Small-scale entrepreneurship in Greece has suffered a devastating blow in the last seven years, as from 2008 to 2014 the country’s business register shrank by some 229,000 small and medium-sized enterprises and 700,000 jobs were lost, according to a study by the Center for Planning and Economic Research (KEPE).
The causes of the battering received by the SME sector are not only related to problems generated by the financial crisis and companies’ limited access to bank funding, the KEPE report argued. Instead, the crisis highlighted the structural problems of small and medium-sized entrepreneurship in Greece, especially its high degree of dependence on domestic demand and inadequate investment in internationally competitive products and services.
According to European Commission estimates, the number of SMEs in Greece last year dropped 26.6 percent from 2008, also creating a decline in added value by 40.2 percent, from 55 billion euros in 2008 to just 32.8 billion in 2014. In the same period, employment in the SME sector fell by 29.3 percent.
The blow was greater for medium-sized enterprises, whose number fell by 35 percent, their employment by 36.3 percent and their added value by 41.5 percent, KEPE has found.