The aim of this work is to describe the paths that lead some individuals to create a micro-enterprise. The interviews showed that, during the last economic recession, the unemployment push and social mobility thesis may not be in opposition. It is possible that there is a sort of interaction between lack of occupational opportunities and investments aimed to improve the socioeconomic position. Indeed, in the case of individuals who have made an investment in social mobility prior to the entrance in the labor market, the lack of good job opportunities can be a real incentive to create a micro-enterprise. In these cases the access to self-employment is seen as an investment in social mobility, but also the lack of employment opportunities makes it convenient to open a micro enterprise.
Keywords: Micro-enterprise, social mobility, economic crisis, labour market, education, unemployment