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Since 2011, numbers of self-employed people under 30 years of age have risen steadily. This trend could well continue unabated despite the obstacles faced by self-employed people. Running a business requires specialist training which is not accessible for most budding entrepreneurs.

More and more young Belgians are choosing to start their own businesses. Since 2008, numbers of self-employed people under 30 have risen from 98 260 to 103 147 in 2013, according to the National Institute for the Social Security of the Self-Employed (INASTI). This is an increase of 1.41% compared to 2012.

This increase can primarily be explained by the rise in numbers of people undertaking self-employed activities alongside their main occupation. Almost every fourth self-employed worker carries out self-employment activities in addition to having a salaried job. But this spike in entrepreneurial activity can also be explained by the high unemployment rate (8.3% in Flanders, 14.5% in Wallonia and 21% in Brussels). This is especially prevalent among young people. ’Given how difficult it is to secure a first job, many young people are saying that it’s better to employ themselves’, observed Sven Nouten, a spokesperson at the Neutral Trade Union for Self-employed Persons (SNI).

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