The European Commission (EC) believes that entrepreneurship is a key enabler in improving Europe’s performance in economic reform, social cohesion and employment. The promotion of entrepreneurship and self-employment in included in the EC’s 2020 strategy.
The Commission is focusing on encouraging unemployed people to start their own businesses and supporting social entrepreneurs. It has been studying the development of entrepreneurship in Europe for over ten years and the results of the latest survey reveal the current situation in the EU and beyond – including 13 non-EU countries including Brazil, India and Russia.
Attitudes to self-employment
- 58% of EU residents would prefer to be an employee
- 37% favour self-employment (down from 45% in 2009)
- Self-employment is generally more popular with non-EU respondents. In particular, there are high levels of people in favour of self-employment in Brazil (63%) and Turkey (82%)
- Reasons for stating self-employment is not feasible include
- The current economic climate
- Lack of capital
- Lack of skills
- Risk of failure
- Family commitments
- 23% of EU respondents have started a business or are thinking about doing so
Why be self-employed?
- Self-fulfillment, personal independence and freedom to choose the time and place of work are all popular reasons for EU respondents to consider self-employment.
Factors in choosing self-employment
- Having an appropriate business idea (87%)
- Having access to financial resources
- Contact with an appropriate business partner (68%) and having a role model (62%)
- Dissatisfaction with previous work situation (55%)
- Fewer respondents are concerned about bankruptcy (43% down 6% since 2009) and irregular income (33% down from 39% in 2009)
Attitudes to entrepreneurs
- 87% of EU respondents believe entrepreneurs are job creators
- 79% believe they create beneficial products and services
- 57% believe they take advantage of other people’s work
- 52% would rather work for a family business, with 48% citing a stronger commitment to the community
The full report is available here.