Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion

News 05/12/2017

Disadvantaged groups in the labour market: OECD/EU report marks added value of entrepreneurship

Policy measures to facilitate entrepreneurship among disadvantaged groups can help create jobs and tackle social exclusion, according to The Missing Entrepreneurs 2017, a joint report by the OECD and European Commission.

Disadvantaged groups in the labour market: OECD/EU report marks added value of entrepreneurship

© OECD / European Union

Groups who are disadvantaged in the labour market are less involved in entrepreneurship than the population as a whole although entrepreneurship provides access to employment. Only 634 800 people (3.2%) of the people who were unemployed in 2015 moved into self-employment in 2016. Only 9.9% (9.6 million) 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 youth (15-24 years old) were self-employed in 2016.

Indeed, women, youth, migrants, the formerly unemployed and seniors still face several barriers to starting their own business: they have difficulties in

  • accessing finance
  • acquiring entrepreneurship skills
  • and building entrepreneurial networks.

Businesses operated by people from disadvantaged groups are also often of lower quality: they are smaller, have lower levels of turnover and lower survival rates than those started by the mainstream population. Policy measures can be critical to overcoming the special barriers to entrepreneurship faced by disadvantaged groups and to improving the quality of their businesses. 


The Missing Entrepreneurs 2017 is part of an ongoing cooperation between the OECD and the European Commission. Other outputs include:

The OECD and European Commission are also developing an online inclusive and social entrepreneurship tool to assist policy makers in the design and implementation of policies, strategies, initiatives and programmes.

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