In the report “The Missing Entrepreneurs: Policies for Inclusive Entrepreneurship”, the OECD and the European Commission address the issue of business creation by people from under-represented and disadvantaged groups (e.g. women, youth, seniors, immigrants, unemployed), which are less likely to operate high-growth firms because they lack the skills, networks and access to finance needed for growth, highlighting that inclusive entrepreneurship policies must ensure equal opportunities for those with realistic potential, regardless of origin.
Each of the under-represented category has its own priorities:
- women are still facing the huge gender gap (between 2014 and 2018, 2.9% of women and 5.3% of men in the European Union were actively working to start a business and only 23.3% of self-employed women in the EU had employees in 2018 compared to 30.9% of men);
- seniors, the largest group of self-employed people in the EU with 14.5 million self-employed people over 50 in 2018, are experiencing longer working lives and are putting stress on pension and healthcare systems;
- immigrants have seen their self-employment rate double since 2002, increasing from 1.9 million to 3.6 million in 2018, therefore policy makers need to ensure that this entrepreneurial talent is supported by tailor-made policies;
- finally policy makers could do more to help youth entrepreneurs create sustainable businesses by supporting innovative ideas, which will increase the chances of success.
The report also highlights that inclusive entrepreneurship programmes need to better respond to multiple challenges faced by the target groups, notably by offering flexible packages of support, boosting financial literacy, increasing the provision of coaching and mentoring, and increasing the diversity among those who run programmes.
Find out more by reading the whole report available here.