Stimulating Youth Entrepreneurship - Barriers and incentives to enterprise start-ups by young people

The world’s population is growing at a time when traditional, stable labour markets are shrinking. More than 1 billion people today are between 15 and 24 years of age and nearly 40 per cent of the world’s population is below the age of 20. The ILO estimates that 47 per cent of all unemployed persons globally are young women and men and 660 million young people will either be working or looking for work in 2015.

The study attempts to provide a clearer and more comprehensive picture of youth entrepreneurship in general and of the concrete barriers and incentives to youth enterprise start-ups in particular. In this context the study examines a range of key constraints that impede young people in different countries from starting and maintaining a successful business and also identifies incentives, initiatives and measures that could improve this situation.

The research findings are intended to stimulate policy debate on the factors that foster or impede youth entrepreneurship and on the policy measures that can facilitate youth in starting their own business. The working paper also aims to contribute to the work of the Youth Employment Network (YEN) (Entrepreneurship Group) and to provide an updated and complementary version of the first ‘roadmap’-document. Thus it also serves as a directory of initiatives, programmes and instruments, of benefit to practitioners and policymakers in the field of youth employment, youth entrepreneurship and SME development.

Further information


Partnership types

Advocacy of global issues

Global issues

Job creation and enterprise development

Business sectors

Community and social services