Self-employment in the opinion of Europeans

Let’s say that you can choose between have your own business and wage labor. On which option would you chose? “. This question asked in Europe by the Eurobarometer in December 2009. Almost one in two Europeans would like to run their own business, to do on its own. According to the Eurostat definition of self-employed person have own business for profit or they are during the establishment. For the purposes of this article for self-employed people were only involved in running businesses and employing workers.

Group self-employed is only 10% of all employees in the EU. This percentage should be much larger. In the EU, self-employed are widely recognized. On the positive perception of influence such as sole proprietorships independence, professional fulfillment, freedom of choice, flexible working and the prospects of higher incomes. 80% of running their own businesses are satisfied with their choice and do not want to change. Return to employment would choose only one in six surveyed person. In the years 2000-2009 in the EU the number of self employed increased from 20.74 to 22.76 million.


Why Europeans are opting for wage labor in spite of the declaration? Because they see a lot of risks associated with setting up their own business. The main reasons for withdrawal from self-employment are mentioned: lack of ideas for business, cash shortages, inadequate skills, bureaucracy, family situation and the current economic situation.

One of important factor that influences on decision to self-employment is age. Clearly see the low activity of the youngest and high among older groups.

Developed countries such as Germany, Great Britain, France and the Netherlands, are characterized by a high, over 30% the percentage of people with higher education among the self-employed. In the countries of Central Europe (Poland, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Hungary) is very high ratio of people with secondary education. This level of education declares even 70-80% of all self-employed. In Spain, Portugal and Romania the largest group are people with primary education. This is due to the popularity of sole proprietorships in agriculture and the people performing simple tasks.

People who left education at its initial stage, prefer wage labor. At the same time, more than half of students in the process of learning are those who in the future willingly choose to self-employment.

Analysis of self-employed groups in the European labor market shows a wide variation. Unfortunately, almost all of Europe is consistent about one thing – the same desire is not enough. Dreams of young Europeans on their own company shattered very quickly. The prospect of flexible working hours, higher wages and opportunities to decide their own fate lose the reality in which schools do not provide adequate knowledge and the incentive to become an entrepreneur. This gap in education seek to fill the training, funding. However, still much to do to allow the Europeans to fulfill the dreams of their own companies. If in the next few years will transform the social enthusiasm of the actual business activity, perhaps Europe quickly return to the path of rapid economic development.

Symbols for diagrams:

CZ – Czech Republic, D – Germany, E – Spain, F – France, GB – Great Britain, GR – Greece, H – Hungary, I – Italy, NL – Netherlands, P – Portugal, PL – Poland, RO – Romania, SK – Slovakia, UE – The European Union


3 thoughts on “Self-employment in the opinion of Europeans

  1. I see a big opportunity in self-employment and I think that crisis can help grow business. Many people who are talented for business and are unemployed right now, responded effectively to that threat and they grow and become stronger. It is in their nature. But if they could not rise the challenge, we have a big problem. Yes I agree that just dreams are not enough. It is a lot of workings an challenges, these they don´t teach you in school. I think that in crisis the government could have some free work seminar for future self-employed people. I think that this is the right approach, because people who runs own business and small business can save the crisis. In that way we can respond to crisis in own way. I read somewhere that self-employment has been rising during the crisis, for me is this very positive news because I see that you can be successful despite crisis. I know that some of them will not succeed but I think that most of them will. Of course the high education helps you but it isn`t rule. If you can do something or you have a knowledge you can give your offer to market and succeed.

  2. When you’ve lost your job, the fastest and cheapest way to become financially independent from the employer, has become self-employed. The main advantage of this status is that you can safely work at home, you don’t need a special room or office. Another advantage for self-employed is that you can establish your work schedule, work productivity and customer base.
    However, the negative side is that self-employed person is not insured against unemployment, occupational accidents and occupational diseases. self-employed person not entitled annual paid leave, the work must be carried out with their instruments and devices.
    For instance, in Latvia the most popular sectors where works self-employed are agriculture, hunting, forestry and fishing.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s