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Inclusive entrepreneurship policies seek to give everyone an opportunity to create a successful and sustainable business, regardless of their gender, age, place of birth, work status or other personal characteristics. This is an important requirement for achieving a new type of growth that is more inclusive, sustainable and people-centred. Expanding entrepreneurship can create jobs, fight social and financial exclusion, leverage technologies and help respond to economic challenges. Among the key targets of inclusive entrepreneurship policies and programmes are women, immigrants, youth, seniors, the unemployed, and people with disabilities, who all continue to face challenges in the labour market and are under-represented or disadvantaged in entrepreneurship. The Missing Entrepreneurs series of publications of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the European Union discuss how public policies and programmes can support inclusive entrepreneurship. This includes:

  • Refining regulatory and welfare institutions;

  • Facilitating access to finance:

  • Building entrepreneurship skills through training, coaching and mentoring;

  • Strengthening entrepreneurial culture and networks for target groups, and;

  • Putting strategies and actions together for inclusive entrepreneurship in a co-ordinated and targeted way.

Governments are increasingly recognising the challenge of inclusive entrepreneurship, but there is still much to do to spread good practice.

This fifth edition of The Missing Entrepreneurs has three parts. Part I presents data on the level and quality of self-employment and entrepreneurship activities by key social target groups such as women, immigrants, youth, seniors and the unemployed, as well as on the barriers that they face. Part II contains two chapters that examine timely policy issues, namely the potential for digital entrepreneurship to make entrepreneurship more inclusive and helping entrepreneurs from disadvantaged groups create businesses with growth potential. Finally, Part III provides a snapshot of inclusive entrepreneurship policy in each European Union Member State. Each Country Profile presents recent trends in self-employment and entrepreneurship activities by women, youth and seniors, as well as the key policy issue and recent policy developments. Key inclusive entrepreneurship indicators are also included in each country profile.

This edition also contains several new features. The data chapters are expanded to include new sources, including more data on start-up financing for women. The chapters with data and indicators also contain new country spotlight examples to showcase more detailed indicators from national-level research.

Complementary to the Missing Entrepreneurs series, the OECD and European Union have produced a new online tool for policy makers to help them design and implement inclusive and social entrepreneurship policies and programmes. The Better Entrepreneurship Policy Tool ( provides an interactive platform for learning from and engaging with other policy makers from around the EU and beyond. This collaboration also produces policy briefs, country-level policy reviews and capacity building seminars.

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