Unlocking the entrepreneurial spirit

Jan 15, 2013
Unlocking the entrepreneurial spirit
Credit: Shutterstock

Being your own boss is an aspiration for many Europeans - almost 4 out of 10 people in fact. The prospect of a potentially better income, independence and the freedom to work wherever and whenever is a highly attractive prospect for millions of would-be entrepreneurs. Yet fears of failure and bankruptcy, and the risk of an irregular income mean many people keep their aspirations as a pipe dream. This fear factor is responsible for the drop in those becoming self-employed by 20 % within the last 3 years, mainly due to the current economic climate. However, the European Commission hope to change this: the European Entrepreneurship Action Plan aims at bringing growth and employment back to Europe.

With 37 % of eager to be their own boss, there is potential for millions of new businesses to be added to almost 21 million small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the EU.

The idea behind the action plan is to support entrepreneurs, remove obstacles and potentially revolutionise entrepreneurial culture in Europe. Specific measures include reducing the time it takes to start up a business, and helping promising entrepreneurs that are young people, women, seniors, , and the unemployed.

In addition, entrepreneurship education will be included in school curricula, where it is believed that entrepreneurial education can trigger an increase in new companies. According to a Eurobarometer survey, between 15 % and 20 % of students who participate in a mini-company programme in will later start their own company. So these students are three to five times more likely take the plunge than the general population. And this, in turn, has the potential to boost high-tech and high growth companies by supporting business ecosystems, partnerships and industrial alliances.

Other findings from the survey revealed that men (42 %) and young people (45 %) are more interested in being self-employed than women (33 %) or older people (36 %). In terms of countries, Lithuania (58 %) and Greece (50%) are most interested in being self-employed, while self-employment is least popular in Sweden (22 %), Finland (24 %), Denmark (28 %) and Slovenia (28 %).

But for any new business to take shape, having an appropriate idea in the first place is vital, as is having the necessary financing. Other important factors are having appropriate business partners, being inspired by role models, addressing an urgent social or ecological need, and being dissatisfied with one's previous work situation.

Vice President, Antonio Tajani, says: 'More entrepreneurs mean more jobs, more innovation and more competitiveness. Becoming an entrepreneur and making a vision come true takes a lot of personal risk and effort. Entrepreneurs are the heroes of our time. Entrepreneurship is also the most powerful driver of economic growth in economic history. Therefore, we want to make entrepreneurship an attractive and accessible prospect for European citizen. This is the key message of our action plan. If we can unleash Europe's entrepreneurial potential, we can bring back growth to Europe.'

Explore further: Launching a new brand: Is partnering with a popular brand a good idea?

More information: European Commission - Enterprise & Industry
ec.europa.eu/enterprise/index_en.htm

European Commission - Employment and social rights
ec.europa.eu/policies/employme… social_rights_en.htm

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Entrepreneurial women needed to create growth and jobs

Nov 01, 2012

When it comes to adopting an entrepreneurial spirit, it's the men who have the edge. Despite European women accounting for over half of the population, they only make up a third of the EU's entrepreneurs, ...

Recommended for you

Professor analyzes role of trade sanctions against Iran

Mar 04, 2015

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed Congress on Tuesday as about 50 Democratic lawmakers threatened to boycott the address, offering the latest and one of the most clear microcosms of the debate about Iran's ...

Think twice about investing in own company

Mar 04, 2015

Employees whose retirement plan is invested in stock of the company where they work do not pull out money as the firms approach financial distress, a recently released, but yet to be published paper, co-authored ...

When performance comparisons spur risky behavior

Mar 02, 2015

When you're at work, there are two types of people you compete with: People with similar responsibilities at your own company, and rivals with similar duties at other companies. How do those different flavors ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.