About the Better Entrepreneurship tool

About the Better Entrepreneurship tool

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.

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What is it?

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.

What is it not?

Better Entrepreneurship Policy 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 used as a benchmarking tool.

Who is it for?

Better Entrepreneurship Policy 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.
How can it be used?

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 0 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.
Policy guidance notes and case studies can also be accessed directly in the 'Resources' page. There you can browse policy support materials by policy area and by country.

What is the group function?

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. 

What is inclusive entrepreneurship?

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, women in the European Union are only 57% as likely as men to be self-employed.

Inclusive entrepreneurship policies seek to support groups such as women, youth, migrants 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.

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 behavioural failures that disproportionately affect people in under-represented and disadvantaged groups. This includes addressing barriers in financial markets, and barriers to acquiring entrepreneurship skills, building entrepreneurial networks and fostering 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 and work experience, and build networks, they also become more employable. Moving people from these groups into employment is a desirable outcome as entrepreneurship may not be an appropriate career path for all.
 

What is social entrepreneurship?

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.

Advisory Board Members

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.
 

Inclusive Entrepreneurship

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

 

Social Entrepreneurship

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

Mr 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.