Current Policies

A range of policy actions have been imple- mented in EU Member States to increase the growth potential of businesses operated by entrepreneurs from disadvantaged groups.

According to OECD10 , dedicated entrepre- neurship support programmes are typi- cally available for youth, women and the unemployed. Government-led programmes tailored to youth, women and the unem- ployed are widespread across the EU, while dedicated programmes are less developed in support of other groups such as immi- grants and seniors. Financial and skills development programmes are available for youth outside of the initial education system in most EU Member States, and include schemes for sub-groups of youth including disadvantaged youth (i.e. those not in em- ployment, education or training – NEETS) and high-potential graduates.

Tailored entrepreneurship support for wom- en is common. About two-fifths of Member States operate dedicated funding support programmes for women entrepreneurs or include a gender component in programmes open to all. About half of EU Member States offer training or business development sup- port tailored to women.

Many Member States also offer support programmes for business creation by un- employed people. Approximately half of the EU Member States offer entrepreneur- ship training and counselling to the unem- ployed, often as part of active labour market programmes. The unemployed also have ac- cess to financial support instruments, with about half of the Member States having ei- ther a programme allowing for the capitali- sation of future unemployment benefits or a grant programme in place.

The availability of entrepreneurship pro- grammes tailored for immigrants varies across the EU, which likely reflects differ- ences in the size of immigrant populations. Overall, entrepreneurship programmes tar- geting immigrants tend to focus on skills development and refer participants to other

institutions for funding (e.g. microfinance institutions) (OECD, 2019[4]; European Commission, 2016[5]). The non-govern- mental sector continues to play an impor- tant role in serving immigrants, especially refugee populations.

Dedicated funding schemes, training pro- grammes and business development support dedicated to senior entrepreneurs are rare in the EU. Nonetheless, in the context of adapting to ageing societies, the potential of entrepreneurship for prolonging working lives in a way that is adapted to people’s needs offers significant potential.


According to Austrian Federal Economic Chamber, the share of enterprises start- ed by women has increased from 39.5% in 2010 to 44.5% in 2017, notably reaching 49% in Vienna. This increase has led to greater attention being paid to women’s en- trepreneurship support, by the public, pri- vate and non-profit sectors. New initiatives include “Women Entrepreneur Go to School” (Unternehmerin macht Schule), which was launched by the Federal Economic Cham ber’s Platform “Women in Business” and the Federal Ministry for Digital and Economic Affairs, with the support of the Ministry of Education. It aims to inspire young women to consider entrepreneurship through visits and speeches from inspiring women entre- preneurship role models.


According to OECD, efforts to support youth entrepreneurs continue to be strengthened. In 2017, a new “student entrepreneur” sta- tus came into effect. Young people under 25 years old who are enrolled at a higher ed- ucation institution in Belgium can receive several benefits including the elimination of social security contributions when annu- al income is below EUR 6 505.33 and a re duction in the contribution rate (to 20.5%) for income between EUR 6 505.33 and EUR 13 010.66. Further, student entrepreneurs maintain their rights to health care as a de- pendent if their annual income is less than EUR 6 505.33. This profile is based on a re- cent country assessment report, which can be found at: sive-entrepreneurship.htm.


Support for youth entrepreneurs continues to be strengthened. For example, the meas- ure Resto al Sud (“I remain in the South”) was introduced in 2017 to support youth entrepreneurs (18-35 years old) in Abruz- zo, Basilicata, Calabria, Campania, Molise, Puglia, Sardegna and Sicilia. The support is expected to be expanded in the 2019 Budget Law. Support will be open to entrepreneurs under 46 years old, as well as freelance workers. The measure offers up to EUR 40 000 (35% is non-repayable and 65% is repayable with a subsidised interest rate) and consulting services. The measure is managed by Invitalia. This profile is based on a recent country assessment report, which can be found at: leed/inclusive-entrepreneurship.htm


New amendments to the Micro-enterprise Tax Law came into force on 1 January 2017. The respective amendments reduce the tax rate to 12% for enterprises with turnover less than EUR 7 000 per year and to 15% for enterprises with turnover between EUR 7 001 to EUR 100 000. This regime also re- duces the mandatory State Social Insurance payments. This reduced tax burden is ex- pected to provide an incentive for business creation and improve the conditions for very small businesses. This profile is based on a recent country assessment report, which can be found at: leed/inclusive-entrepreneurship.htm


As the population ages, several policy is- sues related to senior entrepreneurship are emerging. It is estimated that the retire- ment savings and pensions of the retired selfemployed are 41% lower to those of re- tired employees in Spain. This gap is even greater among older people who experience disabilities. In 2018, a notable change in the retirement system for the self-employed was introduced, allowing the self-employed with employees to collect their public pen- sion when they reach retirement age even if they continue to work as self-employed and maintain their employee(s). This profile is based on a recent country assessment re- port, which can be found at: cfe/leed/inclusive-entrepreneurship.htm


Inclusive entrepreneurship in Turkey is sup- ported by the support of government funds, national and international NGOs and large- sized companies. The most effective and known government institution to support all steps of entrepreneurship is “Small and Medium Enterprises Development Organi- zation of Turkey”. The institution provides entrepreneurship trainings, entrepreneur support programmes and business plan re- ward programmes.

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are a key part of Turkey’s economy. The value-added created by SMEs increased by around 6% in the post-crisis period and employment in SMEs grew by around 9%. Tur- key’s SME agency has a sound SME strategy and coordinates an extensive range of busi- ness development services. It is also work- ing towards improving SME’s access to fi- nance. Turkey has recently enacted reforms to its company registration and insolvency procedures, which were costly and complex in comparison to other OECD countries. The effectiveness of these measures needs to be evaluated and further steps taken if nec- essary to stimulate business development. There is a need to monitor financial sector stability given the significant expansion in credit to SMEs in recent years.