copy the linklink copied!35. Spain

This country profile presents recent policy actions that aim to make entrepreneurship more inclusive and highlights current policy issues. It also benchmarks key self-employment and entrepreneurship indicators for women, youth, seniors and immigrants in Spain against the European Union average.


copy the linklink copied!Key trends

The self-employment rate was slightly higher in Spain than the European Union (EU) average in 2018 (15.7% vs. 13.7%), and this was true for women (11.1% vs. 9.6%) and seniors (20.5% vs. 17.7%). The rates for youth (6.7% vs. 6.5%) and immigrants (8.6% vs. 8.0%) were approximately the same as the EU average. Self-employed women, youth, seniors and immigrants were slightly more likely than the EU average to have at least one employee in 2018. However, very few people involved in creating and managing new businesses between 2014 and 2018 expected to create at least 19 jobs over the next five years. Only 1.9% of new women entrepreneurs (vs. 5.5% for the EU), 4.6% of new youth entrepreneurs (vs. 11.1% for the EU) and 4.3% of new senior entrepreneurs (vs. 8.9% for the EU).

copy the linklink copied!Hot issue

Youth entrepreneurship continues to be prominent in policy discussions as the youth entrepreneurship challenge persists. The Government launched the Youth Employment Plan 2019-21 in December 2018, which is the follow-up to the Entrepreneurship and Youth Employment Strategy 2013-16. The new plan contains 50 measures framed in six axes, including one on entrepreneurship. Overall, it seeks to promote quality employment, fight the gender gap in employment and reduce youth unemployment by 10%.

copy the linklink copied!Recent policy developments

As the population ages, several policy issues related to senior entrepreneurship are emerging. It is estimated that the retirement savings and pensions of the retired self-employed are 41% lower to those of retired employees in Spain. This gap is even greater among older people who experience disabilities. In 2018, a notable change in the retirement system for the self-employed was introduced, allowing the self-employed with employees to collect their public pension when they reach retirement age even if they continue to work as self-employed and maintain their employee(s).

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 35.1. Entrepreneurship and self-employment data for Spain
Figure 35.1. Entrepreneurship and self-employment data for Spain

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