Entrepreneurship in Greece: Main trends & characteristics

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1 Foundation for Economics and Industrial Research Entrepreneurship in Greece: Main trends & characteristics Takis Politis General Director FEIR / IOBE London School of Economics London 13/03/2007

2 The Foundation (IOBE) A private, non-profit, public-benefit research organisation. Established in 1975 with a dual objective: Promote research on current problems and prospects of the Greek economy and its sectors Generate reliable information, analysis and action plans not produced elsewhere and be of high value to policy makers. Structure Macroeconomic Analysis and Policy Dpt Business Trends Unit Health Economics Unit European Performance Satisfaction Index (EPSI) Unit Desk for Entrepreneurship Desk for the Public State Microeconomic Analysis and Policy Dpt Industrial Organization Unit Data and Statistical Analysis Unit Observatory of the Automotive Sector Observatory of Tertiary Education Graduates

3 Research output 60 monographs since Series of publications entitled Economic Issues, covering various economic issues circulated to policy makers, academic and business community. A quarterly review entitled The Greek Economy, considered by Greek and international community, as a reliable source of information for the Greek economy. 150 Sectoral studies, special reports, competition and strategy studies, ad hoc studies, special thematic studies Business & Consumer Survey reports (monthly in Manufacturing, Constructions, Retail Trade, Services, Consumers) and bi-annual Investment Surveys in Manufacturing. European Performance Satisfaction Index (EPSI) surveys covering sectors like urban transports, mobile telecommunication, super Markets, private cars and hotels, which are used for policy and rational decision making leading to efforts for improving competitiveness. Participation in GEM, monitoring and evaluating entrepreneurship policies and actions towards the promotion of entrepreneurship, ad hoc thematic studies on entrepreneurship, etc

4 Structural characteristics of employment in Greece Active Population by labour status (2006) Greece Spain Italy Portugal UK EU-15 Total active population (% of population >15 years old) Employment (% of active pop.) Unemployment (% of active pop.)

5 Structural characteristics of employment in Greece Active Population by sex (2006) Greece Spain Italy Portugal UK EU-15 Total active population (% of population > 15 years old) Males (% of active pop.) ,4 Females (% of active pop.) ,6

6 Active Population by age group, 2006 Greece Spain Italy Portugal UK EU-15 Total active population (% of population > 15 years old) y.o. (% of active pop.) y.o. (% of active pop.) y.o. (% of active pop.) y.o. (% of active pop.) y.o. (% of active pop.) ,3 8,3 11,3 40,6 35, ,2 6,9 13,9 42,6 33, ,5 9,0 14,6 42,8 30, ,4 6,6 11,3 46,1 33, ,7 8,0 12,8 38,9 32, ,6 9,3 10,3 36,7 36,0 >65 y.o. (% of active pop.) 1,4 1,8 0,7 1,6 6,0 2,1

7 EU Industry Services Agriculture UK Portugal Italy Spain Greece Employment by economic activity (%)

8 Employment by professional status (%) Selfemployed Family workers EU Employers Employees UK Portugal Italy Spain Greece

9 Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) A non-profit academic research consortium aiming at making high quality international research data on entrepreneurial activity readily available to as wide an audience as possible From a comparison of 10 countries (1999) to 42 countries in 2006 Annual executive summary comparing and contrasting levels of entrepreneurship across the countries analysed. Collected Data: Adult population (telephone) survey conducted to minimum 2,000 respondents. Expert survey: in-depth interviews with at least 18 experts in each country from finance, policy, government programmes, education and training, technology transfer, support infrastructure and wider society/culture. Macroeconomic data (World bank, IMF, Eurostat, UN, OECD) GEM focuses on three main objectives: To measure differences in the level of entrepreneurial activity between countries To uncover factors determining the levels of entrepreneurial activity To identify policies that may enhance the level of entrepreneurial activity

10 IOBE in GEM The Greek representative partner in GEM from 2003 Conduct empirical research and preliminary analyses on raw data Population telephone survey (2000 people) 36 interviews with country s experts National Report on Entrepreneurship Greece s main characteristics Peculiarities and differences from other countries Public policy monitoring and implications Suggestions From 2007: Desk on Entrepreneurship Pool of data and relevant policies Other targeted surveys (corporate entrepreneurship, family run business, etc)

11 The GEM scope of entrepreneurship The level of the individual: it refers to any attempt to create a new venture, self employment included. It does not measure corporate entrepreneurship, it is not addressed to firms It gives a prevalent rate: trends and attitudes of the population towards entrepreneurial activity Main indices: Early Stage Entrepreneurial Activity: The sum of nascent entrepreneurs and new entrepreneurs. Nascent entrepreneurs: Those individuals (18-64 years old), who have taken some action towards creating new ventures. New entrepreneurs: Owner-managers of firms who have paid wages for more than 3 months and less than 42 months Established Entrepreneurial Activity Owner-managers of firms who have paid wages for more than 42 months

12 Main findings (2006): How many? A 16% of the Greek population years old (>1,1 mill. people) were involved in some kind of entrepreneurial activity (3 rd place in Europe) 11.1% in Europe, 10.9% in UK, 14.5% in Ireland A 8,2% (~600 thuds people) were established entrepreneurs, owners (alone or with others) of a business venture older than 42 months (2 nd in Europe) 5.4% in Europe, 5.4% in UK, 7.8% in Ireland A 7,9% (~500 thuds people) were early stage entrepreneurs (3 th place in Europe) 6.1% in Europe, 5.77% in UK, 7.35% in Ireland The larger part are nascents (will be entrepreneurs) and not new entrepreneurs (ventures 3 42 months old) Motivated by necessity: 20% of early stage entrepreneurs (average necessity entrepreneurship in Europe: 18.6%)

13 P e rc e n t a g e o f a d u lt p p o p u la t io n b e t w e e n y e a rs B e lg iu m J a p a n S w e d e n It a ly U. A ra b E m ira t e s G e rm a n y F ra n c e S lo v e n ia S in g a p o re R u s s ia F in la n d M e x ic o S o u t h A f ric a D e n m a rk N e t h e rla n d s U K H u n g a ry T u rk e y L a t v ia C a n a d a S p a in Ire la n d C z e c h R e p u b lic Low/middle growth countries G re e c e C ro a t ia N o rw a y C h ile U S A A rg e n t in a In d ia M a la y s ia Ic e la n d B ra z il A u s t ra lia U ru g u a y T h a ila n d C h in a In d o n e s ia J a m a ic a P h ilip p in e s C o lo m b ia P e ru 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% Greece: 4 th in Europe 25% 30% 35% 40% 45% Early Stage Entrepreneurship (2006)

14 Established UK Sectoral distribution ( ) Early stage UK 2,9% 21,7% 39,5% 35,9% GR GR Extractive sectors 1,7% 9,4% 2,1% Industrial sectors 27% 25,9% 31% Business Services 10,5% 27.4% 5,5% Consumer oriented ventures 60,7% 37.3% 61,4% Early stage entrepreneurship (2006) Established entrepreneurship (2006) Sector distribution Sector distribution Consumer oriented Business Services Transforming Extractive Consumer oriented Business Services Transforming Extractive Middle income countries High income countries Middle income countries High income countries

15 Demographic characteristics ( ) A male, aged years old, High School (secondary) graduate already working either full time or part time. A 72% of nascent / new entrepreneurs are male One out of three is years old and two out of three are year old Three out of five have participated up to secondary education ~90% are working (full time or part time) Greece was holding the 2 nd lowest place in Europe in female entrepreneurship ( ) But in 2006 a 4.7% of female y.o. were nascent entrepreneurs (european average 3.7%) Still though almost 40% of the female ventures are created out of necessity (19% in male) and not driven from an effort to exploit an opportunity

16 Financing new ventures It s expensive to start up in Greece Average initial capital investment: ~ (double than GEM average) It s also risky in terms of personal funds Own capital (from savings): 53% of the investment s cost Half of the rest from close family and only 1/3 from Banks.

17 Attitudes towards entrepreneurship High levels of self confidence (knowledge and skills to start a business): (1 st place in Europe) But at the same time world champions in fear of failure factor Entrepreneurship: A desirable career choice (2 nd place in Europe) High level of status and respect for entrepreneurs Most people prefer that everyone had a similar standard of living

18 Persistent characteristics Policy implications 1. Perception of start-up - opportunities negative Small part of the population responds that in the next months there will be some good opportunities for starting a business in the area they live in (exhaust of the interest rate and macroeconomic stability boost) However, an individual perceives more opportunities the easier their exploitation is expected to be. Reduce various obstacles in starting a venture in Greece, adopt simpler processes Improve doing business in Greece (bureaucracy)

19 Persistent characteristics Policy implications 2. The shallow sectoral pattern of new ventures Very high percentage of new ventures aim at the final consumer (physical person), reproducing established entrepreneurship pattern The problem of networking. Encouragement of closer ties between SMEs and larger firms: start as a supplier 3. The central role of family in informal investment Intense role played by the family, large use of own capital High risk option, hardly a second chance. New funding mechanisms & schemes: possibility for synergies between them and family (own) funding, towards a more rational allocation of resources

20 Persistent characteristics Policy implications 4. The fear of failure factor World champion: Greece. Entrepreneurship entails risk taking and experimentation. Fear of failure discourages capable individuals from following an entrepreneurial career Less innovative and risky ventures: safer but also with smaller impact on the economy: new ventures are less effective in renewing and upgrading the productive capacity of the Greek economy compared to other countries. Change bankruptcy law: allow a second chance. Proper education of potential entrepreneurs Effective mechanisms that help the entrepreneur after the initiation of his/her venture is actually lacking in Greece Social security system: easier transfers between waged labor and entrepreneurial activity: the entrepreneur feels secure about pension rights, regardless of changes in career path.

21 Persistent characteristics Policy implications 5. The ambiguous attitude of Greek society towards entrepreneurship Starting a business is a socially acceptable and desirable career choice, but Greeks also detest disparities in income levels. They wish for an entrepreneurial activity but they do not see good (safe?) opportunities. Very confident about their knowledge and skills but world champions in the fear of failure factor. Limited media coverage of success stories: entrepreneur as a manipulator of the market Actions for familiarization of the Greek society with success business stories, placing emphasis on the entrepreneur s own standard of living, but on the creative view of entrepreneurship: he/she creates something new (business, product, service), which could not be possible without his/her activity

22 Thank you for your attention Contact : Takis Politis, , URL: GEM:

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