What role can youth entrepreneurship play in meeting the current youth unemployment challenge? What barriers do young people face when starting a business? How do the challenges vary across different groups of young people? – The Policy Brief on Youth Entrepreneurship, prepared by OECD with the financial support of the European Commission, tries to provide answers to these questions.
Youth entrepreneurship is unlikely to be a panacea for solving the youth unemployment problem but it can be a part of the response. Forty per-cents of youth indicate an interest in self-employment and governments have a substantial number of programmes in place to help them start businesses, including entrepreneurship education and training; information, advice, coaching and mentoring; financial support; and infrastructure including incubators and youth business networks.
The EU programme 'Youth in Action' contributes to stimulating sense of initiative and entrepreneurship through various schemes, particularly through Youth Initiatives which help young people to try out their own ideas, to devise their own projects and to carry them out in their own way. This gives them the opportunity to develop their experience with responsibility, autonomy and involvement in society and contributes to young people's integration into the labour market.
Unemployment has risen dramatically across Europe over the last three years and youth face even tougher conditions in entering the labour market. They have typically faced unemployment rates of double the adult level for more than a decade and the youth unemployment rate in the European Union stood at more than 22% in November 2011.