Youth Entrepreneurship and Role Models at Local Level. Case Study: Bihor County, Romania
In the context of promoting inclusive entrepreneurship in Romania, the present paper addresses the issue of youth as a disadvantaged group on the labour market and under-represented in entrepreneurship from a local perspective and highlights the role models as a key instrument for encouraging youth entrepreneurship. Thus, in addition to a brief theoretical background about youth entrepreneurship and policies to stimulate business creation among young people in the European Union (EU) and Romania, we analysed the statistics on the labour market and youth business creation in Bihor County, Romania and conducted a qualitative research based on an in-depth interview applied to 12 young entrepreneurs from Bihor County, Romania. The research findings outline a local perspective about the motivations, opportunities, obstacles and difficulties of youth entrepreneurship in an EU lagging region, the access to finance, the role of education, family, support networks and the influence of models from local business environment for young entrepreneurs, their business identity in the local business environment, and how entrepreneurship changes young people's perception of business creation and self-employment. The main conclusion of the paper is that, despite the Romanian legislation and policies that are not friendly enough to youth entrepreneurship as well as local business environment, and despite erroneous perceptions of young people about financing a business, there are young models who had the courage to change their lives for good, who succeed and recommend to other young people to become business owners or self-employed. Alongside facilitating access to finance, role-models are, in our opinion, the most important tool for promoting youth entrepreneurship at local level.
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