The government aims at immediately offering support to socially sensitive groups through its competitiveness programs, said Deputy Development Minister Stavros Kalafatis yesterday. He was addressing an awareness event in Thessaloniki for employers regarding the hiring of people with special needs, organized in a joint development initiative by «e-PIMENO» (which reads «I persist» in Greek), within the context of European Union initiative Equal. The progress, support and the promotion of entrepreneurship in people with disabilities is a key priority for the Development Ministry, said Kalafatis. «During the second stage of the program on entrepreneurship for people with disabilities, 60 business plans were subsidized to a total disboursement of 2.4 million euros, while in the third stage, 167 projects received subsidies, totaling 8.3 million euros,» he stated. Kalafatis added that the center for professional training of the organization of small and medium-sized enterprises (EOMMEX) has realized many educational programs to a total budget of 1.1 million euros, including special training programs for disabled people. On the ministry’s effort to promote entrepreneurship, Kalafatis argued that the aim is for strengthening healthy and sustainable business development. «Yet in our effort, the key means and condition for success is socially responsible entrepreneurship,» he claimed.