[Excerpt] Young people have been hit hardest by the Great Recession. In 2014, the unemployment rate for those aged 15–29 was more than seven percentage points higher than the total unemployment rate. Promoting entrepreneurship has become an increasingly accepted policy tool for reducing unemployment and creating sustainable jobs. However, entrepreneurship is not in itself a solution to youth unemployment and is not without its own risks. Although European data show that a higher proportion of young people generally express a preference for self-employment than older age groups, the self- employment rate for young people in the EU is particularly low. This may be down to specific barriers that they face when starting a business.
This report provides an overview of the current start-up support measures targeted at young people, as well as other more general measures that have relevance for them. It also reviews evaluations of the impact of selected measures and the methodologies used. The effectiveness of youth entrepreneurship policies is particularly difficult to assess, and this report aims to highlight key issues in relation to the implementation as well as the evaluation of start-up support measures.