copy the linklink copied!10. Austria

This country profile benchmarks key self-employment and entrepreneurship indicators for women, youth, seniors and immigrants in Austria against the average for the European Union. It also describes recent policy actions and current issues in the national policy debate about inclusive entrepreneurship.


copy the linklink copied!Key trends

Self-employment rates for women (7.9%), youth (3.3%), seniors (15.5%) and immigrants (5.4%) were below the European Union (EU) averages for each group in 2018 (9.6% for women, 6.5% for youth, 17.7% for seniors, 7.8% for immigrants). However, people from these target groups appear to be more active in business creation and early-stage entrepreneurship than the EU average over the period 2014-18, especially women (7.7% vs. 4.9%) and youth (11.8% vs. 7.7%). Overall, the share of entrepreneurial activities driven by necessity rather than opportunity was much lower than the EU average over the period 2014-18 (13.7% vs. 19.2%), which was also true for women (14.0% vs. 21.1%) and seniors (15.5% vs. 23.7%), and youth to a lesser extent (13.8% vs. 15.6%).

copy the linklink copied!Hot issue

According to Austrian Federal Economic Chamber, the share of enterprises started by women has increased from 39.5% in 2010 to 44.5% in 2017, notably reaching 49% in Vienna. This increase has led to greater attention being paid to women’s entrepreneurship support, by the public, private and non-profit sectors. New initiatives include “Women Entrepreneur Go to School” (Unternehmerin macht Schule), which was launched by the Federal Economic Chamber’s Platform “Women in Business” and the Federal Ministry for Digital and Economic Affairs, with the support of the Ministry of Education. It aims to inspire young women to consider entrepreneurship through visits and speeches from inspiring women entrepreneurship role models.

copy the linklink copied!Recent policy developments

The Federal Government amended the Alternative Financing Act in June 2018, to remove restrictions on the eligibility of the self-employed, shift the focus from financing instruments to investments, and raise the thresholds that require information disclosures from EUR 100 000 to EUR 250 000 for those seeking less than EUR 5 million. These changes are expected to improve access to crowdfunding for very small companies, particularly those operated by youth entrepreneurs.

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

copy the linklink copied!Key inclusive entrepreneurship data

copy the linklink copied!
Figure 10.1. Entrepreneurship and self-employment data for Austria
Figure 10.1. Entrepreneurship and self-employment data for Austria

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.


Metadata, Legal and Rights

This document, as well as any data and map included herein, are without prejudice to the status of or sovereignty over any territory, to the delimitation of international frontiers and boundaries and to the name of any territory, city or area. Extracts from publications may be subject to additional disclaimers, which are set out in the complete version of the publication, available at the link provided.

© OECD/European Union 2019

The use of this work, whether digital or print, is governed by the Terms and Conditions to be found at