This research provides a bottom-up analysis of the unemployment by surveying a stratified sample representative of the Italian unemployed population (750 respondents, differentiated by age, geographical location, education level and duration of unemployment) about the main obstacle for them to start a business activity. The behavioral model used is that of latent entrepreneurship, i.e. entrepreneurial ability is spread among the population but only become effective when motivation and expected reward are high, and impediments are perceived as conquerable. We asked our respondents to rank 26 obstacles derived from seven sets of deterrents related to entrepreneurship most frequently addressed in scientific and policy literature: Personal attitude and risk aversion; Access to finance; Market outlook; Economic and managerial competence; Regulatory costs and administrative burdens; Corruption and organized crime; Networks of competence and support.
Keywords: Unemployment, entrepreneurship, public policy, entrepreneurial culture, risk aversion, regulatory burdens