The number of Greek citizens starting a business have risen significantly, while business closure rates are falling and export activity is growing stronger, the Foundation for Economic and Industrial Research (IOBE) said in its “Entrepreneurship in Greece 2014-15” report released on Thursday.
The report noted, however, that this increased need for business activity was more the result of necessity and lacked innovation, while small and family businesses dominated, evidence that entrepreneurship in Greece remained shallow. IOBE said an improvement recorded in certain business activity indexes could be fragile, as conditions deteriorated in 2015 because of uncertainty, protracted negotiations, the imposition of capital controls and an economic contraction.
The survey showed that the percentage of population aged 18-64 currently at the early stages of business activity was 7.8 pct in 2014 from 5.2 pct in 2013, although it fell to 6.9 pct in 2015. Greek entrepreneurship is mobilized by opportunity (30.5 pct), still very low compared with a 54.9 pct average innovative country rate, while the percentage of Greeks entering the business world because of necessity was 43.6 pct, sharply up from an innovative country average rate of 23.9 pct. Thus, Greece ranks at the bottom of an innovation list in the EU.
The percentage of population that suspended its business activity in 2014 was 2.8 pct in 2014, down from 4.8 pct in 2013, while the percentage of businessmen focusing exclusive in domestic customers was 41.8 pct in 2014, from 43.1 pct in 2013. The percentage of businessmen saying that their customers believed their product/services were innovative was 37.4 pct, down from a long-term average rate of 49 pct. Greek records one of the highest rates in established entrepreneurship among innovative countries (12.8 pct in 2014, reflecting the dominance of small and family businesses.
On employment, the survey said that the majority of established businessmen did not expect an increase in employment. A vast majority of established businessmen (94.6 pct) had an annual income less than 40,000 euros, only 4.1 pct had an income of around 40-60,000 euros. Up to 2009, a 80 pct of established businessmen reported an annual income of more than 60,000 euros.
Greek companies’ sales up 0.5 pct in 2015, Icap report
Greek companies’ sales grew 0.5 pct last year, while pre-tax earnings jumped 21 pct and EBITD rose by 4.3 pct, Icap said in a survey released on Wednesday.
In a report, conducted on a sample of 753 enterprises (excluding banks-insurance) which have released their annual balance sheets (for the fiscal year ending in June 30, 2015) for the last two years, Icap said this improvement reflected exclusively a good performance of the commerce sector, while manufacturing and services companies suffered small pre-tax losses. In general, six out of 10 companies were profitable while the remaining four were loss-making. From the 753 companies in the report, 315 were manufacturing, 189 commercial, 299 were services companies and the remaining came from the tourism and construction sectors.
The manufacturing sector showed that sales remained almost unchanged at 1.71 billion euros in 2015, with gross earnings rising by 4.8 pct. Net results showed a loss of 3.9 million euros in 2015, down almost 90 pct from the previous year, while EBITDA grew 18 pct. From the 215 manufacturing companies included in the report, 127 were profitable (77.7 million euros in earnings) and 88 were loss-making (81.5 million euros in losses).
The commerce sector showed an 1.9 pct increase in sales, pre-tax earnings grew 4.4 pct to 112.7 million euros and EBITDA rose 7.5 pct. From the 189 commercial companies in the report, 121 were profitable (132.5 million in profits) and 68 were loss-making (19.9 million euros in losses).
The services sector showed a 0.9 pct decline in sales, while gross earnings remained unchanged and EBITDA fell by 5.4 pct. From a total of 299 companies in the report, 183 were profitable (with 58.1 million in profits) and 116 were loss-making (with 63.5 million in losses).