Future Potential: a GEM Perspective on Youth Entrepreneurship
The long-term effects of the U.S. financial crisis and ensuing global downturn continue to be felt worldwide. In particular, it is the new entrants into the labour market – the youth – who are bearing the brunt of the sluggish global economy. Young people are three times more likely than adults to be unemployed, while even amongst the employed youth, many young people have only informal, temporary, or unpaid family jobs. Fostering effective entrepreneurial activity among the youth is regarded as a critical development strategy in order to integrate them into the labour market as well as harness their potential to contribute in a meaningful way to sustainable economic development in their regions. This report analyses data collected over the period 2012 – 2014 by GEM National teams through the standard annual surveys in order to contribute to a deeper understanding of the nature, characteristics and dynamics of youth entrepreneurs and enterprise formation, from a global perspective. The areas focused on are a comparison between youth and adults, gender differences in youth entrepreneurial behaviour, and a regional comparison of youth entrepreneurship. To enable the use of GEM data, the youth is defined as people between the ages of 18 – 34 years. Where appropriate, the report distinguishes between the ‘young youth’ (18 – 24 years) and the ‘older youth’ (25 – 34 years).
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