Twice as many businesses opened this year as those that shut down, according to the country’s General Commercial Registry (GEMI) – the first time this has happened since 2012 when the country’s financial crisis peaked.
According to statistics from GEMI, a Development Ministry agency, a total of 21,180 businesses were set up from January to July this year, compared to 10,783 that closed their books and shut up shop.
The data suggest that a large proportion of the new businesses (39.3 percent) were set up by lone individuals apparently attempting to seek an opportunity for income amid the persistently high unemployment rates.
These ventures were deemed to be of “low sustainability,” as they were found to comprise 7,243 out of the 10,783 businesses that closed in the first half of the year.
Skyrocketing unemployment, which rose close to 28 percent in 2013, prompted thousands of Greeks to have a go at being their own boss, chiefly in businesses such as cafes, restaurants, bars and small retail outlets, but shrinking incomes have made the survival of such enterprises a struggle in most cases.