Entrepreneurship key for disadvantaged persons to integrate into the labour market, joint Commission-OECD report shows

Policy measures that facilitate entrepreneurship among disadvantaged groups are key to tackle social exclusion and help boosting jobs, indicates the publication ‘The Missing Entrepreneurs 2017’, a joint report by the European Commission and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) published today. Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility, Marianne Thyssen, said: “Europe has been on the path to recovery for a while now since the crisis, but we must make sure this recovery is inclusive and leaves no one behind. This report shows again that entrepreneurship and self-employment are great means to include disadvantaged groups, and as policy makers we need to give them the necessary tools, such as access to finance, the possibility to develop the right skills and the occasions to form the necessary entrepreneurial networks.” Particularly women, young people, migrants, the unemployed and seniors still face several barriers to starting their own business. For instance, in 2016, only about 10% of working women were self-employed, compared to 17.5% of men. And even though they overall show a broad interest in self-employment, only 4.1% of working young people (15-24 years old) were self-employed.Many EU Member States are therefore actively introducing new policies and programmes to support business creation and self-employment for disadvantaged social groups. An example is the SELFIEmployment initiative for young entrepreneurs in Italy, in particular young people who are not in education, employment or training. The initiative is supported by the EU Youth Guarantee and provides training and coaching on business plan development, followed by credit and mentoring in a second phase.In Germany, the project Business Creation for Female Migrants is supporting women from all ethnic backgrounds with mentoring, individual business consultations, workshops, and networking activities. And in 2016, the European Investment Fund and the Co-operative Bank of Karditsa in Greece signed the first guarantee agreement to improve access to credit for micro-enterprises under the EU Programme for Employment and Social Innovation (EaSI). More information will be made available here.