copy the linklink copied!Preface by the European Commission

This joint OECD/EU publication is released at a moment in time where global overarching issues such as climate change, social fairness, technological changes and ageing need appropriate policy answers more than ever. Policy makers stand at a crossroads and should now take the turn to a well-thought-through mix of sustainable and socially fair policies.

Policies supporting entrepreneurs should be part of the mix as we need entrepreneurial innovators to come up with new solutions to help tackling the global challenges we are faced with as citizens. There is an undeniable link between strong economies, prosperity, social fairness and sustainable development. In other words, we need an economy that works for people.

Entrepreneurship and self-employment increasingly receive attention in Commission policies. The European Pillar of Social Rights, the compass for upward convergence in the EU, sets encouraging entrepreneurship and self-employment as one way of bringing about secure and adaptable employment. Relatedly, the Commission proposal for a Council Recommendation on social protection seeks to encourage Member States to ensure that everyone who works has access to social protection coverage and employment services based on their contributions.

We need to mobilise all entrepreneurial talent in all its forms. This encompasses the solo self-employed, those running or owning a business, and entrepreneurial thinking among employees. A widespread development of entrepreneurial mind-sets and culture benefits individuals and society as a whole. This is why this report focuses on inclusive entrepreneurship policies, which aim at reaching the target groups (e.g. women, migrants, youth, seniors) for whom the usual barriers to start and grow a business are even larger than average.

I thank the OECD for its partnership on the inclusive entrepreneurship policies work programme. We hope that local, regional and national authorities, as well as social partners, and civil society at large will read and use this report. It is intended to provide inspiration and advice for developing strong policies and programmes that provide support for everyone interested in entrepreneurship, irrespective of their background. The joint OECD/EU website Better Entrepreneurship Policy Tool is another place where policy-makers and stakeholders can find relevant material to make their entrepreneurship policies more inclusive and social. Building an inclusive, fair and competitive European Union is a joint responsibility that we all share.


Joost Korte


Directorate General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, European Commission

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