This book sets out a potential response to two major challenges facing OECD countries: the "youth problem", or the need to ensure that young people can play a full role in society, and the need to foster entrepreneurship for job creation, innovation and economic adaptability. The "new economy" will be built on a culture of entrepreneurship and this must include youth as well as adults. In publishing this book, the OECD therefore wishes to stimulate policy debate on the factors that encourage youth entrepreneurship, the obstacles that stand in its way and the policy measures that can support it.
A picture is painted of youth entrepreneurship programmes operating at national, regional and local levels across the OECD in a wide variety of settings and with various different approaches and delivery mechanisms. The result is the first international review of "best practices" in this new and emerging area. Examples are given of programmes for education and training, help with capital, ideas and operational matters, counselling and mentoring, networking and intergenerational transfers of businesses. The range of players and activities involved are set out and suggestions are made for where gaps might be filled. The main message is that young people can indeed found new businesses and succeed, but new policies will be needed if they are to be fully encouraged.