In 2014, there were 30.6 million self-employed people in the European Union. Of these, 24.5 million were women, youth (15-24 years old), seniors (50-64 years old), those who were unemployed in the previous year or were born outside of the European Union. Although this accounts for the majority of self-employment activities, people in these groups are often less likely to be involved in business creation and self-employment activities than the mainstream population (see Figure). They typically face different and greater barriers to business creation and to growing their business than those in the mainstream. People from these groups can be successful in entrepreneurship if given the right support.
OECD is working with the European Commission, DG Employment and Social Affairs to examine the barriers faced to business creation and self-employment by people who are disadvantaged or under-represented in entrepreneurship activities - youth, seniors, the disabled, women, ethnic minorities, the unemployed and others - and the public policy actions that can promote ans support these activities.