Despite political measures and efforts, the euro crisis continues with Southern European countries experiencing years of under-growth. According to International Labour Organization (ILO, 2014), younger age groups were affected most from the crisis.
Employment in Greece, Ireland and Portugal declined by 1.6 million between 2007 and 2012, but 75% of this reduction, i.e. 1.2 million jobs, was concentrated in youth. In Italy, young adults faced a sharper decline in their employment-to-population ratio than youth. Turkey recorded a rise in unemployment in 2013 for the first time after a period of rapid decline from 2009. One possible way of integrating young people into the labour market is to increase youth entrepreneurship (OECD, 2013). OECD’s most recent reports (in 2015) point out that people under 25 have relatively low self-employment rates; approximately 4.4% and 7.2% for women and men respectively. Increasing self-employment rates in the youth population can form an important policy target to address high youth unemployment. As research demonstrates, businesses run by young entrepreneurs have lower survival rates than those of older entrepreneurs (van Praag, 2003); however, young people’s businesses that do survive have more growth potential than those of older entrepreneurs in general. Therefore, investing on young entrepreneurs would have a greater reward.