ILO encourages and supports entrepreneurship, notably in relation to programmes for management development and the development of small enterprises. This is seen as an important means of: contributing to the structural adjustment process and to the decentralization of economic activity, employment and income generation; mobilizing local skills and resources; and improving the ability of small enterprise managers and entrepreneurs to seize opportunities, create new businesses and manage existing ones more efficiently. Many countries are actively seeking to encourage, strengthen and improve the effectiveness of national entrepreneurs in expanding and modernizing productive capacities, particularly by increasing productivity and technological capabilities, and in contributing generally to the development process.
At its meeting in Luxembourg on 29 April 1999, the Industry Council signed up to a detailed Action Plan on Promoting Entrepreneurship and Competitiveness. This Action Plan, which was drawn up by the European Commission in response to the recommendations of the Business Environment Simplification Task Force (BEST), for the first time brings together under one umbrella all policy aspects impacting on enterprises. It ties in with other European Union policies, in particular the Luxembourg Employment Process and the structural reforms of product, labour and financial markets as initiated by the Cardiff European Council.