Greece

• Compared to other Member States, Greece has a significantly higher than average share of businesses in a start-up phase and currently operational businesses (entrepreneurship rate). Nevertheless, the fact that the country is slightly below-average on the entrepreneurial activity index is due mainly to the outstandingly high share of “push” entrepreneurs. Indeed, nearly two thirds of Greek entrepreneurs are of this type, having a low risk-tolerance and having created their business out of necessity rather than out of opportunity. • High-rate of second-generation entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship among the over 55 age group.
• With the restriction of the state in the economic activity elects the private sector into a regulating factor in a lot of levels. For this reason the adoption of corporate social responsibility matters and entrepreneurial ethics from the enterprising net of each country covers an increasing void for the blending of two objectives, corporate growth and public interest.
• The Hellenic Entrepreneurship Association (HEA) that was founded in 1995 and has as members Greek enterprises has been sensitized powerfully to this direction. Its aim is the promotion of entrepreneurship in all levels of social life, the pursuit of the opportunity that is connected with the innovation, the undertaking of danger, the creation of activities that produce value and economy liveliness in the society.
• Attica Ventures was established in September 2003 with the purpose of managing venture capital funds and is a member of the Bank of Attica Group of companies. Bank of Attica is the first bank to participate in a venture capital fund operating under the framework of Greek Law 2992/2002 and establish a dedicated subsidiary to manage such a fund. Our aim is to encourage entrepreneurship, to assist in the development and growth of SMEs across the entire range of productive activity, and to transfer applied research and technology to the business world.
• GDP will likely slow down to 2.9% in 2008-2012 due to a need for a tighter fiscal policy and for households to rein in borrowing. There is a risk that growth will decelerate further as Greece is forced to curb demand growth to reduce its large current-account deficit.
• Conference on Green Entrepreneurship – organized by the Foreign Ministry, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Athens in July 2008. The conference is aimed at taking stock of opportunities presented in the Greek market and the academic community with regard to innovative “green” products, research, know-how and technology, which can be used in the “global fight for the environment”.
• Greek team won gold in the European Business Plan of the Year Competition, held last weekend in Kista, Stockholm. The winning business plan was a high-tech venture called Nanochem, developed by students from the ALBA Business School in Athens.
• O.E.SY.N.E. (Federation of Hellenic Associations of Young Entrepreneurs) is the main association of young entrepreneurs up to the age of 45 in Greece. It exists to stimulate exchanges between its members and promote cooperation, networking & sharing of best practices at National, European and Global level. Their primary goals are (1) support the extroversion of the innovative young entrepreneurs and transfer the best practices from Europe to Greece and vice versa and (2) develop the entrepreneurial culture for young people through the activities of the Global Entrepreneurship Week.

Top Entrepreneurial Industries
• Tourism
• Aquaculture – fish farming
• Food processing and packaging
• IT & Telecommunications – fastest growing segment

Government Subsidies
• 1) 40% cash grant, 40% interest subsidy, 40% leasing subsidy
• 2) 100% tax allowance and 40% interest subsidy
• Medium TEA Index – 6.8

Difficult to start a business relative to other countries
• Must satisfy 16 procedures and pay over $8,000
• (US must satisfy 5 procedures and pay a little over $200)

Characteristics
• Most entrepreneurs in Greece are motivated by necessity.
• A 16% of the Greek population 18-64 years old (>1.1 mil. People) were involved in some kind of entrepreneurial activity (3rd place in Europe)
• A 8.2% (~600 thousand people) were established entrepreneurs, owners (alone or with others) of a business venture older than 42 months (2nd in Europe)
• A 7.9% (~500 thousand people) were “early stage entrepreneurs” (3rd place in Europe) • The larger part are nascents (will be entrepreneurs) and not new entereprenuers (ventures 3-42 months old)
• High levels of self confidence (knowledge and skills to start a business (1st in Europe)
• High fear of failure
• But entrepreneurship is a desirable career choice because there is a high level of status and respect for the profession
• Very high percentage of new ventures aim at the final consumer because networking is minimal between larger firms.

Demographics
• 72% of new entrepreneurs are male
• One out of three is 25-34 years old and two out of three are 25-44 years old • ~90% are working (full time or part time)
• Greece was holding the 2nd lowest place in Europe in female entrepreneurship (2003-2005). But in 2006 a 4.7% of females, 18-64 years old, were new entrepreneurs (Europe average is 3.7%)
• But almost 40% of female ventures are crated out of necessity and not driven from an effort to exploit an opportunity

Financing
• It is expensive to start up in Greece (average initial capital investment is around 83,000 euros)
• It is risky in terms of personal funds
• Own capital from savings (53% of the investments cost)
• Half of the rest is from close family
• One third is from banks

Important Resources

 

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