The Better Entrepreneurship Policy Tool was developed by the OECD (Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs, Regions and Cities - CFE) and the European Commission (DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion). The project benefitted from constructive comments from two advisory boards and various stakeholder consultations.
The Better Entrepreneurship Policy Tool is a free online self-assessment and learning tool for inclusive and social entrepreneurship policies and programmes. The Tool includes:
- Self-assessment questionnaires that provide a framework for reflecting on the inclusive and social entrepreneurship policies and programmes in a city, region or country
- Policy guidance notes and inspiring case studies to support better policy design.
It is an initiative of the Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion of the European Commission, and the OECD Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs, Regions and Cities
This Tool builds on the knowledge generated jointly by OECD and the European Commission on inclusive and social entrepreneurship policy. Since 2011, this collaboration has produced a series of publications, including The Missing Entrepreneurs book series, the good practice compendia on Boosting Social Enterprise Development, and Inclusive Business Creation, policy briefs and country-specific policy reviews.
Better Entrepreneurship is not a formal OECD or European Commission policy assessment, nor is it intended to help entrepreneurs in launching their business. The self-assessment is not intended to be a benchmarking tool.
Better Entrepreneurship Policy Tool is targeted at policy makers and non-government stakeholders that have a role in designing, implementing or advocating for inclusive and social entrepreneurship policies and programmes. This includes:
- National, regional and local policy makers
- Chambers of commerce
- Business associations and networks
- Business advisors
- Finance providers
- Research institutions and academia
- Education and training providers
- Civil society organisations
- Managing authorities for EU Structural Funds.
The Tool allows you to reflect on inclusive and social entrepreneurship policies and programmes in your city, region or country using self-assessments about key policy issues, such as the policy design, access to finance, entrepreneurship skills and the regulatory environment. It can be used by individuals or by groups.
The Tool allows users to rate their city, region or country on a scale of 1 to 10 against good practice statements. Once the self-assessment is completed, the Tool directs users to relevant policy guidance notes and inspiring case studies based on their results.
Self-assessments can be taken by individuals or groups. Creating a group in a given geographic area allows a group manager to gather the views of different stakeholders on the current policies and programmes in place for inclusive or social entrepreneurship. Used in a group, the tool may help provide a more comprehensive view of the situation and may be used to spur conversations between different stakeholders involved in policy development. To create a group, you first need to sign up to create an account.
Inclusive entrepreneurship policies aim to ensure that all people, regardless of their personal characteristics and background, have an opportunity to start and run their own businesses.
In addition to being a driver of innovation and job creation, entrepreneurship holds potential for strengthening social inclusion by offering another option for earning income and contributing to society. However, this potential is not yet fully realised as many groups are under-represented in entrepreneurship or face specific obstacles in business creation. For example, men were 1.72 times more likely to be self-employed than women in the European Union in 2022.
Inclusive entrepreneurship policies seek to support groups such as women, youth, immigrants and ethnic minority groups, the unemployed, seniors and people with disabilities. In some countries, other groups may be of particular importance too, such as the Roma minority in several European countries.
The objective of inclusive entrepreneurship policies is twofold:
- Ensure that people in these groups are aware of the potential that entrepreneurship may have for them as a labour market activity and to build motivations for pursuing them.
- Address market, institutional and behaviour failures that disproportionately affect people in under-represented and disadvantaged groups. This includes addressing barriers in financial markets, barriers to acquiring entrepreneurship skills, barriers to building entrepreneurial networks and building an entrepreneurial culture. Addressing these barriers would be expected to lead to an increase in the amount of entrepreneurship activities by these groups as well as increasing the quality of the businesses created so that they are more sustainable and innovative.
However, another outcome sought is to improve labour market attachment. By helping people acquire skills, work experience, and build networks, they also become more employable. Moving people from these groups into employment is a desirable outcome as entrepreneurship is not appropriate for all as a career path.
Social entrepreneurship addresses social and societal problems in entrepreneurial way. It often offers new and innovative ways of dealing with today’s social, economic, and environmental challenges while fostering inclusive growth. It contributes to job creation and improvements in the delivery of welfare services, as well as to civic participation.
Social enterprises aim to have specific social impact through their economic activities and reinvest major part of their profit in their social mission. They also commit to transparent and participatory governance, involving their relevant stakeholders.
Because of these characters, social enterprises might face specific challenges and need specific support to fulfil their potential. This is why it is important to establish conducive ecosystems to stimulate their development. Policies for social entrepreneurship can raise the visibility of social enterprises and facilitate their formal recognition, as well as their access to markets and to finance.
Two expert advisory boards were established to provide advice to the OECD Secretariat during the development of the Better Entrepreneurship Policy Tool. The advisory boards provided guidance on the preparation of the tool’s content, and also offered suggestions related to the tool’s functionality.
- Robert Blackburn, Kingston University
- Norbert Kuntz, Social Impact gGmbH
- Klaas Molenaar, Timpoc Consultants
- Peter Ramsden, Freiss Ltd
- Petra Reszkető, Budapest Institute
- Friederike Welter, Institut für Mittelstandsforschung
- Norbert Kuntz, Social Impact gGmbH
- Luigi Martignetti, Secretary General, European Network of Cities and Regions for the Social Economy, REVES AISBL
- Ariane Rodert, Senior EU-Policy Adviser, Forum – idéburna organistaioner med social inriktning, Member European Economic and Social Committée
- Eva Varga, Independent consultant on social enterprise and social finance
- Peter Wolkowinski, Independent consultant &URBACT Boosting Social Innovation
In addition to the expert advisory boards, the development of the Better Entrepreneurship Policy Tool and its range of learning resources benefited from feedback and suggestions obtained from both experts and practitioners during two stakeholder conferences, 14 national testing workshops as well as throughout the development process.
Learn more about the work by the OECD and the EU in inclusive and social entrepreneurship