Self-Employed in Europe

Worldwide, self-employment is increasingly proclaiming itself a viable solution to unemployment. Nowhere is this more evident than in the Euro Mediterrenean region, where entrepreneurs and start ups have proliferated like wildfire, creating jobs and contributing to economic growth. Making the case are five statistics that perfectly summarise how important self employment is for the modern European innovation economy (facts and statistics retrieved from and ACCIO - The Catalan Agency for Trade and Investment):

"32.6 million persons aged 15 to 74 in the European Union (EU) where self-employed in 2018. They accounted for 14% of total employment." Spain ranks 7th with also around 15% of all employment coming on entrepreneurs and startups.

Self-employment is an option in many industries and professions not just tech and engineering. EUROSTAT shows that in 2018 the occupations with the most self-employed person cover a diverse range, including 'management and consultancy', 'agriculture and fishery', and 'services and sales'.

Small enterprises make significant contributions to the national incomes of almost all EU countries. In fact, in most countries, small enterprises contribute MORe gross value added than large enterprises!

SMEs are also incredibly important for trade: SMEs in the EU generate more than half of all trade between the EU-28. In 2015. 98% of all companies involved in intra-EU trade were SMEs (up to 249 persons employed). Of those, a majority of 70% were in fact not small or medium but micro enterprises (1-9 persons employed).

According to ACCIO (the Catalan Agency for Trade & Investment), small companies in Catalonie represent 90% of all businesses and account for 70% of all employment in the province. As result, organizations such as ACCIO are working to improve Cataloina's business climate by supporting small businesses. 360 million Euros were invested in 2015 alone, improving condition for small businesses to succeed. Graph and stats are not needed here, just a stroll down any street in Barcelona. Enterprises with fewer than 9 workers seem to monopolise the landscape and attract touristes from all corners of the world.

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