Emilian Pavel, Member of the European Parliament
I believe that youth entrepreneurship is not only an opportunity, but also a duty for Europe.
It is our chance to pull young people out of a desperate situation created by a devastating economic crisis, and give them not only the means to find employment, but also the means to generate more quality jobs and drive growth all over Europe.
Jared Penner, Manager of Global Engagement and Evaluation, CYFI
In addition to its effect on confidence in European financial markets, the 2008 economic downturn also shook the already weak confidence Europe had in entrepreneurship. In 2010, only 28.1 % of Europeans thought it was feasible to start a business within the next 5 years (a figure which dropped from 31.4% in 2007). However, in 2014, 99% of European private enterprises were micro, small and medium-sized businesses (MSMEs). In the past five years, they have created around 85% of new jobs and provided two-thirds of the total private sector employment in the EU.
Christian Vintergaard, CEO The Danish Foundation for Entrepreneurship – Young Enterprise
The Danish Foundation for Entrepreneurship works to ensure that the ability to be innovative becomes a fundamental element in all educations from primary school to PhD level. This is not an easy task, and to succeed with it, a large network of engaged stakeholders to facilitate and aid the process is necessary.
Michael Mercieca, CEO Young Enterprise UK
Both in the UK and across Europe, employment levels have slowly been climbing since the peak of the economic crash. The UK’s Office for National Statistics, which measures employment and unemployment rates, has the latter at 5.4% for adults aged 16-64 from June to August 2015, which compares favorably to the 2011 peak of 8.4%. Youth unemployment, despite being nearly triple the headline rate at 15.9%, has also fallen from its 2011 peak of 22.5%.
Michaela ŠOJDROVÁ, MEP and rapporteur of the EP report: ‘Promoting youth entrepreneurship through education and training’
On 8 September, the European Parliament adopted the Culture & Education Committee report ‘Promoting youth entrepreneurship through education and training’ calling for education systems to include aspects of entrepreneurship in the curricula at all levels and inviting the European Commission to support and coordinate this process, notably through the Erasmus+ Programme.