The number of SMEs in Greece exceeds the 733.000. From the total of these 733.000 SMEs, more than half, 394.000 or the 53,7% do not employ any salaried workers and they employ 11 people on average. These are enterprises of self– employed people in which members of their family also work. Micro-enterprises with 0-9 employees and in total 943.000 employees, self- employed or salaried, cover the 55,6% of employment, small enterprises with 10- 49 employees cover the 18% of the employment with 303.000 people, from which 287.000 are salaried and the medium – sized from 50-249 people cover the 13% of employment with 222.000 salaried. In total the SMEs employ 1.695.000 people, from which 712.000 on average are salaried. The big enterprises with over 250 employees cover only the 13,5% of employment with 230.000 salaried.
About the 92% of the enterprises in the EU are very small and family businesses which employ up to 10 people whilst 6% are medium-sized enterprises. In Greece, enterprises employing 50 persons and below form about 99,55% of the total number of enterprises and they employ 74% of the work force of the private sector. In Greece, SMEs with 1-9 salaried workers are the 43,8% of the total, SMEs with 10 up to 49 salaried workers are 2,2% and with 50 to 249 are up to 0,3%.
The key objectives of the Greek National policy for supporting SMEs in Greece are the following: a) The creation of a conducive administrative environment for SMEs b) the facilitation of the SMEs' access to funding c) Encouraging entrepreneurship and the creation of several new enterprises on the way to increase employment d) Ending the digital isolation and adopting information and communication technologies as well as the related business strategies by the SMEs e) Promoting clustering f) Support clustering of businesses for the development of 'new Economy' projects g) Strengthening and creating new infrastructures for a rational organization and development of the production process with the creation of exploitation of competitive advantages that emanate from industrial areas in certain regions.
The Entrepreneurship Actors The promotion of investments, the support and growth of entrepreneurship and SME/VSE (very small enterprises), research, technology and innovation linked to production, the access of all citizens and organizations to information society, life long learning are the key objectives of the policy for competitiveness, as outlined in the Operational Program Competitiveness (OP). The main entrepreneurship actors are the following: Ministry of Development General Secretariat for Competitiveness General Secretariat for Industry - GSI Hellenic Organisation for Small & Medium Enterprises & Handicrafts SA–EOMMEX SA EOMMMEX S.A. The National Observatory for SME National Organization of Standardisation – ELOT
The Entrepreneurship Actors Other agencies NCCD- National Council for Competitiveness & Development KETA-Business and Technology Development Centres KYE-Investor Reception Centres TEMPME S.A.- Guarantee Fund for Small and Very Small Enterprises The Ministry of Tourism Development The Ministry of Economy & Finance The General Secretariat for Investments and Development (G.G.E.A.) The Council of Economic Advisers (C.E.A.) SEV-Federation of Greek Industries GSEE-General Confederation of the Greek Workers INE/GSEE-Labour Institute PASEGES-Panhellenic Confederation of Agricultural Unions Cooperatives Chambers of Commerce and Industry Ecomonic Chamber of Greece Entrepreneurship Association EEDE – Hellenic Management Association IOBE-Foundation of Economic & Industrial Research
Hellenic Organisation for Small & Medium Enterprises & Handicrafts SA – EOMMEX SA EOMMEX S.A. was founded in 1977 and it is the Greek organisation for the support and development of small and medium sized enterprises through the provision of policy advice to the State on SMEs issues and the implementation of the relevant national policies. EOMMEX is a public non-profit entity, operating under the auspices of the Hellenic Ministry of Development. EOMMEX S.A Board of Directors is appointed by the Ministry of Development and the members are representatives of the SME sector. EOMMEX employs an executive staff of 222 experts, skilled in policy making and in implementation of programmes and projects concerning SMEs and handicrafts.
Hellenic Organisation for Small & Medium Enterprises & Handicrafts SA – EOMMEX SA EOMMMEX S.A. according to its memorandum of Association serves as following: Advisor of the State and of the Ministry of Development on issues concerning the creation of a favourable environment for the support of business and of competitiveness to Small to Medium-sized Enterprises. Advisor of the SMEs to support its promotion, modernization and development policy, maximizing all possibilities of cooperation between various institutions in the framework of the national governmental policy. The strategic role of EOMMEX includes implementing means, policies and actions of simplifying and facilitating the business environment so as to enable them to meet the requirements of the constantly changing conditions within the European Union created by wave of internationalisation.
National Observatory for SME The National Observatory for SME has been created by EOMMEX, within the framework of the Operational Programme for Competitiveness, as the official State mechanism aimed at monitoring and assessing the Greek SME economic performance at trans-sectoral, regional and local level. Its main task is to collect, monitor and assess all parameters and indicators measuring the SME demography and competitiveness, as well as to provide quantitative and qualitative facts and figures. At the same time, the Observatory foresees the trends and analyses the impact of the policies and programs implemented in favour of SMEs. Among other, the addressees of the Observatory services include national SMEs policy makers, SMEs associations, the entrepreneurial society, European and international SMEs organisations, research institutes, business consultants, etc.
National Observatory for SME The National Observatory for SMEs mission is: To support the State in designing, implementing and monitoring the SMEs policies and support measures To assist the BUSINESS world, the BODIES and their ASSOCIATIONS via reliable and valid information in relation to SMEs entrepreneurial activity through systematic collection, processing, analysis and dissemination of business activity data Its objectives: Systematic analyses of SMEs quantitative-qualitative characteristics and perspectives. SMEs business environment, policies and support measures presentation, analysis and evaluation within the European Union. Processed information and analysis dissemination, prompt identification of weaknesses and submission of proposals in the framework of the policy followed for SMEs.
Organisation for the Employment of Labour - OAED OAED -Organisation for the Employment of Labour, an organization of the Ministry of Employment & Social Protection, is the main agency for the implementation of the government’s employment policy in coordination with the National Development Program. Its mission is to provide: the Vocational Orientation of the labor force the Technical Vocational Education and Training of the labor force the facilitation of offer and demand of employment various subsidies such as the unemployment subsidy, etc. OAED is managed by a Board in which all stakeholders are represented (government, workers and employers organizations) and has established two companies, namely the Vocational Training S.A. and the Employment Observatory - Research-Informatics S.A.
Organisation for the Employment of Labour – OAED. Employment Observatory - Research-Informatics S.A. The Employment Observatory Research - Informatics SA covers a wide range of actions, including research projects and studies on the labor market, implementation of an information system serving the total function of OAED and its affiliates, monitoring of the national, European and international progress and perspectives in the domains of labor market, progress of vocations and diagnosis of the educational and vocational training needs. The company implements projects of research and studies on the labor market and it also renders informational and technical support services to OAED and to the companies Vocational Training SA and Manpower Support Services SA To fulfill its aims, the company implements actions on three main sectors: planning and application of integrated information systems research and study of the labor market data monitoring and evaluation of active employment policies. The division of financial and administrative services further supports the above-mentioned actions.
Organisation for the Employment of Labour – OAED. Account for Employment and Vocational Training LAEK (Account for Employment and Vocational Training ) was established after the initiative took by social partners as G.S.E.E, S.E.V, G.S.E.V.EE, E.S.EE. The revenues are obligatory coming from the resources of the employer's contribution of 0,45 of ELKEPE. LAEK’s purpose is to promote the training of workers and the unemployed and to promote employment of unemployed, especially unemployed, who are threatened to a greater degree of social exclusion. Each company (private or public) may use this resource to train staff (2 times a year for each employee) and retaliatory be reimbursed the cost of education.
Organisation for the Employment of Labour – OAED. Account for Employment and Vocational Training What is the Training Workers’ Programme LAEK- 0, 45% Each year the program established by the Employment Agency Training Workers LAEK-0, 45%, enables companies to recover the employer's contribution of 0.45% that they have already paid. To recover this employer's contribution to business, they should implement education and training of staff in accordance with the terms of the LAEK-0, 45%. What is the annual amount LAEK - 0.45% of each firm Businesses are entitled each year the sum of: 1. the amount of levy paid 0.45% for the current year plus 2. the levy of 0.45% the previous year have not been received.
Organisation for the Employment of Labour – OAED. Account for Employment and Vocational Training Which educational and training programmes is LAEK including? The program LAEK-0, 45% may fall: Educational Programs conducted in Greece (intra & Inter) Graduate or other long-term training programs conducted in Greece Educational programs conducted outside Greece The program LAEK-0, 45% may not qualify: Home education programs Conferences - Seminars with a total number of participants over 35 people Distance education programs
Employment relationships in Greece In the Greek labour relations system salary and wage earners may join one of the two different trade-union structures according to the type of labour contract under which they work: Salary and wage earners employed by any employer under private law contracts may join (or are entitled to join) primary-level trade-unions that belong (or may belong) to the structure of the General Confederation of Greek Labour (GSEE). Employees employed under public law contracts (i.e. civil servants) may join, or are entitled to join, primary level trade-unions that belong (or may belong) to the structure of the Supreme Administration of Civil Servants' Trade-Unions (ADEDY). Both structures have three levels, consisting of primary-level trade-unions (company, regional or craft unions), secondary level organisations such as Federations and Local Labour Centers, and tertiary level organisations such as GSEE and ADEDY.
Employment relationships in Greece As far as employers are concerned, their interests are represented by three different national organisations: 1.Federation of Greek Industry (SEV), representing industry and big enterprises in general; 2.the National Confederation of Greek Commerce (ESEE), which represents trading interests; 3.the General Confederation of Professional Craftsmen and Small Manufacturers of Greece (GSEBEE), representing the interests of handicraft professionals and small manufacturing enterprises
The System of Collective Bargaining The right to collective bargaining, as set down in law 1876/90, concerns all those workers employed on the basis of a private-law employment contract by any domestic or foreign employer, firm, operation or service of the private or public sector of the economy. This includes those people employed in agriculture, stock-raising, and related activities, as well as domestic employees. On the basis of the current system, the Collective Labour Agreement may regulate the following: 1.the signing, conditions, and termination of individual labour agreements falling under its field of jurisdiction; 2.issues concerning the exercise of the right to unionise; 3.the facilitation of unionism and the deduction of union contributions from payment and their reimbursement to the organisations entitled to them; 4.social security issues, excepting pensions 5.issues relating to the exercise of business policy, 6.issues concerning the interpretation of the collective labour agreement's normative conditions and the rights and obligations of the contracting parties; 7.issues relating to the processes and conditions of collective bargaining, mediation, and arbitration; 8.issues concerning part-time employment, overtime work and work in shifts.
The System of Collective Bargaining According to the system currently in force, Collective Labour Agreements fall into the following categories: The National General Collective Agreement (EGSSE) that sets minimum wages and salaries pertaining to workers all over the country and signed by GSEE on the one hand and SEV, GSEVEE and ESEE on the other. The Sectoral or Industry Collective Agreements covering employees of many companies of similar or related industries or sectors and signed by industry Federations of employers and workers. The Company Collective Agreements covering the employees of a single firm or operation and signed by company or plant level trade-unions and the management. The National Occupational and the Local/Regional Occupational Collective Agreements, covering employees engaged in a specific occupation or profession, at the national or local/ level and signed by employers’ federations and occupational trade-unions.
Barriers and problems of SMEs in Greece The bureaucracy involved on the stages of foundation and operation of enterprises. This bureaucracy is causing Greek SMEs to overload even more The black market, that creates illegitimate competitive conditions against small commercial enterprises The difficulties face Greek SMEs to access banking financing The difficulties face Greek SMEs in getting national and European financial resources. Their higher supply cost in relation with the bigger companies The high settlement costs The high tax rate and the wastefulness of valuable time in bureaucratic procedures