Publication Date



[Excerpt] 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 on the EU policy agenda. Self‑employment and entrepreneurship are not a panacea for solving the youth unemployment crisis, as only a minority of young people have the right skills, ideas and personality traits. However, making Europe more business‑friendly and helping young people transform their creative ideas into successful business plans by removing the barriers to entrepreneurship has many potential benefits, including direct and indirect job creation and the development of human capital and new skills.

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, organised around three main support pillars: fostering an entrepreneurial mindset and culture among young people; providing information, advice, coaching and mentoring to young would‑be entrepreneurs; and removing perceived practical and logistical barriers.


Suggested Citation
European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions. (2015). Youth entrepreneurship in Europe: Values, attitudes, policies. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union.