Abstract

The EU is giving more and more emphasis to entrepreneurship in its economic policy, as research has shown that newly founded businesses have a large share in creating growth, innovation, and employment. The latter can be considered an example of Adam Smith’s invisible hand operating. How important growth, innovation, and employment may be from a macro point of view, they are not what motivate the large majority of business starters themselves. This research paper investigates how entrepreneurship policy can be directly tied to individual entrepreneurial motivation. The focus is specifically on the situation in the EU member states, and on the possibilities for policy intervention. Entrepreneurial motivation is considered to be determined by opportunities on the one hand and by (amongst others) autonomy, wealth, and risk perception (with financial security as a reversed predictor) on the other hand. Our goal is to provide policy proposals directly based on each of these determinants.

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