March 30, 2015 | Monday

Promoting entrepreneurship as a creative environment for jobseekers

​Small business scheme depends on entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs are the individuals who have the ideas and are willing to take the risks necessary to start off a firm. Europe needs more entrepreneurs and the Commission is looking at ways in which potential entrepreneurs may be encouraged to set up firms.

Only a small number of Europeans recognise an entrepreneurial career as a rewarding and attractive option. In Europe, just over a third (37%) of workers prefer to be self-employed, whereas in the USA and China the percentage goes up to more than 50%.

It is observed that cultural factors are often discouraging young people from starting a business as there is a stigma attached to the failure. Second, the administrative burocracy is often a major factor in putting entrepreneurs off. The third and the most challenging factor is how to find easy ways to attract investors. This makes it necessary to develop a more entrepreneurial culture, starting with young people and from early school education which shall in effect generate more entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs create new jobs, economic growth and a more competitive market.

European Commission is using the Entrepreneurship Action Plan as a blueprint to unleash Europe’s entrepreneurial potential, to remove existing obstacles and to revolutionise the entrepreneurship culture in Europe. Investments in changing the public perception of entrepreneurs, in entrepreneurship education and to support groups that are underrepresented among entrepreneurs are indispensable if we want to create enduring change.

The Entrepreneurship 2020 Action Plan is built on three main pillars:

  1. Entrepreneurial education and training
  2. Creation of an environment where entrepreneurs can flourish and grow, and
  3. Developing role models and reaching out to specific groups whose entrepreneurial potential is not being tapped to its fullest extent or who are not reached by traditional outreach for business support.

The Commission is working with Member States, in particular by facilitating the sharing of experiences and fostering entrepreneurial attitudes. In addition, annual campaigns such as the European SME Week are being launched to promote the image of entrepreneurship.

Entrepreneurship culture faces certain resistance and additional difficulties especially when it comes to ethnic minorities, people with disabilities and women when trying to set up businesses thus a special attention is given to these social groups. Although there has been an encouraging rise in women running businesses in the past decade or so, there is more to be done to surpass the specific inhibitors which discourage particularly women from starting or taking over small firms.

Women entrepreneurs in Europe represent only 30% of community of entrepreneurs, are the latest figures supported by a study on “statistical data on women entrepreneurs in Europe” published by the Commission. Data shows that women entrepreneurs constitute 29% of entrepreneurs, which makes 11.6 million inhabitants of Europe*. The study estimates that there has been a slight increase of 3% of women entrepreneurs in the EU since 2008. In Europe women constitute the majority of one person enterprises (78%) whereas the areas of business that women prefer are health and social work activities, services and education.

*EU-28 + Albania, FYROM, Iceland, Israel, Liechtenstein, Montenegro, Norway, Serbia, Turkey30