Entrepreneurship is deﬁned in the widest possible terms, which is to say that it is not limited to the creation of companies, but includes activities from all other spheres such as social entrepreneurship, the worlds of art and sports and science.
Spain has a low percentage of entrepreneurs (5.1%), and this number is on a downward trend due to the crisis. However, half of new entrepreneurs are young people between the ages of 18 and 34. Most people prefer wage-earning jobs to self-employment. In addition, this preference is increasingly prevalent, having gone from 34% of the population in 2001 to 52% in 2009.
Young people place more value on stability and a fixed income than on independence and the freedom to create one’s own timetable. Spanish companies are of a reduced size. More than half of them (53%) do not have a single employee. 42% employee between one and nine workers. In 2009 Spain had 3.4 million companies, and of these 1.8 million represent self-employed individuals and only 185,000 have 10 or more employees. The crisis has not caused this change in the percentages. Currently, in 2020, 19% more companies are closing than are being created. This percentage increases to 29% if one excludes companies with no employees.
Greater risk aversion than in surrounding countries. We take as many as three times fewer risks than those in the USA. Greater fear of failure, although it seems to be improving among young people. We consider ourselves to be lacking in creativity, and we think that what happens to us is to a large extent determined by others and by luck, which means that we have little self-confidence.
Both of these figures show improvement among young people. Being an entrepreneur is not considered very socially desirable: It has a 48% rate of popularity, compared to 73% in the USA and 62% in France.
Young people believe that society places higher value on independent professionals (72%) and scientists and artists (69%) than on entrepreneurs and business people (38%). Only civil servants have a worse reputation. The media in Spain pay scanty attention to entrepreneurship. In countries such as the USA and Norway, there is twice as much media interest in the issue. T The percentage of “neither-nors” (people who neither study nor work) in Spain is the highest among surrounding countries for the 15 to 19 age range. This difference is smaller for the 20 to 24 range. People in Spain prefer wage-earning jobs to self-employment. Self-employment is the preferred option for 40% of people in Spain, compared with 51% in France and 55% in the USA. Spain has a low level of investment in R+D and of employment for researchers. There is half as much investment in R+D (as a percentage of GDP) as in the USA, and there are 40% researchers per 1,000 residents. The ecosystem of business angels is favorable, and continues to grow. However, the investment in venture capital in the early stages of business growth is not commensurate with the size of the Spanish economy.