Most Greeks want to be their own boss

The high jobless rate, the deterioration in labor relations and the widespread aspiration to be one’s own boss are driving business in this country, according to a global entrepreneurship survey conducted last year.

The survey also found that despite the pressing need for the reorganization of the country’s production, which is acknowledged in theory, there is a deficit in education as far as entrepreneurship is concerned as well as the skills required.

The survey was conducted last year in 38 countries by GfK in collaboration with the Entrepreneurship Center of the Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich. Its results concerning Greeks were presented this week during a special event in Athens.

Greeks are favorably disposed toward entrepreneurship in their vast majority, or 70 percent, which is close to the global average of 75 percent and the European Union average of 73 percent. The option of entrepreneurship, that being the share of Greeks who can imagine themselves starting their own enterprise, is a relatively high 49 percent, against a global average of 42 percent and an EU rate of 38 percent.

According to Makis Theodorou, managing director at GfK Hellas, the high prospects associated with going into business in Greece are also related to the difficult economic conditions, as starting a business is viewed by many as a way out of unemployment.

However, the strongest motive Greeks have for starting their own business is the idea of being their own boss. Fifty-four percent of respondents ticked this option, significantly above the global average rate of 46 percent. Two in five (40 percent) said that their main motive is self-fulfillment and the opportunity to implement their own ideas, while 38 percent said their motive was a return to the labor market.

The survey further found that 69 percent of Greeks believe entrepreneurship is something that can be taught, while 30 percent think that entrepreneurs are born that way. Some 70 percent responded that they are unhappy with the business education available in schools, universities and government programs.

The significance attributed to business education was reflected in the words of National Technical University of Athens professor Yiannis Kalogirou during the survey’s presentation: “The enterprises that took care to continue training their staff, that did not neglect the rising levels of technology and innovation performance are those which have survived the financial crisis. Placing emphasis exclusively on unit labor costs is not always the best solution, especially when we want to have structural competitiveness,” he said.

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