self-employment and 16.99% of total employment in Spain. It is the region with the highest self-employment rate.

The regional government has developed a comprehensive programme (Pla Inicia) to support the creation of enterprises.

Facts about the region e.g.

- Geographic location

- No. of inhabitants

- Business structure (sector, size)

- Labour market

- Specific characteristics if applicable

Catalonia is in the north-east of Spain.

In 2010, the population of Catalonia was 7,512,381 inhabitants, i.e., 16% of the total population of Spain.

Data from 2010 show that the service sector accounts for 69.73% of the total employment in Catalonia and 72.61% in Spain; the industrial sector represents 19.24% of employment in Catalonia and 14.14% in Spain; the proportion of the construction sector is same in Catalonia as in Spain (8.9%), and the primary sector accounts for 2.11% of employment in Catalonia and 4.3% in Spain.

In this region, 43.3% of employees work for micro enterprises, compared to 46.4% in Spain, while enterprises of between 11 and 49 workers account for 33.1% of the total employment in Catalonia and 29.1% in Spain. Finally, enterprises of between 50 and 249 workers constitute 12.5% of employment in Catalonia and 12.1% in Spain, and enterprises with more than 249 workers represent 11.1% in Catalonia and 11.7% in Spain.

Small and medium-sized enterprises in Catalonia and Spain account for almost 90% of total employment.

2. Brief overview of recent instruments to foster self-employment or job creation in one-person and micro enterprises


2.1. Please provide a brief description (max. 800 words) of public or social partner based instruments recently initiated (2008 onwards) to support self-employment and job creation in one-person or micro enterprises.

Measures covered by the European Employment Observatory Review on self-employment 2010, European Commission, Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities are to be omitted to avoid duplication (see Part 3 of this questionnaire).

The main measures of public support to self-employment and job creation have not changed in relation to the measures summarised in the European Employment Observatory Review on self-employment 2010.


  • developments, largely due to the approval of the Self-Employed Workers’ Statute (ES0801019Q), are more concerned with increasing the rights and social protection of self-employed workers than promoting employment. This is the case of the development of a specific system of protection for self-employed workers in the case of the termination of activity.
  • measures are focused on financial aid and tax reductions for self-employed and SMEs, and also on deductions in social security contributions and on the simplification and reduction of administrative burdens to economic activity.

Table 6: List of recent instruments

Title

Real Decreto 1299/2009 por el que se modifica el Reglamento de planes y fondos de pensiones.

Royal Decree 1299/2009 which modifies the regulation of private pension schemes and funds.

Aim/objective

To increase cash availability for self-employed workers in a situation of unemployment.

Description of support

It allows self-employed workers to recover private pension funds without penalisation.

Target group

Self-employed workers facing unemployment.

Initiator and other actors involved

The central Government and financial institutions.

Duration (please also indicate whether the measures has been initiated due to the recession)

From 2009 until now (open-ended). Initiated as a result of the recession.

Title

Ley 5/2009 de medidas extraordinarias y urgentes para facilitar a las Entidades Locales el saneamiento de deudas pendientes de pago con empresas y autónomos.

Law 5/2009 on urgent and extraordinary measures enabling local administrations to settle outstanding debts with the self-employed and SMEs.

Aim/objective

To reduce the delays of local administrations in paying self-employed workers and SMEs.

Description of support

Credit lineof € 3,000 million from the Official Credit Institute (Instituto de Crédito Oficial, ICO) for debts from 2008 of public administrations with self-employed workers and SMEs.

Target group

Self-employed workers and SMEs

Initiator and other actors involved

Financed by central Government and with the approval of local administrations.

Duration (please also indicate whether the measures has been initiated due to the recession)

Temporary, that is for invoices for 2008. Initiated because of economic problems faced by local administrations due to the decrease in economic activity.

Title

Ley 26/2009 sobre Presupuestos Generales del Estado

Law 26/2009 on the Spanish General Budget.

Aim/objective

To support the creation and maintenance of employment in SMEs and self-employed workers.

Description of support

A five-point reduction in company taxes.

Target group

Self-employed workers and SMEs with fewer than 25 workers and a profit that does not exceed € 5 million which maintain or create employment.

Initiator and other actors involved

Central Government

Duration (please also indicate whether the measures has been initiated due to the recession)

3 years (2009-2011), implemented as a result of the economic recession and the destruction of employment.

Title

Ley 27/2009 de medidas urgentes para la promoción del empleo y la protección de los desempleados

Law 27/2009 on urgent measures for the maintenance and promotion of employment and protection for unemployed people

Aim/objective

To increase incentives for those self-employed workers who hire their own mentally handicapped children (inclusion into the social security system of the relatives of self-employed).

Description of support

Elimination of the previous age limits (30 years).

Target group

Self-employed workers with mentally handicapped children.

Initiator and other actors involved

Government

Duration (please also indicate whether the measures has been initiated due to the recession)

Permanent and not initiated due to the recession.

Title

Ley 13/2010 de actuaciones en el ámbito fiscal, laboral y liberalizadoras para fomentar la inversión y la creación de empleo.

Law 13/2010 on measures adopted in fiscal and employment issues to foster investment and employment creation.

Aim/objective

To encourage the economic activity of ‘reduced-size enterprises’

Description of support

The concept of the ‘reduced-size enterprise’ (businesses with sales figures of up to € 8 million) has been extended to those with sales figures of up to € 10 million. This means more enterprises will be subject to a tax rate of 25% rather than 30%.

The amount to which the reduced tax rate is applied has been increased to cover profits of € 300,000, as opposed to the initial € 120,000.

Elimination of the payment of Chamber of Commerce fees.

Streamlining procedures for establishing companies (allowing companies to be set up within five days and reducing the administration procedures involved in creating new enterprises).

Target group

Reduced-size enterprises.

Initiator and other actors involved

Government

Duration (please also indicate whether the measures has been initiated due to the recession)

Permanent. Initiated as a result of the economic recession.

Title

Ley 32/2010 por la que se establece un sistema específico de protección por cese de actividad de los trabajadores autónomos.

Law 32/2010 which establishes a specific protection system in the case of termination of activity for self-employed workers.

Aim/objective

To protect temporary or definitive activity termination.

Description of support

Economic support conditional upon contributions to the special Social Security regime applied to the self-employed.

Target group

Self-employed workers with a temporary or definitive activity termination.

Initiator and other actors involved

Government

Duration (please also indicate whether the measures has been initiated due to the recession)

Permanent and independent of economic recession

Title

Ley 368/2010 por la que se regulan las especificaciones y condiciones para el empleo del Documento Único Electrónico (DUE) para la puesta en marcha de empresas individuales mediante el sistema de tramitación telemática.

Law 368/2010 on the regulation of conditions of use of the Single Electronic Document for the start-up of individual enterprises by means of online processing.

Aim/objective

Simplification and reduction of administrative burdens

Description of support

The electronic document may be used for:


  • tax returns for the revenue service;
  • coverage of accidents at work, work-related illness and payment for temporary disability;
  • the registration of the enterprise with the Social Security Administration;
  • the registration of workers’ with the Social Security Administration;
  • the registration of the enterprise with Tax of Economic Activities, among others.

Target group

Individual enterprises

Initiator and other actors involved

Government

Duration (please also indicate whether the measures has been initiated due to the recession)

Permanent and not initiated due to the recession.

Title

Ley 1/2011 de medidas urgentes para promover la transición al empleo estable y la recualificación profesional de las personas desempleadas

Law 1/2011 on urgent measures to promote transition to open-ended employment and professional requalification of unemployed people.

Aim/objective

To promote the transition from unemployment to open-ended employment.

Description of support

Reduction of 100% of social contributions for those taking on employees with open-ended contracts.

Target group

Self-employed workers or enterprises with fewer than 250 workers who contract a young (up to 30 years of age) or long-term unemployed worker (at least 12 months unemployed).

Initiator and other actors involved

Government

Duration (please also indicate whether the measures has been initiated due to the recession)

Urgent measures due to the unemployment rate, and with a duration until February 2012.

Title

Ley 2/2011 en Economía Sostenible

Law 2/2011 on Sustainable Economy

Aim/objective

Reduction of administrative burdens.

Description of support

To eliminate administrative licenses or other preventive control measures in activities in a local area.

Target group

All enterprises

Initiator and other actors involved

Government

Duration (please also indicate whether the measures has been initiated due to the recession)

Permanent.

Title

Pla Inicia per a la creació d’empreses.

Start-up Plan for the creation of enterprises.

Aim/objective

To foster business creation, especially focused on one person and micro enterprises.

Description of support
  • campaigns.
  • and counselling regarding administrative procedures, capital and skill requirements.
  • of business plans to determine the viability of the project.
  • plans for business and economic strategies.

Technical assistance during the early phases of business activities.

Specific plan for business consolidation and growth.

Target group

Entrepreneurs, with particular emphasis on self-employment and micro-enterprises. Special focus on women and young people.

Initiator and other actors involved

Department of Employment of regional government, with the collaboration of 174 entities (local councils, employers’ organisations, among others) and 400 experts in providing services.

Duration (please also indicate whether the measures has been initiated due to the recession)

2008 until now (open-ended). Not initiated due to the economic recession.


2.2. In-depth description of ‘Good Practices’

Please choose up to three examples from the above list that can be considered as ‘Good Practice’ (e.g. because of their effectiveness, innovative character or beneficial cooperation among different stakeholders) and describe them in detail.

The first one is the reduction of administrative burdens as a result of the Single Electronic Document, considered a ‘good practice’ given that it is consistent with different measures developed with the aim of reducing administrative burdens affecting the creation of enterprises, a major problem for the Spanish economy.

The second measure is the ‘Pla Inicia’ developed in Catalonia, because it offers a comprehensive list of coordinated measures that have an impact on the creation of enterprises.

Table 7: Description of ‘Good Practice’ examples of recent support instruments

Name of the programme/instrument

Ley 368/2010 por la que se regulan las especificaciones y condiciones para el empleo del Documento Único Electrónico (DUE) para la puesta en marcha de empresas individuales mediante el sistema de tramitación telemática.

Law 368/2010 on the regulation of conditions of use of the Single Electronic Document for individual enterprises by means of online processing.

Is the instrument explicitly addressing any of the following:

Self-employment

Hiring the first employee

Hiring additional employees/creating additional jobs in micro enterprises

Please ‘X’ and/or describe if relevant

Yes

No

No

Operational level

Local

Regional

National

Please ‘X’ and/or describe if relevant

   

x

Rationale/motivation for the instrument

(please describe)

Administrative burdens in Spain hinder the creation of enterprises and administrative proceedings must be simplified.

Purpose and aims for the instrument (please describe)

Simplification and reduction of administrative burdens

Initiator
Please ‘X’      
Other stakeholders actively involved in implementation (please name them and describe their roles)  
Target groups        

Please describe the target groups (sector, age, level of education, gender)

Individual enterprises

Funding        
Please describe the funding of the instrument/programme (national and European sources, budget available)

Not applicable

Activities    
Please describe the activities of the programme or institutional initiative as detailed as possible

The possibility of using a single electronic document for tax returns for the revenue service; for the coverage of accidents at work, work-related illness and payment for temporary disability; registration of enterprises with the Social Security Administration; registration of workers with the Social Security Administration; registration of enterprises with Tax of Economic Activities, among others.

Results (Effectiveness)      
Please describe the results e.g. number of beneficiaries, advised enterprises

No information is available regarding the development of the measure.

Challenges in order to reach the objectives e.g. for the organisation offering the instrument, the entrepreneurs (Please describe); and if available how these have been overcome

To promote the use of the Single Electronic Document among enterprises for administrative procedures.

Assessments of the effectiveness e.g. investments made in order to reach the objectives of the programme (outcome vs. investment) (Please base this assessment on evaluations when possible)

No information is available

Outcomes (Efficiency)  
Increasing self-employment, growth and employment e.g. number of start-up and/or jobs created etc. (please describe, preferably based on evaluations, otherwise on experts’ assessment)

No information is available regarding the outcomes of the measure

Please provide link to evaluation documents if possible  

Example 2:

Name of the programme/instrument

Pla Inicia per a la creació d’empreses

‘Start-up Plan’ for the creation of enterprises

Is the instrument explicitly addressing any of the following:

Self-employment

Hiring the first employee

Hiring additional employees/creating additional jobs in micro enterprises

Please ‘X’ and/or describe if relevant

X

   

Operational level

Local

Regional

National

Please ‘X’ and/or describe if relevant

 

X

 

Rationale/motivation for the instrument

(please describe)

Institutional support is needed in order to set up enterprises in a competitive environment.

Purpose and aims for the instrument (please describe)

To endorse business creation, with particular emphasis on one-person and micro enterprises.

Initiator
Please ‘X’  

X

   
Other stakeholders actively involved in implementation (please name them and describe their roles)

Local councils, employers’ organisations, consortium for the creation of enterprises, non-profit organisations with the aim of creating employment, and experts in the field (most of whom derive from universities and business schools).

Target groups        
Please describe the target groups (sector, age, level of education, gender)

Anyone who wishes to set up an enterprise, with a strong focus on women and young entrepreneurs.

Funding        
Please describe the funding of the instrument/programme (national and European sources, budget available)

Employment Department of the regional government

European Social fund

No figures available

Activities    
Please describe the activities of the programme or institutional initiative as detailed as possible
  • campaigns with the collaboration of different actors and local authorities.
  • and counselling on administrative procedures, capital and skill requirements, including information on administrative procedures, guidance regarding capital and skills needed in relation to the enterprise, different types of enterprise, and so on.
  • of business plans to determine the viability of the project. This is a central issue and requires that business experts elaborate a business plan in relation to its viability, business options, options of internationalisation, and so on.
  • plans for business and economic strategies.

Technical assistance during the early phases of business activities, with a particular emphasis on information and communication technologies.

Specific plan for the consolidation and growth of business, providing support in the initial stages of the enterprise.

Results (Effectiveness)      
Please describe the results e.g. number of beneficiaries, advised enterprises

Data for 2009 show that:

299,425 people participated in awareness campaigns and 108,376 received information regarding the plan.

20,069 people participated in advice and counselling actions, 4,988 business plans were drawn up, and 5,527 enterprises were created affecting 7,151 people.

1,631 training actions were devised with the participation of 14,922 people.

5,642 actions of technical assistance to 4,162 enterprises were carried out.

Challenges in order to reach the objectives e.g. for the organisation offering the instrument, the entrepreneurs (Please describe); and if available how these have been overcome

To promote the creation of enterprises offering services and not financial aid.

Assessments of the effectiveness e.g. investments made in order to reach the objectives of the programme (outcome vs. investment) (Please base this assessment on evaluations when possible)

No information is available on how many enterprises maintain their activity; this is a central issue that must be considered.

Outcomes (Efficiency)  
Increasing self-employment, growth and employment e.g. number of start-up and/or jobs created etc. (please describe, preferably based on evaluations, otherwise on experts’ assessment)

The only information available is described in ‘Results’

Please provide link to evaluation documents if possible

http://www.ctesc.cat/msil/mslc2009/index.html (in Catalan)

The last measure is not presented in the tables and is not mentioned in section 2.1 because it was included in the European Employment Observatory on self-employment 2010. The measure is Royal Decree 1300/2009, which introduced incentives in social security contributions for self-employed workers hiring first employees. It can be regarded as ‘good practice’ because it is a measure that, for the first time, considers self-employed workers as employers and actors who create employment. The updated information about the measure is given in the Section 3 of the questionnaire.

Part 3: Annex: Update on recent self-employment study

The recent European Employment Observatory Review on self-employment 2010, European Commission, Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities provides insight into support instruments for self-employment. To avoid duplication of this information, we ask you as National Correspondent to omit these measures already covered in your research (Part 2 of this questionnaire), and only update or add any additional details or measures that exceed the information already provided in this report.

We add here data available regarding unemployed workers using unemployment benefits as start-up capital.

Title of the instrument

Possibility of using unemployment benefits as start-up capital

Additional information

Data for 2009 provided by the Public Employment Service show that in 2009, 158,952 unemployed workers took advantage of the measure, accounting for 9.8% of unemployed workers receiving unemployment benefit (1,624,792)

Table 9: Please add any other comments to the EEO national report on self-employment:

Table 10: Please indicate ‘X’ if you have no additional information to the EEO national report on self-employment:

Please indicate ‘X’ if you have no additional information to provide

 

Commentary

The economic recession has not led to considerable changes in measures to promote self-employment and employment creation in micro enterprises. Spain still has a long way to go to foster self-employment, which is mainly centred in sectors with low wages, discontinuity and poor employment conditions. This is due to the fact that a substantial part of self-employment derives from those who seek this option in order to tackle situations of unemployment when returning to employee status is not possible. This fact has given greater relevance to the recent measure designed to change this perception of self-employment (hiring the first employee), insofar as self-employed workers are viewed as job creators (employers).

However, the first employee has not been a main focus of the employment policy in Spain, which has devoted greater attention to supporting the creation of open-ended employment for all enterprises. The economic recession, however, has led to tax incentives and cuts in employers’ social contributions for SMEs and the self-employed. Nevertheless, the crisis has exacerbated critical problems such as the financing of SMEs, which has not been solved despite a number of measures, mainly focused on loans and tax reductions.

In order to facilitate the creation of enterprises, measures aiming to relieve administrative burdens have been introduced, although they tend to be more closely linked to the suggestions and pressures coming from European level than to finding solutions to the economic recession.

Another issue is the services which offer support to self-employed workers and start-ups, with a high degree of decentralisation in Spain. As mentioned above, one of the most comprehensive programmes in Spain to this effect, known as ‘Pla Inicia’ was developed in Catalonia.

Martí López-Andreu, CIREM Foundation

References in the report

Crecente, F. (2009). Análisis de la Financiación de la actividad emprendedora, PhD, Alcalá University.

Cueto, B. (2008): “Política de fomento del autoempleo y creación de empleo. Un estudio de caso”, Estudios de Economía Aplicada, 26:3, Pp. 1-15.

González Morales, O. (2009): “Evolución del empleo autónomo en las regiones españolas y su relación con el crecimiento económico y el empleo”, Revista de Estudios Regionales, 84, Pp. 203-221.



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