copy the linklink copied!13. Croatia

This country profile presents recent policy developments in Bulgaria and highlights current inclusive entrepreneurship policy issues. Key self-employment and entrepreneurship data for women, youth, seniors and immigrants are benchmarked against the European Union average.


copy the linklink copied!Key trends

The self-employment rate declined over the last decade, from 17.1% in 2008 to 10.5% in 2018, below the 13.7% European Union (EU) average. This decline was particularly pronounced for youth – the rate fell from 10.1% in 2013 to 2.2% in 2017. Croatians are more likely than the EU average to be involved in early stage entrepreneurship between 2014 and 2018 (9.1% vs. 6.7%) but were much more likely to have started their activity due to a lack of other opportunities (34.9% vs 19.2%). Senior entrepreneurs were the most likely to indicate that they had started their business out of “necessity” over this period (52.7%), which was above the EU average (23.7%). Moreover, about four-in-ten new female entrepreneurs reported being a “necessity” entrepreneur over this period (39.9% vs. 21.1%).

copy the linklink copied!Hot issue

Gender equality is a key topic for policy makers following the publication of “Gender Equality Policies in Croatia” in 2017, which was commissioned by the European Parliament's Committee on Women’s rights and Gender Equality. It found that while strategic policy documents and plans cover gender equality in the labour market (including entrepreneurship), women in decision-making positions, gender violence, health and rights, pay and pension gaps, and education, progress in many areas has been slow and unsatisfactory. Policy makers are now looking to close these gender gaps.

copy the linklink copied!Recent policy developments

A revised implementation plan for 2017-18 was developed for the Youth Guarantee Implementation Plan (YGIP), which includes employment incentives, direct job creation measures and business creation incentives and support. Specialised support is offered to some sub-groups of youth including those not in employment, education or training (NEETs), young Roma people and youth with disabilities. New measures in the 2017-18 YGIP include entrepreneurship events for youth that are organised by the Croatian Employment Service and local partners such as the Croatian Chamber of Economy, the Croatian Chamber of Trades and Crafts and entrepreneurship centres.

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 13.1. Entrepreneurship and self-employment data for Croatia
Figure 13.1. Entrepreneurship and self-employment data for Croatia

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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