The number of small and medium-sized enterprises in Greece dropped by 145,000 between 2008 and 2015, according to figures released by the European Commission. In those seven years Greek SMEs lost 35 percent of their added value and 22 percent of the jobs they provided.
All this serves to explain the dire situation the Greek economy finds itself in: If SMEs are the backbone of the country’s economy, then it will have a major problem in getting back on its feet again.
The data issued by the Commission showed that SMEs in Greece numbered 704,339 last year, of which 682,132 were very small, 19,631 small and 2,576 medium-sized. Large enterprises numbered just 397 (i.e. only 0.1 percent of the total number of Greek enterprises), though their contribution to employment amounted to 12.7 percent and in corporate added value 24.9 percent.
In comparison with 2014, there has been a small increase in very small enterprises – mainly thanks to self-employed professionals who chose this route after losing their salaried jobs – and medium-sized businesses.
The Commission’s estimates for 2016-17 are quite reserved, with its report saying there are limited indications about a short-term recovery of the country’s SMEs, while the employment and added value of the sector is not expected to show any significant changes next year.