Supporting the unemployed in entrepreneurship
Self-assessment

Create Unemployed assessment

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• Entrepreneurship is promoted as a viable activity for the unemployed and people out of work.• A positive image of the entrepreneurial potential among the unemployed is created.• The economic impact of entrepreneurship driven by the unemployed is communicated.• Success stories, role models and entrepreneurship awards are used to showcase entrepreneurs from a wide variety of backgrounds, including those who had been unemployed. • Active labour market measures include business creation support measures for the unemployed. Awareness campaigns should seek to develop positive attitudes towards entrepreneurship and stimulate entrepreneurial intentions. Once there is an overall awareness about entrepreneurship among a population, tailored campaigns should be designed for specific sub-groups. Key activities in awareness campaigns for inclusive entrepreneurship include disseminating positive messages in the media, organising outreach and awareness events, and using awards and success stories to celebrate successful entrepreneurs from various population groups. When promoting entrepreneurship for the unemployed, it is important to not only present a positive image of entrepreneurship to those out of work, but also widely in society. Read more.
• Campaigns, success stories, role models and entrepreneurship awards are used to inspire the unemployed and showcase entrepreneurs from a wide variety of backgrounds, including those who had been unemployed. • Messages are tailored for different profiles of the unemployed, for example, graduates and school drop-outs. • Appropriate messages are used to inform about the role of risk in entrepreneurship.• Appropriate media and online channels are used to reach the unemployed. Target populations of inclusive entrepreneurship campaigns are heterogeneous so awareness campaigns should include tailored messages that are delivered through appropriate channels. Common approaches used include promoting success stories and role models, and using awards to inspire entrepreneurship by showcasing different profiles of entrepreneurs and different types of entrepreneurship activities. When promoting entrepreneurship to the unemployed, policy makers should use different outreach channels including through public employment services, chambers of commerce, trade unions and other labour organisations. Messages and outreach methods should be adjusted for different profiles of the unemployed, e.g. unemployed, recent graduates. Read more.
• Targeted campaigns inform career counsellors, public employment services and unions about the potential of entrepreneurship.• A positive image of entrepreneurship by the unemployed is created.• Appropriate media and online channels are used to reach key role models for potential entrepreneurs from diverse groups of the unemployed. Key role models have an important role in informing about entrepreneurship and encouraging (or discouraging) entrepreneurship activities. Policy makers therefore also need to reach them with information packages and positive messages. To support entrepreneurship for the unemployed, it is important for policy makers to create a positive image of entrepreneurship as a route out of unemployment so that family, friends and colleagues are supportive of the unemployed people who are interested in business creation. Read more.
• Entrepreneurship is presented positively in the mandatory curricula in schooling.• Entrepreneurship education covers a wide variety of entrepreneurship activities and models, e.g. part-time entrepreneurship, social entrepreneurship.• Teachers receive training on delivering the entrepreneurship curricula. • Students are encouraged to consider entrepreneurship as a career path. Formal education presents an opportunity to promote entrepreneurship to a large number of youth and young adults. To be effective, teachers need training on entrepreneurship and also need to understand the potential that it can hold for different population groups. Moreover, teaching material should showcase a wide range of entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship activities. To encourage the unemployed to consider re-entering work through entrepreneurship, the education system should showcase entrepreneurial role models from different backgrounds in the learning materials used, including those who started a business from unemployment. Read more.
• Monitoring and mid-term evaluations are undertaken to ensure that promotional activities are on-track to reach their targets and objectives.• Promotional activities are adjusted to account for monitoring and mid-term evaluation results.• Ex post evaluations are undertaken to measure the impact of entrepreneurship promotion activities aimed at the unemployed, and results are reported widely.• Monitoring and evaluation results are reported widely and used to improve awareness campaigns. Monitoring and evaluation are an important part of the policy development process. These activities are often contracted out to leverage specialised knowledge and to maintain the impression of impartiality. When evaluating entrepreneurship awareness campaigns aimed at the unemployed, it is important to take into account changes in the overall levels of business creation and labour market participation, as well as wider social attitudes towards entrepreneurship. Read more.
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• A strategic plan is available publicly, either as a stand-alone document or as part of a broader policy strategy, e.g. self-employment strategy for the unemployed.• Entrepreneurship policy objectives are linked to broader employment, economic and social policy objectives.• Key stakeholders were engaged early in the development of policy objectives and targets for promoting and supporting entrepreneurship among the unemployed.• Indicators of success and data collection processes have been defined.• A public sector actor is responsible for achieving entrepreneurship policy objectives for the unemployed. Clearly defining policy objectives and targets can improve the implementation of policies and programmes, and help allocate resources. Often these are outlined in a written document such as a strategy or action plan. It is important that policy objectives and targets are informed by research and stakeholder views, and that they are realistic and achievable. In setting objectives and targets for entrepreneurship support aimed at the unemployed, it is important to consult with a range of stakeholders to understand the context and seek buy-in to the policy goals. Policy objectives and targets for entrepreneurship as a route into work should be set within the context of wider employment and social welfare policies. Read more.
• Concrete actions to achieve the entrepreneurship policy objectives for the unemployed are identified.• There is a clear leader in the public sector for entrepreneurship support targeted at the unemployed.• Responsibility for actions is specified. • Timelines for the concrete actions are identified.• An action plan is available publicly. An action plan can be an effective tool for transforming policy objectives into concrete policy actions on the ground. Action plans for inclusive entrepreneurship typically focus on one target group and identify the actions that will be taken to achieve the associated policy objectives. While one party should be responsible for the implementation of the action plan, responsibility for each action should be assigned to a ministry, department, agency, local authority, or other partner. In developing an action plan for entrepreneurship support aimed at the unemployed, it is important for policy makers to secure support from relevant stakeholders including public employment services, trade unions and non-governmental organisations that support unemployed people. Key actions should be consistent with wider employment and social welfare policies. Read more.
• Sufficient financial resources have been earmarked to implement entrepreneurship support for the unemployed.• Funding sources have been identified.• A tracking system is in place to manage and report on public expenditures related to entrepreneurship support for the unemployed.• There is an appropriate balance between investment in policy and programme development and operational expenditures.• There is budget for the monitoring and evaluation. Financial resources for tailored entrepreneurship policies are limited and should be a central consideration when selecting among policy options. It is important to consider all potential funding sources, including direct financing, matched financing for non-government actions, and the potential of leveraging in-kind support from the non-governmental sector. Effective financial management should include a tracking system that allows ongoing monitoring of expenditures. In securing financial resources for entrepreneurship support aimed at the unemployed, it is important to use all available funding sources, including the European Structural Funds. There is also potential to leverage in-kind contributions from organisations supporting unemployed people and business development service providers. Read more.
• Horizontal co-ordination mechanisms are in-place, e.g. inter-ministerial working group.• Vertical co-ordination mechanisms are in-place, e.g. working groups with policy makers and delivery agencies.• Information on entrepreneurship schemes for the long-term unemployed is shared regularly across public sector actors, and with other relevant stakeholders.• Data and statistics on the take-up and impact of entrepreneurship schemes targeting the unemployed are shared regularly across public sector actors, and with other relevant stakeholders.• Informal communication is regular and ongoing between all relevant actors. The effective implementation of inclusive entrepreneurship policies and programmes requires co-ordination across the range of ministries, departments, agencies, local authorities, and non-government actors involved in designing and delivering support measures to ensure coherence, relevance and actions, and to minimise duplication. Mechanisms that could be used include working groups and committees with representation of all of the relevant actors. Success factors include strong leadership and regular communication. In establishing co-ordination mechanisms for the design and delivery of entrepreneurship support aimed at the unemployed, it is important for policy makers to strengthen relationships with organisations that support the unemployed (e.g. public employment services) and to ensure that there are mechanisms for information sharing across all actors involved in delivering entrepreneurship support. Read more.
• Promotion is done through appropriate media (e.g. magazines, television, social media platforms).• Organisations that work with the unemployed are used to promote support offers.• Role models from various communities are used in outreach. For inclusive entrepreneurship initiatives to be successful, it is critical that the target groups are aware of the available support. Many people from groups that are under-represented or disadvantaged in entrepreneurship (e.g. women, youth, immigrants and the unemployed) are “hard to reach” and policy makers need to adjust their messages and communication methods to reach these populations. When reaching out to unemployed people who aspire to create a business, it is important to develop messages to reach a range of potential entrepreneurs since not all unemployed people have the same motivations and intentions. Partnering with organisations that support different profiles of the unemployed, including the unemployed and recent graduates, can help reach potential entrepreneurs. Read more.
• Support providers have experience in working with the unemployed from different backgrounds and with diverse experiences and objectives.• Front line staff understands the unique challenges faced by different profiles of the unemployed, e.g. small or irrelevant professional and business networks, benefits trap. • Front line staff receives communication training to effectively work with different profiles of the unemployed. Entrepreneurs from groups that are under-represented or disadvantaged in entrepreneurship (e.g. women, youth, immigrants, the unemployed) face greater and different barriers to business creation. This calls for support initiatives that are tailored to address the unique barriers faced. To be effective, those delivering support should understand these barriers and be trained to work with the target groups. To improve the delivery entrepreneurship support for the unemployed, frontline staff should have appropriate entrepreneurship qualifications and experience, and have awareness about challenges faced by different profiles of unemployment people (e.g. long-term unemployed, recent graduates). Read more.
• Ex ante evaluations are used to identify areas where policy action is needed, assess the consistency of proposed policy actions with ongoing interventions, identify linkages with other policy actions, and ensure that proposed actions are coherent with strategic objectives. • Monitoring and mid-term evaluations are undertaken to ensure that entrepreneurship schemes for the unemployed are on-track to reach their targets and objectives.• Ex post evaluations are undertaken to measure the impact of entrepreneurship policies for the unemployed and the results are reported publicly.• Results of monitoring and evaluation are reported publicly and fed back into the policy development process.• Schemes are adjusted to account for monitoring and evaluation results. Monitoring and evaluation are an important part of the policy development process. When assessing the impact of entrepreneurship support for the unemployed against strategic objectives, it is important for policy makers to consider broader labour market trends (e.g. activity and unemployment rates) and the influence of social security systems and unemployment benefits on motivations for entrepreneurship. Read more.
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• The business registration process requires few procedures.• Regulations have been checked to ensure that potential entrepreneurs who had been unemployed are treated positively.• Electronic business registration and other business-related e-services exist. • Information on administrative procedures is available in clear language and accessible for different profiles of the unemployed. • Licensing and certification schemes do not impede entrepreneurship by the unemployed.• People who have been unemployed can easily obtain individual assistance when dealing with administrative regulations and procedures, e.g. by telephone, in-person or online. Business start-up regulations and procedures can be a significant obstacle to business start-up for many entrepreneurs, especially those from under-represented and disadvantaged groups (e.g. women, youth, immigrants, the unemployed). These groups often have low levels of entrepreneurship skills and little experience with regulations and institutions related to business start-up. Policy makers have been simplifying processes and reducing capital requirements in recent years, but more can be done. To ensure that business start-up regulations and procedures do not pose undue difficulties for the unemployed, policy makers should undertake a regulatory impact assessment in consultation with organisations that support unemployed people and other relevant stakeholders such as public employment services. Read more.
• Different profiles of the unemployed have been considered in the development of information products (e.g. websites, brochures) on business creation. • Guidance material on business creation uses easily understood language and is relevant for the types of businesses that the unemployed aspire to create. • The unemployed can access information related to business creation through relevant channels, e.g. community organisations, online platforms.• Relevant stakeholders were consulted in the development of guidance material and help disseminate it. The provision of tailored information on business creation and self-employment can facilitate business creation by groups that are under-represented and disadvantaged in entrepreneurship (e.g. women, youth, immigrants, the unemployed) since it can address their specific needs. In developing tailored information for the unemployed, it is important to ensure that the information is written in easy-to-understand language and presented in an accessible way. Read more.
• Entrepreneurs are eligible for coverage in all social security schemes, e.g. health insurance, pension schemes, maternity pay, unemployment insurance.• Welfare bridges and other similar measures are promoted directly to the unemployed to encourage business creation.• There are incentives for business creation to potential entrepreneurs who had been unemployed, e.g. tax credits, temporary reductions in social security contributions. • Temporary incentives are phased-out rather than ending abruptly.• Entrepreneurs can access social security benefits after a business exit. Social security systems can offer both incentives and disincentives for entrepreneurship. Unemployed people can be encouraged to start a business by taxation policies that incentivise labour market activities, such as entrepreneurship. It is critical that the unemployment benefit schemes and social welfare policies do not contain disincentives for business creation. Welfare bridge schemes can be an important policy tool for helping unemployed people move into work through business creation. Read more.
• Ex ante evaluations are used to identify areas where policy action is needed, assess the consistency of proposed policy actions with ongoing interventions, identify linkages with other policy actions, and ensure that proposed actions are coherent with strategic objectives. • Monitoring and mid-term evaluations are undertaken to ensure that regulatory measures that support potential entrepreneurs who had been unemployed are on-track to reach their targets and objectives.• Regulatory measures are adjusted to account for monitoring and mid-term evaluation results.• Ex post evaluations are undertaken to measure the impact of regulatory measures on entrepreneurship among the unemployed, and results are reported widely.• Results of monitoring and evaluation are reported publicly. Monitoring and evaluation are an important part of the policy development process. These activities are often contracted out to leverage specialised knowledge and to maintain the impression of impartiality. When evaluating measures and initiatives that seek to minimise the impact of regulations on business creation by the unemployed, policy makers examine how unemployment and social security benefits offer incentives or disincentives for different profiles of the unemployed, e.g. unemployed, recent graduates. Read more
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• Needs assessments are used in the design of policies and programmes that support the development of entrepreneurship skills for the unemployed.• The unemployed, and community organisations supporting the unemployed, are consulted to identify how policy can support the development of entrepreneurship skills.• The needs of different profiles of the unemployed are considered when designing and implementing policies and programmes that develop entrepreneurship skills.• Background research is conducted to provide a solid evidence-base for policy interventions. • Benchmarking and meta-evaluations are used when designing initiatives that aim to develop entrepreneurship skills. A needs assessment should be completed in the initial stage of developing policies and programmes that seek to strengthen entrepreneurship skills. Key activities include gathering evidence on the challenges faced in entrepreneurship by people from under-represented and disadvantaged groups (e.g. women, youth, immigrants, the unemployed), reviewing the current support offer, and identifying gaps and areas for improvement. When designing training, coaching, mentoring and business development services for the unemployed, a needs assessment should consider various profiles of the target group of potential entrepreneurs (e.g. part-time entrepreneurs, social entrepreneurs). A needs assessment should be undertaken in consultation with public employment services and other key stakeholders (e.g. trade unions, labour organisations) to understand gaps in the current support offer and areas for improvement. Read more.
• Dedicated entrepreneurship training is available for the unemployed.• Training covers the needs at different points of business development, i.e. pre start-up, start-up.• Risk management and financial literacy are included in training programmes.• Hands-on and interactive methods are used in training, e.g. role playing, simulations.• Trainers are trained to work with diverse profiles of the unemployed.• Entrepreneurship training for the unemployed has linkages with other entrepreneurship supports, e.g. coaching, mentoring and business financing programmes.• The scale of dedicated entrepreneurship training for the unemployed is appropriate. Entrepreneurship training programmes seek to facilitate the acquisition of business management and entrepreneurship skills. In designing and implementing entrepreneurship training programmes, policy makers need to consider the mode of delivery, themes covered, intensity and frequency of training sessions, and whether other supports should be provided with the training. It is important to adjust entrepreneurship training to the needs of different profiles of the unemployed since they tend to have different motivations and intentions, and typically operate different types of businesses. Training should use active learning methods (e.g. games, simulations) and it is usually most effective to deliver training programmes in partnership with organisations that have experience working with unemployed people. Read more.
• Dedicated entrepreneurship coaching and mentoring programmes for the unemployed are available.• Objectives for coaching and mentoring relationships are defined by the potential entrepreneur and their coach and mentor.• There is a matching mechanism to ensure that there is a “good fit” between the entrepreneur and their coach or mentor.• Entrepreneurship coaches and mentors receive training on working with diverse profiles of the unemployed. • Coaching and mentoring relationships are established for a limited time period to avoid creating dependence.• The scale of tailored entrepreneurship coaching and mentoring for the unemployed is appropriate. Entrepreneurship coaching and mentoring can be an effective but resource-intensive support. The keys to a successful coaching or mentoring relationship are the quality and dedication of the coach or mentor, and ensuring a good match with the entrepreneurs. When designing and implementing entrepreneurship coaching and mentoring for the unemployed, it is important to build a pool of qualified coaches and mentors who understand the challenges faced by different profiles of the unemployed, e.g. unemployed, recent graduates. Read more
• Tailored business consultancy and advisory services are available for the unemployed from diverse backgrounds.• Business consultancy and advisory services are integrated with other entrepreneurship supports for the unemployed, e.g. start-up financing. • There is a system of allocating business consultancy and advisory services to the unemployed with the greatest potential.• Business incubators and accelerators are accessible for the unemployed. • Business trainers and counsellors are trained to work with the unemployed.• The scale of tailored business development services for the unemployed is appropriate. Business development services can help entrepreneurs acquire new skills and expand their networks. Most public programmes offer support at no cost, but entrepreneurs also have the option of paying for private sector professional services. Business development services for entrepreneurs starting from unemployment should be designed in integrated support packages and delivered by trainers, coaches and business advisors that have experience working with different profiles of the unemployed, e.g. unemployed, recent graduates. Read more.
• Tailored entrepreneurship support for the unemployed is offered in integrated packages.• Different profiles of the unemployed are informed about the range of options for receiving financing and other supports.• Entrepreneurship training, coaching and mentoring initiatives refer potential entrepreneurs to appropriate sources of finance. Integrated packages of entrepreneurship supports can be more effective than “single shot” supports since they usually address multiple barriers. When designing and delivering integrated support packages for the unemployed, policy makers should ensure that entrepreneurship training, coaching, mentoring and business development services are supplemented by financing supports to increase the chances of succeeding in business creation. However, the decision to provide financial support should be independent from the training, coaching or mentoring support. Read more.
• Entrepreneurship training, coaching and mentoring, and business development services for the unemployed are delivered by agencies or organisations that have appropriate experience and expertise in working with the unemployed.• Support is provided in a flexible manner, including different formats, locations and schedules. The delivery of entrepreneurship training, coaching and mentoring, and business development services for groups that are under-represented and disadvantaged (e.g. women, youth, immigrants, the unemployed) can be done either through mainstream channels or through approaches that are tailored for the targeted entrepreneurs. Tailored approaches are often more effective but are more costly. In delivering entrepreneurship support to the unemployed, policy makers can partner with specialist organisations that have experience in working with the target group. Take-up of support can be increased if frontline and professional staff who deliver support are representative of the different profiles of the unemployed, including women, youth and migrants. Read more.
• Entrepreneurship training, coaching and mentoring, and business development services are developed to meet the needs of different profiles of the unemployed, e.g. older people, people with disabilities, people in disadvantaged areas, school drop-outs. • Outreach methods are adapted to different profiles of the unemployed.• Different service delivery models are used to effectively support diverse profiles of the unemployed. Tailored entrepreneurship support programmes are typically more effective than generic measures because they are adapted to address specific needs, but they are more costly to develop and deliver. Different profiles of the unemployed (e.g. unemployed, recent graduates) have different motivations and aspirations for business creation. Entrepreneurship training, coaching and mentoring, and business development services offers should match this diversity. Read more.
• Ex ante evaluations are used to identify areas where policy action is needed, assess the consistency of proposed policy actions with ongoing interventions, identify linkages with other policy actions, and ensure that proposed actions are coherent with strategic objectives. • Monitoring and mid-term evaluations are undertaken to ensure that entrepreneurship schemes for the unemployed are on-track to reach their targets and objectives.• Schemes are adjusted to account for monitoring and mid-term evaluation results.• Ex post evaluations are undertaken to measure the impact of entrepreneurship policies targeting the unemployed, and the results are reported widely.• Deadweight loss and displacement effects are measured and reported.• Results of monitoring and evaluation are reported publicly and used to improve entrepreneurship training, coaching and mentoring and business development services. Monitoring and evaluation are important tools for managing public resources and understanding which initiatives have an impact and which do not. When assessing entrepreneurship training, coaching and mentoring initiatives, and business development services, aimed at the unemployed, policy makers should seek to identify deadweight loss and displacement effects so that they can be minimised. It is also important to recognise that entrepreneurship is not suitable for everyone. Not all who receive entrepreneurship support should be expected to go on to start a business. Read more.
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• Needs assessments are used to design policies and programmes that facilitate access to business finance for the unemployed.• The unemployed, and community organisations supporting the unemployed, are consulted to identify how policy support can address gaps in the availability and accessibility of business finance.• The needs of different profiles of the unemployed are considered when designing and implementing policies and programmes that facilitate access to business finance.• Background research is conducted to provide a solid evidence-base for policy interventions.• Benchmarking and meta-evaluations are used when designing finance measures. A needs assessment should be undertaken at the beginning of the policy development cycle. When assessing the gaps in the availability and accessibility of finance for entrepreneurs from under-represented and disadvantaged groups (e.g. women, youth, immigrants, the unemployed), policy makers need to conduct research, surveys and consultations to understand the financing needs and assess how the current finance support measures are meeting entrepreneurs’ needs. Assessing how policy can address the start-up financing needs for the unemployed requires consideration for various profiles of the unemployed (e.g. part-time entrepreneurs, graduates), as well as differences in motivation and intention. It is important to consult with aspiring entrepreneurs and representatives for the financial sector to identify and address gaps in the current suite of financing offers for the target groups. Read more.
• A range of financial instruments is used to support the unemployed in business start-up, e.g. loan guarantees, microfinance, risk capital.• Different profiles of the unemployed can access to start-up financing offers.• The private sector is involved in the selection of business ideas that receive financing.• Crowdfunding and peer-to-peer lending platforms for the unemployed are promoted and supported. • Only business ideas with a reasonable chance of success are supported.• Innovative business ideas (but not necessarily technology-related ideas) are favoured for support. • The scale of financing support offered is appropriate. Entrepreneurs from under-represented and disadvantaged groups (e.g. women, youth, immigrants, the unemployed) often face greater challenges in accessing start-up financing, often due to a lack of collateral and credit history. Therefore, it is common for policy makers to introduce tailored schemes to help entrepreneurs access loan guarantees, microfinance and a range of alternative instruments and markets. To facilitate access to start-up financing for the unemployed, policy makers should ensure that financing initiatives match the needs of different profiles of the unemployed, including the unemployed and recent graduates, and are appropriate for their entrepreneurial motivations and intentions. Read more.
• A range of financial instruments is available to support the development and growth of businesses started by the unemployed, e.g. loan guarantees, microfinance, risk capital.• Different profiles of entrepreneurs can access financing for business development and growth. • Lending laws and financial sector regulations ensure sufficient investor protection and transparency on business projects.• The private sector is involved in the design or management of financing mechanisms. The scale of business development and growth financing support offered to diverse profiles of entrepreneurs is appropriate. Business development and growth often require external financing to finance new equipment, staff and location. To support the unemployed in accessing finance for business development and growth, policy makers should ensure that financing initiatives are appropriate for this group of potential entrepreneurs. Public policy can also educate the financial sector on biases in lending decisions and how these could be addressed to support disadvantaged entrepreneurs. Read more.
• Business angel networks dedicated to investing in entrepreneurs who had been unemployed are supported and encouraged, e.g. tax incentives, subsidised operating costs, public co-investment.• The private sector is involved in the design or management of financing mechanisms.• Training is offered to investors to teach them about the potential of entrepreneurs who had been unemployed, and to address potential biases in lending and investing decisions.• Training is offered to entrepreneurs who had been unemployed to improve investor readiness.• Public infrastructure to improve matchmaking between entrepreneurs and investors exists. • The scale of support for risk capital measures and business angel networks is appropriate. High growth firms require large injections of capital to fuel the rapidly expanding business activities, often coming from business angel or venture capital investment. Very few entrepreneurs require this type of financing but it is possible for entrepreneurs from under-represented and disadvantaged groups (e.g. women, youth, immigrants, the unemployed) to need this type of investment. For the unemployed who create high-growth potential firms, policy makers should educate them on the pros and cons of risk capital, and offer training on how to pitch business ideas to investors. It is also important to address any biases in investors’ financing decisions. Read more.
• Tailored entrepreneurship support for the unemployed is offered in integrated packages.• Entrepreneurs receiving financial support are informed about the range of options for developing entrepreneurship, financial, and management skills.• There is an effective referral system to refer the unemployed supported through business financing initiatives to non-financial supports, e.g. training, coaching and mentoring.• Financing measures also refer entrepreneurs to appropriate training, coaching and mentoring and business counselling. Business financing schemes that include entrepreneurship training, coaching or mentoring are often more effective when they help equip entrepreneurs with the skills needed to effectively use the financing received. When supporting entrepreneurship among the unemployed through integrated support packages, policy makers should offer financial support incrementally and emphasise individual coaching, mentoring and business consultancy. Policy should favour innovative ideas when supporting the unemployed in business creation to minimise displacement effects. Read more.
• Business financing offers for the unemployed are delivered by agencies or organisations that do not have appropriate experience or expertise in working with the target groups.• Support measures are accessible to the unemployed. • A database of financing programmes and opportunities is available to entrepreneurs starting from unemployment. For business financing support to make an impact, it is important that it reaches the targeted entrepreneurs. Therefore, it is imperative that the financing is delivered through the most appropriate channels. In delivering business financing to the unemployed with potential to create a business, policy makers should work with specialist organisations to conduct outreach and/or deliver the support, e.g. public employment services. Read more.
• Ex ante evaluations are used to identify areas where policy action is needed, assess the consistency of proposed policy actions with ongoing interventions, identify linkages with other policy actions, and ensure that proposed actions are coherent with strategic objectives. • Monitoring and mid-term evaluations are undertaken to ensure that entrepreneurship schemes for the unemployed are on-track to reach their targets and objectives.• Schemes are adjusted to account for monitoring and mid-term evaluation results.• Ex post evaluations are undertaken to measure the impact of entrepreneurship policies targeting the unemployed, and the results are reported widely.• Deadweight loss and displacement effects are measured and reported.• Results of monitoring and evaluation are reported publicly and used to improve start-up financing offers. Monitoring and evaluation are important tools for managing business financing schemes and understanding which initiatives have an impact and which do not. When assessing business financing schemes that support the unemployed, it is important to evaluate the differential impact made by the financing initiative. This should include the impact of non-financial support, and account for deadweight loss and displacement effects. Evaluations should also investigate selection biases against the unemployed that constrain their access to business financing. Read more.
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• Needs assessments are used to design policies and programmes that support the development of entrepreneurship networks for the unemployed.• Aspiring entrepreneurs who had been unemployed, and community organisations supporting the unemployed, are consulted to identify how policy support can address gaps in business networks for this group.• The needs of different profiles of the unemployed are considered when designing and implementing policies and programmes that build entrepreneurship networks.• Background research is conducted to provide a solid evidence-base for policy initiatives.• Benchmarking and meta-evaluations are used when designing networking initiatives for entrepreneurs who start out of unemployment. A needs assessment should be undertaken at the beginning of the development of any inclusive entrepreneurship networking initiative. When assessing the gaps in the availability and accessibility of entrepreneurship networks for entrepreneurs from under-represented and disadvantaged groups (e.g. women, youth, immigrants, the unemployed), policy makers need to conduct research, surveys and consultations to understand how current networks are meeting entrepreneurs’ needs. In assessing how policy can address the networking needs of the unemployed, policy makers should identify existing entrepreneurship networks and work with public employment services, trade unions, labour organisations, entrepreneurship support providers and entrepreneurs to understand the existing gaps. Read more.
• There is awareness about entrepreneurship by the unemployed among mainstream business networks.• There are public initiatives that link potential entrepreneurs who had been unemployed with relevant mainstream business networks, organisations and associations to expand their networks.• Referrals to networks consider the needs, objectives and profile of the unemployed from diverse backgrounds. Different profiles of entrepreneurs will likely operate different types of businesses, and will have different motivations and aspirations. These will all shape the role that entrepreneurship networks have in supporting their business. In supporting the development of entrepreneurship networks for the unemployed who aspire to create a business, it is important to promote networks in partnership with entrepreneurship ambassadors from similar backgrounds and business organisations that encourage entrepreneurship among the unemployed. Read more.
• Publicly-supported entrepreneurship networks for the unemployed who aspire to create a business raise awareness about available entrepreneurship supports.• Networks members are referred to a wide range of entrepreneurship support services. Entrepreneurship networks can help individual entrepreneurs access a range of resources, including identifying professional business supports. To effectively connect entrepreneurs from under-represented and disadvantaged groups (e.g. women, youth, immigrants, the unemployed) with entrepreneurship support organisations through entrepreneurship networks, policy makers need to ensure that partnerships are built with support organisations. To connect the unemployed with professional support services through entrepreneurship networks, it is important for policy makers to build partnerships with key stakeholders such as public employment services, trade unions and other relevant organisations. Read more.
• A person responsible for engaging network members.• Network members feel a sense of ownership over the network and actively contribute to network activities.• There are regular opportunities for face-to-face and online interactions.• Newsletters are used to maintain regular contact with network members. To ensure that network members can maximise the benefits of being in the entrepreneurship network, active participation is needed. To effectively animate entrepreneurship networks aimed at the unemployed, policy makers should ensure regular engagement with members through regular events and information / newsletters. Read more.
• Online platforms are used to expand the reach of the entrepreneurship networks for the unemployed.• Online platforms and communities connect experienced entrepreneurs with potential entrepreneurs from similar backgrounds. • Appropriate matching mechanisms are used to connect the unemployed with more experience entrepreneurs.• Use of online networking platforms is monitored to verify take-up among the unemployed who aspire to create a business. Online platforms allow entrepreneurship networks to have a greater reach than networks that rely on face-to-face interactions. They also offer greater flexibility for how members engage with each other. However, there is a danger that this flexibility will lead to a lower level of commitment to the network and therefore less engagement. To be effective, online networks need strong management and outreach to keep members engaged. To maximise the potential benefits of online entrepreneurship networks for the unemployed, it is important that appropriate promotion channels are used, e.g. public employment services. Read more.
• Ex ante evaluations are used to identify areas where policy action is needed, assess the consistency of proposed policy actions with ongoing interventions, identify linkages with other policy actions, and ensure that proposed actions are coherent with strategic objectives. • Monitoring and mid-term evaluations are undertaken to ensure that entrepreneurship schemes for the unemployed are on-track to reach their targets and objectives.• Schemes are adjusted to account for monitoring and mid-term evaluation results.• Ex post evaluations are undertaken to measure the impact of entrepreneurship policies targeting the unemployed, and the results are reported widely.• Results of monitoring and evaluation are reported publicly and use to improve networking initiatives. Monitoring and evaluation are important tools for understanding the impact and effectiveness of inclusive entrepreneurship networks. When assessing entrepreneurship networks for the unemployed, it is important to evaluate the impact on business creation and growth, as well as estimating the impact on employability. Read more.

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