ECONOMY

Most start-up firms fail

New Greek entrepreneurs have over the past two years confirmed the tradition of using family funds and putting in a great deal of personal work into start-up businesses but more than half of them ultimately found they had miscalculated and shut them down, a survey has found. According to the study, carried out for the second time in two years by the MRB Hellas market research company on behalf of the Entrepreneurship Club, 77 – or 51 percent – of the 151 new entrepreneurs surveyed in the 1998-99 period had gone out of business within 24 months. The 151 represented 3.9 percent of a sample of 3,000 households throughout the country. Similar studies in other European countries showed an average of 60 percent of new entrepreneurs remaining in business two years after setting up shop, MRB said. The survey showed that 48 percent of new entrepreneurs, aged 25-44, were women and that 40 percent were either college or university graduates. The greater Athens area was favored by 53 percent of them, Thessaloniki by 12 percent and other cities by 30 percent. The activity favored by 48 percent of new entrepreneurs was commerce, while 18 percent favored catering, 28 percent services and only 6 percent manufacturing. Women focused on commerce and services. There was slight decrease in those insisting on working without a partner, from 80 percent two years earlier to 76 percent, and in those who preferred not to hire staff, from 42 percent to 36 percent. But new entrepreneurs also appeared less keen to use new means of communication such as the Internet and e-mail: down to 49 percent last year from 68 percent in 1999. Most (87 percent) invested personal or family funds in the business, to which they devoted more than 50 hours of work weekly. There was slight decrease in those insisting on working without a partner, from 80 percent two years earlier to 76 percent, and in those who preferred not to hire staff, from 42 percent to 36 percent. But new entrepreneurs also appeared less keen to use new means of communication such as the Internet and e-mail: down to 49 percent last year from 68 percent in 1999. Most (87 percent) invested personal or family funds in the business, to which they devoted more than 50 hours of work weekly.