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Melvin Haas and Peter Vogel
Governments around the world are facing increasing pressure to reduce unemployment. According to the International Labor Organization (ILO), a deficit of 50 million jobs as compared to the pre-crisis situation is causing significant pressure on policymakers, particularly as this deficit disproportionately affects youth. One central strategy in addressing unemployment is to directly support unemployed individuals equipped with a business idea in starting their own company. For this purpose, several active labor market programs (ALMPs) have been developed, providing support to those seeking to start a business after a period of unemployment. This chapter provides an overview and analysis of such policy schemes from 12 European countries. The selection of countries seeks to reflect the diversity with regards to economic importance, political orientation, history and culture, as well as the variety of program structures that have been implemented. Similarities and differences between these programs are analyzed in order to contribute to increasing their effectiveness (for example, pointing out suitable policy instruments) and their efficiency (for example, by employing limited public funds with maximum.