Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion

News 30/11/2021

Commission and OECD release the Missing entrepreneurs 2021

The European Commission and OECD issued the 2021 edition of the "Missing Entrepreneurs 2021" that examines how public policies can overcome obstacles to start-ups and self-employment. With millions of “missing entrepreneurs”, countries are missing out on potential innovation, growth and jobs. About three-quarters of such “missing” entrepreneurs are women, half are over 50 years old and one-in-eight are under 30 years old.

A woman working in a flower shop in Nicosia (Cyprus)

These missed opportunities are due to several factors, including greater difficulties accessing finance, skills gaps, under-developed networks and institutional barriers (e.g. lack of childcare, discouraging social attitudes).

These obstacles are often inter-related and are greater, on average, for women, immigrants, youth, seniors and the unemployed. For example, women in both EU and OECD countries are 75% as likely as men to report having the skills to start a business and only 9% of women are starting and managing new businesses compared to 13% of men across the OECD.

Youth create fewer businesses in the EU than those over 50 years old, highlights “The Missing entrepreneurs 2021”.

Closing gender and generation gaps is critical to unleashing a new era of entrepreneurship.

Join us for the online launch event of the Missing Entrepreneurs 2021 on 30 November. The European Commission, the OECD and the Global Entrepreneurship Network will discuss the importance of inclusive entrepreneurship, key messages of the report, as well as the experiences of European entrepreneurs through a panel discussion.


The Missing Entrepreneurs 2021 report provides an overview of the scope of inclusive entrepreneurship policy, which seeks to give everyone an equal opportunity of creating a successful and sustainable business, regardless of their gender, age, place of birth, work status or other personal characteristics.

The 2021 edition is the sixth edition in the series of Missing Entrepreneurs reports and presents updated indicators on entrepreneurship activities, which:

  • are benchmarked across countries and population groups;
  • addresses existing challenges;
  • and, provides concrete policy examples and lessons learned - notably recent developments in inclusive entrepreneurship and the important role inclusive entrepreneurship policy has in the COVID-19 recovery.

Two thematic policy chapters discuss current policy issues and present the range of policy actions currently used in EU and OECD countries.

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