The level of youth unemployment is alarmingly high in several EU Member States, with rates of over 50% recorded in Spain and Greece in 2013. In light of the potential of entrepreneurs to create employment and sustainable growth, promoting youth entrepreneurship and making Europe more entrepreneur‑friendly has recently become a priority on the EU policy agenda. However, research has shown that among young people the wish to become an entrepreneur, and their assessment of its feasibility, is lower in EU Member States than in comparable and emerging economies. This report investigates successful initiatives that have been implemented in five countries in the following areas: fostering an entrepreneurial mindset and culture; removing perceived practical and logistical barriers; and providing information, advice, coaching and mentoring to young would‑be entrepreneurs. As entrepreneurship is not a viable career path for all young people, just for the minority equipped with the right skills, attitudes and values, future initiatives should focus on this target group to ensure the best use of public funds.
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Youth entrepreneurship in Europe: Values, attitudes, policies
This report provides an overview of youth entrepreneurship in the context of the European policy agenda and individual Member States. It 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 comparable 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. Finally, the report analyses selected policy measures aimed at fostering youth entrepreneurship in Finland, Hungary, Ireland, the Netherlands and Spain.