OECD Forum 2014: Inclusive Entrepreneurship
Tuesday 6 May
13:00 - 14:30
Room 9
Lunch debate

Entrepreneurs generate jobs, spur innovation and contribute to social well-being. In the OECD area, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) employ more than half of the labour force in the private sector; in the European Union they account for over 99% of all enterprises. Given their importance in all economies, SMEs are essential for economic recovery.

One of the most promising and under-explored avenues for governments seeking to enhance employment and stimulate social inclusion is promotion of business creation by people who are disadvantaged or under-represented in entrepreneurship. Women are as highly-educated, or more so, than men, yet, they are less likely to believe that they have the ability to start their own business. Individuals between 55 and 64 were responsible for almost one in four new U.S. businesses in 2011, but while they often have high levels of technical skills and access to financial resources, they may lack entrepreneurial skills. Young people are only one-third as likely as adults to be self-employed, as they experience greater difficulty in raising capital and often lack entrepreneurial skills. While migrants represent a significant pool of entrepreneurs, they may face discrimination and require support to overcome educational, linguistic and financial barriers.

Many inspiring policy practices are already in place, but much more can be done to address the specific challenges these groups face and open-up entrepreneurship opportunities and policies to all. Forum 2014 will look into current good practices of inclusive entrepreneurship, and explore how to bolster an entrepreneurial spirit among all groups of society in order to create a more sustainable, inclusive and fairer labour market.

Articles and blogs

Further reading


Keynote speaker
Scene setting