The economic crisis in Europe has caused that one of the priorities of the EU Member States is to work in order to face the consequences from the high levels of unemployment. These data are even more negative in the case of population who are 30 years or under this age. The rates of youth unemployment are generally much higher than the unemployment rates of all ages. The group who is under 25 years old is one of the most affected by the crisis, if compared to other age groups. According to Eurostat (2013), the highest rates of unemployment among young people under 25 years old in the UE belong to Greece (58,6%), Spain (55,7%), Croatia (49,9%), Italy (40%), Cyprus (38,7%) and Portugal (37,7%). It is evident that the young unemployment is exceptionally high in the South of Europe.
The fact of being unemployed at an early age has a negative impact; but unemployment does not only affect low-skilled youngsters, but also those young people with higher education levels and with many difficulties get a work position according to their qualification level.
According the European Commission, young people are the key to future prosperity and dynamism of Europe, and therefore, reducing youth unemployment and encouraging their employability should be a priority. For that, in the last EU Youth Conference held in Thessalonica (10-12, March, 2014) a list with 21 recommendations to face youth unemployment has been elaborated, including the promotion of entrepreneurship projects for young people, because one way to increase employability among youngsters in a context of shortage of jobs is to encourage entrepreneurship, objective shared by most of the European economies.
The EU promotes entrepreneurship as a key factor for competitiveness and highlights the importance of promoting the European culture of entrepreneurship by stimulating the right mindset and skills related to it. In the Recommendation from the European Parliament and the Counsel in 2006 about key competences for lifelong learning, entrepreneurship was included among the eight key competences.
The need to improve the capacities of entrepreneurship and innovation of citizens, especially of the young people, has been also stressed in three of the flagship initiatives of the European 2020 Strategy for employment and sustainable growth: Union for innovation, Youth in movement, and Agenda for New Skills and Jobs.
Improving creativity and innovation -including entrepreneurship- at all levels of education and training are long-term objectives from Education and Training 2020, in the strategic framework of the European cooperation.