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Senior entrepreneurship and qualified senior unemployment: The case of the Portuguese Northern region

Elisa Figueiredo (Research Unit for Inland Development of Guarda Polytechnic Institute, Guarda, Portugal)
Teresa Paiva (Research Unit for Inland Development of Guarda Polytechnic Institute, Guarda, Portugal)

Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development

ISSN: 1462-6004

Article publication date: 5 September 2018

Issue publication date: 20 May 2019

571

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to characterize the senior entrepreneurship context, as a solution for an unemployed qualified segment between 45 and 60 years of age, in the Northern region of Portugal, from a national and European perspective, associated to the growth trend of qualified senior unemployment in the region, based on a statistical angle and from the point of view of the motivations to become self-employed with a business creation project.

Design/methodology/approach

This empirical study is a cross-sectional study of mixed nature, that reconciles qualitative and quantitative analysis. A questionnaire was made and applied to a sample of 1,000 individuals and seven semi-structured interviews which four focus groups were carried out.

Findings

Findings allow us to conclude that the studied segment, skilled unemployed individuals between the ages of 45 and 60, is a growing segment that tends to evolve into long-term unemployment and underlines a potential reluctant entrepreneurship by necessity, i.e. a reduced motivational content of these unemployed people for the creation of their own job. The authors can conclude, in the Portuguese case, that government policies relating to taxes and bureaucracy are considered as unfavorable conditions or potentially inhibitors of senior entrepreneurship. Lastly, the authors underline the clear absence of specific support programs and measures for the promotion of entrepreneurship among the qualified senior unemployed and the authors propose an ecosystem creation regarding the specifics of the target group of the study.

Practical implications

The study identifies a set of actions and/or orientations that could be relevant and taken into account by the decision makers.

Originality/value

The main contribution of this paper is the better knowledge of the context and motivations for qualified senior entrepreneurship, as well as the associated personal, economic and social barriers; and the specific suggestions provided to policy makers in order to improve the context of the senior entrepreneurship.

Keywords

Citation

Figueiredo, E. and Paiva, T. (2019), "Senior entrepreneurship and qualified senior unemployment: The case of the Portuguese Northern region", Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, Vol. 26 No. 3, pp. 342-362. https://doi.org/10.1108/JSBED-01-2018-0006

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited

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