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Attitudes toward owning a business: how do Ukrainian and European youth differ?

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Attitudes toward owning a business: how do Ukrainian and European youth differ?

Young people in Ukraine prefer self-employment, while European youth, for the most part, want to work for hire. Find out what is the attitude towards business in Ukraine and the EU and why Europeans do not want to start their own business

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The Sociological Group "Rating" conducted a survey among young Ukrainians and Europeans (15-30 years old) on the topic "Attitudes of young people towards their own business: comparison of Ukraine and the EU". According to the published results, in Ukraine, the vast majority of young people prefer self-employment and own business, while in the EU, only about a third of them do. Why young people in EU countries prefer hired labor to business and why self-employment has become a real trend in Ukraine - we will analyze further in the article.

By the way, the presence of Ukrainian companies outside the country has increased significantly during the war. That is why Gradus Research surveyed Ukrainians about their attitude to Ukrainian businesses entering foreign markets. Read more about the survey results here.


How many Ukrainians want to start their own business?


Based on the survey results, only 19% of young Ukrainians want to be employed, while 73% of respondents prefer self-employment and owning their own business.

According to sociologists, the main goal of Ukrainians who want to start their own business is to move forward based on their own hobbies and interests. That is, they do not perceive work only as a source of income, but also as an effective tool for development and an opportunity to do something for their own pleasure.


At the same time, despite a sincere desire to start their own business, most young people from Ukraine are employed, and among the main reasons that prevent them from starting their own business are

— The need for a stable income at the current stage of life (64%);

— lack of finance and resources, as well as lack of confidence in their own abilities (42%);

— the need for fixed working hours (38%);

— the need for additional knowledge, skills and abilities (36%).


Among the factors that motivate young Ukrainians to choose self-employment are

— personal satisfaction from the implementation of projects and ideas (65%)

— improving their financial situation (55%);

— the opportunity to be independent and free (55%);

— desire to be useful (28%);

— a chance to make a high profit in a short time (8%);

— the opportunity to use existing business opportunities (6%).




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Why owning your own business is not popular in Europe: survey results


According to the survey, 56% of young people in Europe want to be employed, and only 39% of respondents chose self-employment. According to sociologists, this is especially true in Northern Europe.


Reasons why EU youth are reluctant to start their own business

—  The need for regular and stable income (46%);

— lack of job security and access to social protection (39%);

— desire to work fixed hours (29%).

— Lack of financial resources (22%).


At the same time, young people in Europe are less motivated to be self-employed. Moreover, while the majority of Ukrainians want to enjoy the realization of their ideas and projects, only 33% of Europeans do. The same applies to the prospects of improving their financial situation (29%) and the desire to be useful to society (only 17%). However, EU young people are much more interested than Ukrainians in the possibility of quickly reaching a new level of income (14%) and the ability to use existing business opportunities (14%).


Why are Ukrainian and European youth so different?


Sociologists attribute this phenomenon to the fact that self-employment in the EU countries creates greater risks for young people. In particular, this concerns stability, social isolation, and poverty. "The Rating notes that 2021 was a significant year for business owners in Europe, as they became the only category on the verge of bankruptcy and poverty due to the coronavirus pandemic, while among employees, this share was only 11%.

Sociologists also note that Europeans perceive their own business differently than Ukrainians, meaning that they see it as a means of self-realization and patriotism to a much lesser extent. In addition, when young people were asked to describe an entrepreneur:

— Ukrainians used more positive characteristics: ambitious, courageous, innovative, etc;

— Europeans were more inclined to define businessmen as negative personalities, in particular, using the wording: they think only about profit, take advantage of other people's work, etc.

When it comes to initial capital, Ukrainian youth tend to rely only on themselves and their own savings (77%), while among European youth this figure is lower - 57%. It is also important to note that EU citizens have more trust in banks and other public institutions that provide loans to the population.


Thus, sociologists have concluded that cultural perceptions of entrepreneurs and business in Ukraine and the EU have significant differences. In particular, Ukrainians tend to idealize and romanticize self-employment, while Europeans, on the contrary, see it as more of a threat than a prospect.


We remind you, that earlier, foreigners most often bought small souvenirs in Ukraine, but today the demand has grown for another category of goods. Read our previous article to find out what foreigners are buying in Ukraine now and what the reasons are for such changes.


Photo: GaudiLab/Depositphotos




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