copy the linklink copied!37. United Kingdom

This country profile presents self-employment and entrepreneurship data for women, youth, seniors and immigrants in the United Kingdom and benchmarks these indicators against the European Union average. It also highlights current inclusive entrepreneurship policy issues and recent policy actions.


copy the linklink copied!Key trends

The self-employment rates for women, youth, seniors and immigrants were each approximately equal to the European Union (EU) average in 2018. Moreover, the self-employment rates for each of these groups increased slightly since 2009. However, the proportions of self-employed women (12.0%), youth (6.2%), seniors (15.7%) and immigrants (11.9%) with employees were below the EU averages in 2018 and have fallen since 2009. However, the proportion of women, youth and seniors that report being involved in creating and managing a new business was slightly above the EU average during the period 2014-18 and has increased over the past decade. New women, youth and senior entrepreneurs were less likely than the EU average to report that they started their business due to a lack of employment opportunities during the period 2014-18.

copy the linklink copied!Hot issue

As part of the new Industrial Strategy, a policy review was launched in March 2019 to investigate the obstacles to youth entrepreneurship. The review focuses on obstacles to business creation and development faced by young people from all backgrounds, and also seeks to ensure that there is a strong entrepreneurial culture across all of society. It is being led by the Prince’s Trust, under the auspices of the Small Business Minister. Recommendations will be made to ministers in the third quarter of 2019.

copy the linklink copied!Recent policy developments

Inclusive entrepreneurship is supported by a wide range of policy actions at the national, regional and local levels, as well as the non-government sector. Support for women’s entrepreneurship was strengthened in 2014 by the Scottish Government’s Framework and Action Plan for Women’s Enterprise, which includes an ambassador programme that promotes entrepreneurship through successful women role models. This approach was replicated in 2019 by the Welsh Government with the “Supporting entrepreneurial women in Wales: An approach for Wales” strategy. It includes ten recommendations and a four-step action plan for strengthening women’s entrepreneurship in Wales.

This profile is based on a recent country assessment report, which can be found at:

copy the linklink copied!Key inclusive entrepreneurship data

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Figure 37.1. Entrepreneurship and self-employment data for United Kingdom
Figure 37.1. Entrepreneurship and self-employment data for United Kingdom

Notes: The self-employment rate is defined as the number of self-employed people (15-64 years old) divided by the number of people in employment. The TEA rate is the proportion of adults (18-64 years old) involved in setting up a business or managing a business that is less than 42 months old. Necessity entrepreneurship is defined as entrepreneurship activities that were launched because there were no other options in the labour market. Early-stage entrepreneurs are those who are in the process of setting up a business or managing a business that is less than 42 months old. The EU average in Panels D-F excludes Czech Republic and Malta for the period 2014-18 and Malta for the period 2009-13.

Sources: Panels A and B: Eurostat (2019), Labour Force Survey,; Panel C: Eurostat (2018), Self-employment, Labour Force Survey ad-hoc module,; Panels D-F: Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (2019), Special tabulations of the GEM survey 2014-18.


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