Entrepreneurship drives innovation, competitiveness, job creation and growth. It allows new innovative ideas turn into successful ventures and can unlock the personal potential of individuals. The Entrepreneurship Action Plan 2020 (EAP 2020) states that “investing in entrepreneurship education is one of the highest return investments Europe can make” and the Europe 2020 strategy recognises entrepreneurship and self-employment as key for achieving smart, sustainable and inclusive growth.
To bring Europe back to growth and higher levels of employment, Europe needs more entrepreneurs. EAP 2020 sets out a number of actions to be taken to support entrepreneurship in Europe including “developing entrepreneurial education and training” and “identifying positive role models”.
Young people have been hit hard by the global economic crisis and youth unemployment levels remain persistently high as the recovery in Europe advances slowly. Youth unemployment rates at the end of 2015 in partner countries One stark feature of the current employment crisis is the high number of graduates currently out of work or working well below their skill and educational level. In the words of one commentator “this is painful human face of the crisis as world’s best and brightest are wasted” (Angel Gurría, The Times).
On top of being essential drivers for diversity, the cultural and creative industry sector is one of Europe’s most dynamic sectors comprising highly innovative companies and contributing approximately 2.6% to EU GDP. It is a sector with high growth potential and provides quality jobs to over 5 million people (Eur-Lex: Green Paper – Unlocking the potential of creative industries, 2010). Cultural and creative businesses often contribute to boosting local economies in decline, contributing to the emergence of new economic activities, creating new and sustainable jobs and enhancing the attractiveness of European regions and cities (DG Enterprise – Working Paper 2011). EU cohesion policy has recognised the multifaceted contribution of the cultural and creative industry sector to its strategic objectives of convergence, competitiveness and employment.
Philip Land 2016
Role: UK Partner