businessA majority of Europeans (58%) would prefer to work as an employee rather than risk starting their own business. This contrasts starkly with attitudes in the United States, where a majority (51%) say they would prefer to strike out alone.

Why are so few Europeans setting up their own businesses? Despite red tape and an innate European fear of failure often taking the blame, the Eurobarometer Survey on Entrepreneurship suggests that it is rather the difficulty of raising start-up capital and the poor economic environment preventing more of Europe’s would-be entrepreneurs from taking the plunge.

A lack of business experience was also cited as a concern, and we had a comment sent in by Jussara who said he has some great business ideas and a lot of passion, but that he had no idea how to put his ideas into practice. He asked for advice, so we took his comment to Wouter Verschelden, founder of newsmonkey.be and one of the 40 Under 40 European Young Leaders. What advice would he offer?

VerscheldenI would say it’s all a question of mentality; be ready to be bold, and be ready to fail. There is no shame in trying and, as long as you learn something, the failure of less successful ventures is still going to lead you somewhere. I really cannot repeat enough how important that mentality is.

I would also say that, for every good idea you have, there are going to be about 10 or 20 people – including friends and family – lining up to say it’s a crazy idea and you should choose security or a more stable income or whatnot. So, my advice is to follow your gut feeling and ignore all those comments.

Whilst the trend in some European countries, including Portugal and the UK, has been for an increase in new enterprise start-ups since the economic crisis struck in 2007, other EU Member States, such as Germany, Italy and Denmark, have seen a decline.

Entrepreneurship_EU02_VECT

But what about the problem of access to capital? We had a comment sent in by Graaf, who thinks the biggest problem facing entrepreneurs in Europe today is access to investment. What would Verschelden say?

VerscheldenI think he’s absolutely right. What I’ve seen so far with European investors is that they would immediately reach for more classic parameters to justify an investment, such as return on investment over the next few years. I happen to have a brother who works in Silicon valley, and the difference is quite immense. There, they really look at growth and future potential, and they’re really not concerned with immediate return on investment.

It’s absolutely a question of mentality and the sort of climate you want to shape for choosing new technology and being bold and daring with certain ideas. Europe needs to create a climate where failure is an option. “Failure” is not even the right word – it should be seen as simply trying to be successful and, in the process, investing high amounts of money and time because you need to find the right solutions. Europe just doesn’t have that mentality or that spirit…

We also spoke to Maria Vlachou, another ’40 Under 40′ European Young Leader, entrepreneur and CEO of the Greek company Fereikos-Helix, a company that oversees the development of organic snail farming globally. How would she respond to Graaf?

Next up, we had a comment sent in from Carlos arguing that Europe needed to change its mindset if it wanted to encourage more entrepreneurship:

citizen_icon_180x180I think the main problem is, as others have said before, the red tape on new businesses as well as the fear of failure… On the other side of the Atlantic they understand that failure is not a bad thing [and] it teaches you and makes you improve. Without changing the mindset of European policy-makers and venture capitalists, Europe will never be an entrepreneurial zone with open-minded businesses, because those will have all flown away to the San Francisco bay area to look for the failure that Europe was so afraid of (and that will ultimately bring them success).

We spoke to Adriano Farano, another ’40 Under 40′ European Young Leader, and the CEO and Co-founder of Watchup, a Silicon Valley-based start-up. As a European entrepreneur who emigrated to Silicon Valley, how would he respond to Carlos?

We also put Carlos’ comment to Maria Vlachou, to see how she would respond:

Finally, we had a comment sent in from Laszlo, who suggested mentorship programs could be a way to pass on necessary experience to young European entrepreneurs:

citizen_icon_180x180Some kind of mentorship programs or continuous coaching or advice from statutory organisations, chambers of commerce, etc., could be part of the solution. Many newly-founded enterprises fail, just because that is the natural flow of things. But could mentorship be reduce the number of start-ups failing?

This idea met with an enthusiastic response from Adriano Farano, who said the practice is very common in Silicon Valley and should be adopted more often in Europe:

Why are so few Europeans setting up their own businesses? Is the problem too much red tape? Are Europeans afraid of failure and unwilling to take business risks? Why don’t more Europeans want to be entrepreneurs? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below, and we’ll take them to policy-makers and experts for their reactions.

IMAGE CREDITS: CC / Flickr – bisgovuk


140 comments Post a commentComment

What do YOU think?

  1. Olivier Laurent

    Because most have no suicidal tendencies. Have you check the amount of red tapes and taxes you will have to endure?

  2. Gatis Gailitis

    Because the accounting, taxation, budget planning are all very frustrating things. I wish they were made so easy to understand anyone could do it. In addition to that. Business and Civil Law should be tought in schools.

  3. Pier Dal Ri

    Europe is far too socialist to permit someone to make money, business is about making money, europe is socialist, unfortunately.

  4. Suraci Edud Nemo

    I think what you guys are referring to is a bureaucratic corpocracy favoring large capitalist conglomerates over those pesky little newcomers, that may actually INNOVATE, and are therefore among the prime threats to the corporate fascist status quo.

    • Laurinda

      Totally agree with you. The business environment for SMEs is not very conducive, unlike the business environment for big corps. SME’s are fragmented and do not have the mass lobbying groups or power of the big guys.

  5. Karel Van Isacker

    So in short when I read the above employers should be admired. How come then that we as employers get faced with national strikes? Labour union that show total lack of respect and a state that overtaxes us?

    • Jan Goossenaerts

      In Belgium it is probably fairer to say that employees and SMEs are overtaxed – big business and employers often get away paying hardly any taxes. A taxshift is overdue. And the lack of respect, it seems to be mutual nowadays.

  6. Suraci Edud Nemo

    Europe isn’t by far socialist enough to be fully able to thwart people like you from lining their pockets over the blood, sweat and tears of the less fortunate, Pier Dal Ri.

    Sadly the current system favors psychopaths.

  7. Αργυρης Κουκουτσιδης

    There is a belief that who owns a bussines is always rich.thats the high taxes to these ppl.the most of them owe money to banks.even some of the large companies.if this seems funny,it would be very intresting to open the bank accounts and see whose the big money belong .

  8. Alexander Grech

    Not worth it under EU bureaucracy,whole swathes of legistation,high tax,plus unjust and immoral VAT,and Bank loans.

  9. Spyros Kouvoussis

    Because employers,if allowed,will drive us in the dark ages. And i am not speaking about small businesses who’s majority will close or remail small but for the few gigantic ones which control economies and dictate policies.

  10. Victor Marques

    The question is more “Why governments in front of tremendous changes in world economy and in the world of labour, don’t change strategy and models?”

    People tend to change and adapt when the context also changes, the biggest problem here, is that what would have more impact in this type of change, isn’t changing… everybody panics when the floor moves with no control, that’s why governments don’t see the need to touch their revenue/expenses streams… clearly without a vision for the future. Meanwhile “outside”, some recycling is happening, but that’s business as usual, and everything appears to be perfectly functional.

  11. Yannick Cornet

    Because I can achieve and learn more by joining an existing group of people working with an existing idea, product or service, than trying to start it all from scratch by myself. Also because we value life outside of work and we all know that starting a business, wherever you are, is a 24hour job that only rarely brings higher income than the first option mentioned above. Finally, being less greedy, the illusion of high income is less of motivation. My 2 cents..

  12. Jovan Ivosevic

    seven decades of cultural indoctrination that economic security is more important than building or innovating.

  13. ironworker

    Why don’t more Europeans want to be entrepreneurs?

    What makes you think that europeans are eager to embrace neo liberal way of thinking ? I thought that people are different and they are pursuing different dreams. Less responsibility = less stress = longer life, so it comes naturally after all. Maybe is not a wise decision when the economic crisis and armed conflicts are sweeping entirely from the face of the Earth well established businesses. Self sufficiency is the key of survival in a such “global” economy. Maybe some other time.

    • J. Afonso Martins

      I think you nailed it. It’s the european “work to live” vs the america “live to work” . Free time is a lot more than just money.

  14. Antonio Picone

    The EU is the too complex! Each state haven’t got money to sturt up or because for your model. The Europe want cut and cut. There isn’t model of future Europe. There isn’t the image of Europe. The globalization is too complex to star the new business. The only way to change is that the Europe changing.

  15. Antonio Picone

    The Europe need to integrate for a role in the world. In this way there are private investors and money to build new job model and new competition!

  16. Antinazi Archimedes

    30% work for the government. Should they open up their own government? Then you have the industry. I’m short a few hundred millions to open up a car factory. The means of production should be owned by the people who work. Lets start a revolution. Just like communism but with the difference that common people own everything and not the state. The state actually should be owned by the people too. Directly and not via corrupt, lying “representatives”. Happy with my reply?

  17. Giorgos Tsolakis

    opening a business in a country i.e like Greece where the consumption power is to low(and possibly it can be even lower with the new austerity measures that goverment and troika might impose) it can be proved as a waste money unless you have a really inovative idea brings you competitive advantage and you can export your product .

  18. Jacob JJacob Marris

    “The first truth is that the liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their democratic state itself. That, in its essence, is fascism ? ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power”. Franklin D. Roosevelt. Message to Congress on Curbing Monopolies.
    April 29, 1938

  19. Jacob JJacob Marris

    “Fascism is a system in which the government leaves nominal ownership of the means of production in the hands of private individuals but exercises control by means of regulatory legislation and reaps most of the profit by means of heavy taxation. In effect, fascism is simply a more subtle form of government ownership than is socialism. ? Linda & Morris Tannehill

  20. Jacob JJacob Marris

    “Granted that the 19th century was the century of socialism, liberalism, democracy, this does not mean that the 20th century must also be the century of socialism, liberalism, democracy. Political doctrines pass; nations remain. We are free to believe that this is the century of authority, a century tending to the ‘right’, a Fascist century. If the 19th century was the century of the individual (liberalism implies individualism) we are free to believe that this is the ‘collective’ century, and therefore the century of the State”. Benito Mussolini

  21. Nuno Oliveira

    It’s the reverse in Portugal, the philosophy is: “If I’m being paid in peanuts anyway, might as well work for myself”

  22. Azzam Jaber

    The system does not allow you to have a business, with regulations and taxes.. so you prefer to get a job rather than create jobs.

    • Antonio

      Cultural punishment in what way? Afraid to be seen by the society as a failure?
      I think the time and money spent in bureaucracy in Portugal was reduced in the last decade, but at the same time the taxes are higher than ever, closing enterprises that were solid through 30 or more years and condemning startups to a battle of survival against big companies with tax benefits.

  23. Erich Scheffl

    We, the people need safe, long lasting income. We have to pay each month our invoices. That is your task.

    • EU reform- proactive

      The Governments task- to pay your invoices? To be born, live life & survive is a huge risk- rather be not born or ask your parents- why?

      Entrepreneurial spirit is a gift & mindset which contains vision, passion, ambitions, self-motivation, inner drive, innovation, creativity, risk-taking, fearlessness and trust in one self. It needs courage to be ‘unemployed’, adapt and survive through adversity.

  24. Mia Vikki

    Mostly cause for analysing market you need at least 8 years and for starting 8 days and for being succesful -connections and friends.Not adds.

  25. Rudi Spoljarec

    58%?It’s a good rate:it’s a european medium rate but here is more than 80 % who want to be an employee:people want safe job and law risk.Bussiness ambient in Croatia is poor: unsuitable law ,no support;bad banking -huge interest rate ,no support to small companies,bureaucracy demanding impossible, huge taxes and parafiscal duties many of them even unrecognized through statistics.

  26. Trond Johannessen

    It is a silly question. We already have too many one-man bands, and too little large firm offtake of products. We cannot live from cutting each others’ hair!

  27. Trond Johannessen

    We need to grow those enterprises created by the best entrepreneurs. That means building teams, hiring employees, keeping everyone motivated and so building Europe to global Hegemony. It is possible, if the culture does not become delirious about “entrepreneurs” being a superior being (until the taxman arrives).

  28. Trond Johannessen

    It is our fiscal system that kills good initiatives – and transfers resources to the wrong places and into activities that do not foster the best of Europe. The first step to setting things right is fiscal alignment. No more Ireland as a fiscal paradise. Everyone should be allowed to be happy where they are, going to a structured or unstructured job.

  29. Trond Johannessen

    It is of course no help if Governments try to “stimulate” entrepreneurship by giving loans that are managed by banks that call you in default instead of managing the situation, so you end up teinted with registry entries, and you simply cannot remain in that place as an entrepreneur, as you will be hamstrung at the bank, at the phone company, and at the notary’s office. Please, no more credit – all we need is equity based funding schemes.

  30. Jaume Roqueta

    well… at least in spain, laws are made by lobbies so you can not compite with them… politicians are paid by them… to many laws to hide the thiefs!

  31. Guido Costantini

    1) as noted, finding the financing to start is hard and most often than not it means putting all your personal wealth, or even taking personal loans -usually against your house (finding a bank giving you a loan on an idea is basically impossible)-, on your business. When losing out doesn’t mean only to end up unemployed, but also losing the roof for your families and kids, you might.. actually rationally SHOULD.. think twice.

    2) the idea of employees of the start up betting on the business by accepting ridiculous salaries against shares/options, which is the norm in US, is relatively unheard of, which means that your HR costs will be very high right away.

    3) also, firing is harder in most EU than in the US, meaning you most often than not can not modulate your HR on the need of the moment, but you will have to make an assessment of how much is a middle line between how many people you need now and how many you need at the minimum if things don’t take off right away and hope you are right.

    4) Taxes. Boy if you have to pay taxes right away in most of Eu states (as against as tax exemption in the US for the first 1 to 5 years). And social costs for your employees. And in some countries taxes on presumed earnings, even if you do not have such earnings yet. And “oiling” the bureaucracy wheels in some countries. And paying for “protection” in some.

    5) if things go wrong, most often than not you will end in personal bankruptcy which, unlike in the US (where chapter 11 has also a debtor’s protection liquidating your assets but preventing your debtors to follow you once the procedure is close), in most European countries the creditors will be able to get to your present and, worse, FUTURE wealth, meaning a failure will stay with you forever. In countries where it is not possible to have separate accounts between spouses, also your wife/husband wealth is subject to attack from creditors. In some countries, even your civil rights are limited for years if you get in bankruptcy (for instance, in Italy, you have to communicate to the authorities if you change your residence and you can’t basically have any activity as whatever economical action you take is invalid towards your previous creditors, which means no one will do business with you risking to have anything done with you taken away in your previous bankruptcy).

    Basically, in most (not all) EU countries personal entrepreneurship means a limited upside (15% of start up close within a year, 50% within 5) and immense and permanent/semi-permanent downsides.

    • Jan Goossenaerts

      5 very valid points, implying that if you don’t have a strong financial position when starting – most odds are and remain against you.
      The whole regulatory system has been conceived for the kind of business of a century ago, and what has been added since has created a patchwork for which you need 5 different specialists to navigate it –
      The EU has a small business act, but who has noticed its impact already?

  32. EU reform- proactive

    Many ‘entrepreneurs’ left Europe since the 19th century and created prosperity somewhere else- mainly in the US- but are back to negotiate the controversial TAFTA- TTIP.

    The EU remains ‘entrepreneurially’ challenged due to its past social experimentation’s- the USSR & Co. with its lost workers paradise! The consequential mind set dilution in the EU, aggravated by the eastern enlargement of 11 new Members was of no great infusion either.

    However, the world is full of a variety of entrepreneurs:

    * The established & strong global 1%, sharing ‘friendships’ with politicians, influencing policies & laws to their benefit.
    * The ‘friendship’ed politicians and re-cycled ones, acting as advisers to the 1% & banks.
    * The big, but not so huge corporations who made it by winning the monopoly game.
    * The sub-contractors who are supplying all the above, trying to hold on, being squeezed by the big boys, workers & authorities.
    * Than the lone, courageous, passionate small guy (s) who offer innovation, but risking life, limb, their health, working 24/7/12, no private life, no financial security but trusting to make it one day. Thereafter paying taxes to support the rest and their demand for a 32hrs working week & full welfare.
    * The street entrepreneurs selling & doing anything to stay alive.
    * The smart ones who decided that the world around them is too competitive & rather opted to use the old tricks of pick pocketing, fraud & modern e-mail scams.
    * The anti entrepreneurs who only see difficulties everywhere and believe in a nanny state & father X-mas.
    * All politicians who concluded that ‘governing’ is easier than to work for a living.

    No wonder entrepreneurship is a dying out! Real “Entrepreneurship” remains however the basis of wealth creation & needs to be encouraged!

    http://www.bizworld.org/

  33. Cila Gonçalves

    europeans d’ont prefer! they only d’ont have money to invest on industry or other business.

  34. eusebio manuel vestias pecurto

    beacue there is comperative system in the state in europe I believe in the sustainable economic and social environmental view drop that authoritian political domain of european states companies can not be on the polician domain Brussels believe in the liberalism economic system

  35. Marcel

    Two reasons.

    1. cozy safety net

    2. enormous cost of starting up a company, ranging from moronic ‘green’ regulations (all of the EU’s “one size fits all” regulations are tailored to big corporations) to the massive cost of hiring even a single person

    • Marcel

      And a third one:
      3. once you do make a profit, government taxes the living daylights out of you to fund J.C. Junckers tax exempt salary

  36. nn

    A key reason for the lack of entrepreneurs is that they don’t stand much of a chance competing with large powerful companies, get ‘eaten alive’ before they start. Monopoles!

  37. Jason Papadopoulos

    Europe needs to invest in Greece and cut their debts. Greece use to be the biggest investors in the Balkans with textile, shoe manufacturing and mobile telephone communications in the Balkans in countries such as Albania, Bulgaria and Romania uniting them under the Greek businesses and the Greeks planned an expansion into Russia and Cyprus.

    While the Western Balkans were more intact with each other like Serbia with Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia with Slovenia and Croatia with Montenegro. Serbia was the major investor in the western part. Still in both parts of the Balkans there were Western Investors as well !!!! We need more fresh investments and stimulation for business to develop and job creations and raising standards…..

  38. Edgar Da Silva Carreira

    Entrepreneurship is about being proactive and create something new. So, all of those that are enrolled in a Masters, Ph. D. or other level of education could be considered entrepreneurs. If we could be more? Yes! Let’s find a way to attract more people to the universities!

    • Mark

      Sorry but European universities are the last place to look for entrepreneurs.

  39. J M Perz Gnlz

    Austerity + Huge taxes for self-employed + Huge rent prices for local shops + Huge energy prices + So slow and so many bureaucratic procedures + Most people with no money = No small business or entrepreneurship option available.

  40. Jason Pi

    If you are forced to drink a couple of bottles of battery acid, can you then go and play football in the park?

  41. Kostas Panagiotopoulos

    In my opinion it’s not just the austerity that holds it back. It’s the idea that laissez-faire is something self sustainable. The ultimate goal of entrepreneurship is to set a high selling price not being the beginning of a constantly evolving business in everyday life. Meaning that the idea is always to maximise profits. And that is a problem inherent to the capitalistic system and not of neoliberalism not being adapted quickly and deeply enough in Europe as opposed to the USA. I personally believe that it is the business of the universities to bring on breakthroughs and new ideas and not a matter of making new products during an obvious crisis of overproduction in the world. Unless of course we believe that inventing new ways of paying lower wages for almost the same jobs a breakthrough and that hipster barber shops, gourmet cafs and bars with little compensations for those working there is entrepreneurship. We got plenty of those here in Greece.

  42. Ivan Vikalo

    If anything, the EU has made it a billion times to do business in Europe… I would argue that it is just about the culture in Europe

  43. Maria Helena Neto

    Austerity is killing the economies All over Europe. If people have Low wages they can’t buy much and there is no market for new enterprises.

  44. Estratega Premiado Acutilante

    There are WAY TOO MANY European entrepreneurs.
    The level of entrepresneurship in Greece, for instance, is 75%, in Portugal 67%. 90% of those lead a… one-man company!
    The same level for USA is… less than 25%.
    So cut the bullcrap!

    OF COURSE I would prefer to have a stable job instead of being the entrepreneur I was almost forced to be. So 58% is a low number.

    And what red tape and barriers? What stops entrepreneurship is not having CUSTOMERS because the money goes to banksters instead of the real economy.

  45. Nando Aidos

    In my country it is red tape, constantly changing laws and a government that has no clue as to what it takes to encourage new enterprises or to sustain existing ones. Neither does it know how to boost the birth rate.

  46. Spiros Agiovasiliotis

    small businesses sell non-necessary products and services. People in Europe do not have enough money to spend on luxury products. There is no demand, people pay their basic expenses and have nothing left after that.

  47. Tony Kunnari

    What I need is a constant flux of income flow. It does not have to be much because I could accelerate it by working in any field I decide to proceed in. Also if we automate the current billing system in a certain way, we would be able to dismantle many inappropriate and useless second and third party arrangements which more or less solely has the advantage to abuse artificial emphasis of natural scarcity.

    I believe we need to reshape the current system of all economies become into breathing version of its current self.

  48. Eugenia Serban

    Because there ‘s no security..stability…predictibility…in the political and economic system. Laws change. And people are not financially secure.
    Jobs are not steady.

  49. José Manuel Quintáns Pazos

    In Spain there is a specific tax for every company and startup of about 350 EUR / month, independently of profit, cash flow.

    It’s a huge load for little businesses and entrepreneurs.

    Added to taxes over profit, it means that for an entrepreneur for earning 1000 EUR / month after taxes he/she must make almost 2000 EUR / month, which translates to 50% tax level.

  50. Pirjo Niemenmaa

    As the entrepreneurs in the survey said, start-up capital is hard to get,and the economic climate is risky.

    Most small businesses know that many clients/customers prefer to shop at established large departments and buy famous brands instead of shopping at a new business or new brands.

    There are of course different kinds of businesses; technological businesses, retail businesses, etc.

    Those who have good contacts with ‘a big buyer’ (a corporation, a government, etc.) are the only ones with a realistic chance to be successful.

    People like the myth of innovations but do not wish to invest in inventions/new businesses.

    Therefore, don’t be creative, be money-minded.

    ‘Drugs, food, and funerals’ are always needed, said someone to me for a long time ago. I think I agree…

  51. David Bisset

    If professionals truly seek to serve their clients, why is it that departures from conventional wisdom and attempts at genuine innovation so often seem to involve acts of courage or even defiance? I believe that institutional thinking is very deep-rooted in many European countries and command-and-control cultures dictate professional practice and stunt professional imaginations. Why did Mihály Csíkszentmihályi need to go to the USA to meet up with Martin Seligman and help invent positive psychology? Why does Stephen Fry differentiate between the British humour of failure and thwarted ambition and American humour of swaggering, couldn’t-give-a-damn wise-crackers?

  52. Gerlinde Rud

    You have to plant marihuana al over europa,befour,america,or russia doo,than you have money,and not so much debattes,and we,europa can help the victims bether,and than,if stoppt the war,you have your buissnesss,the worker,from armsfabrik can plant,and ectr. And for the earth is verry good,medicin also is,

  53. Eva Benko Zoltan

    It’s difficult to start a business. While the rich are not paying taxis a small enterorise can not compete

  54. Eva Benko Zoltan

    that pays half of it’s income in taxses can not compete with one that pays 1%. they threten with removing their fotrunes, but they take every year more money to the fiscal paradises than their fortunes. They are not an asset for a country , they a re a lyability. All the austerity and deflation is concieved to lenthen the crises that the rich are profiting from it. In America the rich are complaining, that the crises might finich and they didn’t have time to profit enough of it.

  55. Toni Muñiz

    Taxes, red tape, mandatory self employment taxes etc. etc.

    04/01/2016 Liolios Nektarios, Co-Founder of StartUpBootCamp, has responded to this comment.

    04/01/2016 Mathieu Carenzo, Lecturer of Entrepreneurship at the University of Navarra, has responded to this comment.

    04/01/2016 Robert Willstedt, CEO of FEO Media, has responded to this comment.

  56. Chalks Corriette

    High taxes for small enterprises, lack of innovative government policies and tools, low understanding of the mindset needed in government to grow entrepreneurs that make a positive impact to society.

  57. Giji Gya

    Agree…. One of the few things i dislike here as compared to oz us and uk

  58. Ferreira

    We need More link between business and school

  59. Mark

    Europeans like to believe in myth about sophistication, culture and values. The supposedly value life more than work. However, what happens is that with exception of few European countries (Germany, Netherlands and Scandinavia) majority can only live paycheck to paycheck. On top of that, entrepreneurship is almost non existent. Also, Europeans practice money shaming, and honestly all money is “old” money like BMW, AUDI, BASF, IKEA , SIEMENS etc… It is extremely rare to find rich people under 40 in Europe, they are all old and grey. Where are Google , Tesla, Facebook in Europe? They don’t exist and most likely will never exist. Europeans like to have less but to be safe. Workers are spoiled and exist on “rights” like someone owns them money. Majority of people in Europe are absolutely clueless when it comes to taxes and they are willing to pay 50% to “government” who is usually just flushing money down the drain , just look at the Greece. All in all, entrepreneurship in Europe is Sisyphus’ task . the smartest and the most capable go to USA.

  60. Noia Blackcat

    I don’t know much about other european countries but here in Italy taxation is really high for enterprises and often entrepreneurs have no profits at all with all the costs and maybe that’s why people prefer to be working for someone else. Usually being an entrepreneur also means that you have a lot of responsibility and problems that you keep with you when you get home…

  61. Alex

    Why I don’t think to start a new business on European soil esp Italy? Quite simple: I don’t want to embrace the American way of life like “live to work” and being on Adderall to sustain my business. Life is too precious to only focus on work. Other factors are the high taxes, the Euro is a problem,borrowing money too,financial instability too, plus unfair rules within each member state and different burocracy even in those adopting the single currency..I’d rather have a lower income without all the worries of being hunted by Debt collector company for the rest of my life

  62. Yanni Sfyrides

    Greeks always wanted and alwayw will be trying for a free profession- There is a reason for this- Greeks cannot easily cooperate- they prefer to make their own decisions and of course take the results -good or bad- all by themselves

  63. Chris Pavlides

    Greece: 85% taxes , -75% market and plenty of surprises on the road. Big fishes pay funny, eat small and dominate the market. Before you get clients and money at your hands you pay a lot everywhere with ZERO ROI on top. As employee you work 12 hours to get paid if and as they want… so better we go with Tarzan. This is not our Europe.

  64. Luis García

    Stupid question for serious problems. (why don t more europeans want to be rich or inteligents or…just bitches…there are work and the Govern needs your taxes. Save your country, save your economy, and save your community!

  65. Nando Aidos

    Entrepreneurship is now touted to be the ‘in fashion’ solution for all that ails the world. The ‘in fashion’ solution for what governments have not done to protect society from greedy corporations, and for what corporations have done to create the endemic unemployment that is plaguing society as a whole, everywhere.
    It actually makes for an interesting “liberal free markets” speech trying to make people believe that if they are where they are it is their own damn fault because they have not become entrepreneurs.
    There are plenty of reasons why people do not and cannot become entrepreneurs and lots of pitfalls in entrepreneurial activities. And if entrepreneurship may provide some freedom of decision making (which is true only to a point… ) it is filled with risks that are out of the (any) entrepreneurs’ control (such as the legal and financial deck being stacked in favor of big business…).

  66. nando

    Entrepreneurship is now touted to be the ‘in fashion’ solution for all that ails the world. The ‘in fashion’ solution for what governments have not done to protect society from greedy corporations, and for what corporations have done to create the endemic unemployment that is plaguing society as a whole, everywhere.
    It actually makes for an interesting “liberal free markets” speech trying to make people believe that if they are where they are it is their fault because they have not become entrepreneurs.
    There are plenty of reasons why people do not and cannot become entrepreneurs and lots of pitfalls in entrepreneurial activities. And if entrepreneurship may provide some freedom of decision making (which is true only to a point… ) it is filled with risk that are out of the (any) entrepreneurs’ control (such as the legal and financial deck being stacked in favor of big business…).

  67. Giorgos Tsolakis

    according to official statistics the 80% of start up companies they do not survive for more that 2 and from the rest 20% only technology companies they continue to operate however the majority of the market share is taken over by big companies they all ready exist in to the technology sector. That means people they do not risk their money on geting in to debt if posibiities tou suceed are very low

  68. Dit Ta

    They will after the BasicIncome.org applying for all on the same way !

  69. Andrej Němec

    Because of high taxation and bureaucracy. I just opened a consulting company here in Belgium and it took me 2 months. What’s the average time to set up a new company in Countries like Israel or California? Can’t we copy their system? Best practices should be replicated whenever possible.

  70. Luis García

    What are you going to do with people, with population, when the technological revolution being right now, does now than the 47% of the jobs in USA are substitutable by robots or artifitial intelligence programs? Don´t matter if you are ingineer or your studies. If not in 10, so in 20 years you will be fire. How about google translate ten years ago, and how will be it in 10 years? Doctors? ok, maybe 20. teachers..hm…15. I don´t listen any politic speaking about it.

  71. カメニャク マリオ

    Why should everyone be an entrepeneur? Maybe someone wants to be an engineer, artist, scientist, sportsman, activist… Not everyone wants or needs to be a gray suit bussiness person.

  72. Miguel Cruz

    Taxes, burocracy, too many complicated regulations and to know that big corporations will manage to ruin your business due to unfair competition

  73. Oli Lau

    Taxes, bureaucracy. The states trying too hard to legally steal most of your hard earned money.

  74. Matej Mlinarič

    Risk of owning a business is far to great and those governments are more interested to get as they can from taxes rather then actually help with it. So if you want to make it easier to start new business then you should allow minimal taxes at beginning to test the market and no penalty, if it doesn’t work. While on other side if business becomes successful then you can create tax to such amount that it won’t risk pushing whole business into dept. Cause ultimately as long that capital gets spend in that economy nobody really losses anything cause of it.

    Beside lets not pretend that reason its set this way is to assure that most fail, cause its just not economically viable. Especially for low risk investment to create some simple service or product.

  75. Jose Quintans

    Funding also destroys free competition, discouraging entrepreneurship spirit, although that’s a problem mostly on countries poorer than the EU average.
    Mass funding resembles an economic system directed by politicians and bureaucrats, and that’s the problem with mass funding. But many people know why this happens.

  76. Ariste Arvanitides

    because of tax, and unstable economic and political theatre. Europe has become a TTIP business reality, not for entrepreneurs but only for major fortune 500s.

  77. Toni Muñiz

    Entrepeneurs are taxed to death and so much BS bureaucracy that it kills any entrepreneurial spirit. In Spain just to even start an idea you need to pay nearly 300€ per month, regardless if you make 0€.

  78. Παυλος Χαραλαμπους

    IS this a joke? in 2006 me and my father tried to start our own business.. the bureaucracy was a nightmare! we were send from one office to a other to beg for our papers to be accepted , we needed official verification even for the wc doors!! it took 6 months it costed us 3000 EUR.. after we started we thought that things now will be better ..but nope most of the income was taxed _over taxed ,we end up with a profit of 10 to15 EUR per day almost 1/4 of the money we were gaining as shipyard workers! we closed our shop it didn’t worth the risk of getting in jail for nothing ..

  79. Julia Hadjikyriacou

    I think firstly, its the high amount of money required and fear of big loans. Then depending on the business lack of a support system with knowledge for all the different areas involved. Also a fear of risk of failure and being stuck with debt. Also the sheer time required, more than working hours. That is wht UK’s tv program dragon’s den works better. They provide start up money and business support to help the start-up succeed for a return on their investment.

  80. Gustaaf Van den Boeynants

    The big ones have taken all the market, exept for some niche stuff there’s no more room for the little one’s. It’s monopolisation, and EU supports it by implementing laws written by the monopolists…

  81. Jeremy Bornstein

    Most people are risk averse. I don’t think young Europeans are different than young people anywhere else. Only a small segment of young people will be daring ,smart and have grit.

  82. luis

    It is a question of culture, which we inherit, it is intrinsec to our education. We are over disciplinated, do this don’t do that or do it now. If we knew more about psichology from the early childhood even, we would better manage our emotions and get rid of our fears with much more success. Enabling more people fighting for their dreams instead of remaining in a passive and pesismistic attitude towards their circumstances.

  83. Philip Weiss

    My view is that the missing ingredient in Europe is the entrepreneurial mindset, at an individual level, and the entrepreneurial culture at a societal level. These can be both be changed, but this required a great deal of work from individuals and institutions. Unfortunately when governments try to promote entrepreneurship it is often like dictator trying to promote democracy – there is something inherently contradictory in these initiatives. My view is that individual entrepreneurs need to work together to encourage and support entrepreneurship at a local level and lobby to encourage this at every level of society.

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