Europe's Intergenerational Entrepreneurship Initiative to Boost Employment

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According to Eurostat, in 2016 more than 6,6 million young people aged 15-24 years were neither in employment nor in education or training in the European Union, where at the same time EU youth unemployment rate is more than double the overall unemployment rate. While the media focus on the youth, the generation aged 50+ is also facing a major employment challenge.

Some countries’ unemployment rates have risen exponentially since the onset of the economic crisis. In Ireland, the 50+ unemployment rates more than tripled from 3.6% to 11.1%, In Portugal it almost doubled and in Greece it more than quadrupled (from 3.8% to 15.8%).

Demographics and social changes all over Europe in the recent years have increased the risks of a perception of conflict between generations, especially when it comes to the labour market.

However, one of the emerging trends that could provide a solution to the millennials generation unemployment is intergenerational entrepreneurship, where senior and 50 plus “second career” entrepreneurs have begun to team up with younger partners to form start-ups.

The aim is to fight against both youth unemployment and providing elders with a chance to use and transfer their skills and knowledge even after retirement. Stakeholders from the European Parliament, European Commission, academia and private companies came together to define intergenerational entrepreneurship last Tuesday at the public event “Boosting Europe’s Growth through Intergenerational Entrepreneurship” which took place at the EU Parliament in Brussels.

Full house for the event “Boosting Europe’s Growth through Intergenerational Entrepreneurship” promoted by 50+Entrepreneurship Platform Europe on 15 November 2016 

Samantha Sugarman