Local Employment and Economic Development (LEED Programme)

High-Level Capacity Building Seminar: Supporting youth in entrepreneurship


22-23 September 2014, Brussels, Belgium

A high-level capacity building activity organised by the OECD LEED Programme and its Trento Centre
in collaboration with the European Commission


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The aim of this High-Level Capacity Building Seminar is have an international exchange of information on inclusive entrepreneurship actions across the European Union and on how the European Union Structural Funds can be used to support actions that combine entrepreneurship promotion and social inclusion. It examined the how strategies for youth entrepreneurship can be designed and implemented including consideration of the connections with wider strategies for entrepreneurship and youth employment.

OECD-EC High-Level Capacity Building Seminar Series

This event is part of a series of capacity building seminars that are designed to:

  • Build a European network of senior policy makers and practitioners in the field of inclusive entrepreneurship and provide them access to OECD and Commission expertise.

  • Promote entrepreneurship projects as schemes that can be supported by the European Social Fund.

  • Exchange good practices related to the planning, development and implementation of entrepreneurship strategies and projects.

  • Further develop capacities of senior policy makers in EU Member States in this field.



Certain groups are disadvantaged or under-represented in the labour market and entrepreneurship (e.g. youth, seniors, migrants, unemployed, women, disabled). Although the economic crisis has brought renewed impetus for entrepreneurship programmes, there is a danger that appropriate provisions will not be given to supporting the needs of disadvantaged and under-represented groups. As a result, entrepreneurship programmes may not reach their full potential, and their possible role in promoting social inclusion will not be realised. It is therefore important that mainstream policies and programmes include appropriate objectives and actions to support inclusive entrepreneurship. Together, these actions can form part of an inclusive entrepreneurship strategy. The upcoming funding cycle of the European Social Fund provides an opportunity to think about new approaches to programmes and actions, building on what works well.

This seminar is part of a three-year programme of cooperation between the European Commission and the OECD LEED Programme to monitor and report on entrepreneurial activity in Europe and related public policies and actions. It focuses on how public policy can create jobs through self-employment and entrepreneurship and provide better access to the labour market for economically and socially disadvantaged and under-represented groups. This project supports policy makers to design and deliver effective and efficient entrepreneurship policy support through the provision of robust data and information on public policies that bring positive results.

What will be discussed

The capacity building seminar gave a space to participants to exchange experiences and discuss common issues with regard to the development of strategies, programmes and actions. In particular it considered the ways in which inclusive entrepreneurship strategies are linked to mainstream policies in the fields of employment, education and skills, and economic growth. Participants had the opportunity to present their own programmes and policies as part of the discussion.






The capacity building seminar is targeted at senior policy makers that are involved in the design and implementation of entrepreneurship policies and projects at the national, regional or local level within EU Member States. This includes ESF Managing Authorities, or relevant national or regional government ministries and agencies that are responsible for the implementation of ESF projects related to entrepreneurship. Participants should have some knowledge and understanding of entrepreneurship policies and projects in their country, particularly those targeted at youth.



The 1.5 day seminar was structured around discussion in working groups based around input from case studies presented by the participants and expert presentations on the policy strategies that governments have used in this field. Input from an international experts and OECD staff provided a framework for discussion, and all sessions have been facilitated in order to bring out common conclusions.

The seminar is conceived as a system aimed at establishing a common knowledge and experience exchange platform among the participants, rather than a traditional and conventional “vertical capacity building” event. New and fresh knowledge is expected to be generated through such exchanges and due to the combination of the experience and knowledge all the participants will bring.

The working language of the seminar was English, and it is essential that all participants can communicate effectively in English.



For further information on the seminar, please contact Stuart Thompson at the OECD LEED Trento Centre, Italy or David Halabisky at the OECD LEED Programme, Paris, France.


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