EMCC European Monitoring Centre on Change

Greece: ERM comparative analytical report on Public support instruments to support self-employment and job creation in one-person and micro enterprises

  • Observatory: EMCC
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  • Published on: 12 January 2012



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Elena Kousta
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In Greece, during the last decade, the dialogue on public support instruments to support self-employment and job creation in one-person and micro enterprises (it should be pointed out here that the very small and small-sized enterprises (1-20 employees) represent 68% of enterprises in Greece), revolves round the need to support employment and self-employment, to support very small enterprises (VSEs) so that they are modernised, can survive and distinguish themselves in an internationally competitive environment. The current economic and financial crisis has led to the specification of a series of nationwide programmes, in order for the self-employed and the VSEs, which form an integral part of the structure of national economies and societies, contributing to economic growth, production and employment, to answer to the requirements of a complex and ever-changing competitive environment.

QUESTIONNAIRE

Part 1: Overall policy context

This section aims at giving a brief overview of the general development and status quo of the policy discussion and thereof resulting instruments, measures or initiatives in the field of fostering self-employment and job creation in one-person and micro enterprises (less than 10 employees). Focus is mainly on the developments during the last decade, that is before the global recession. In addition we are asking for your indication of change of policy focus since the recession.

1. General policy approach in the area of self-employment, one-person and micro enterprises at the national level


1.1. Has there been a policy focus/debate on the specific challenges facing entrepreneurship as tool for job creation before the global recession? If so, since when and for how long?

Table 1: Presence of policy focus/debate on entrepreneurship as facilitation for job creation before the crisis
 

Yes, continuously since xx? (Please indicate year)

Yes, on and off in the last 10 years

(Please indicate ‘X’ where it applies)

Yes, has been in focus, but since xx it is no longer part of the policy focus (Please indicate year)

No, it has never had policy focus before the recession

(Please indicate ‘X’ where it applies)

Self-employment

Yes, approximately since 1997

     
Hiring the first employee

Yes, approximately since 1997

     
Hiring additional employees/creating additional jobs in micro enterprises

Yes, approximately since 1997

     


1.2. What is the main focus in policy documents or strategies in relation to public or social partner based support instruments for fostering self-employment or job creation in one-person and micro enterprises? (Please indicate ‘X’, multiple answers possible)

Table 2: Main focus in the policy documents or strategies
 

Entrepreneurship (Business development in general)

Job creation (Employment)

Growth (Competitiveness)

Others (please specify)

Self-employment

X

X

Χ

 
Hiring the first employee  

X

   
Hiring additional employees/creating additional jobs in micro enterprises  

X

   

1.3. Please elaborate on the answer given above (with a focus on those developments aimed at employment creation and growth) and indicate if the financial recession has caused a change of focus:

As mentioned before, in Greece, during the last decade, the dialogue on public support instruments to support self-employment and job creation in one-person and micro enterprises revolves round the need to support employment and self-employment, to support very small enterprises (VSEs) so that they are modernised, can survive and distinguish themselves in an internationally competitive environment.

The self-employed and the VSEs are called to answer to the challenges of a complex business environment without, in many cases, possessing the necessary technological and innovative resources to meet its requirements. However, they indeed form an integral part of the structure of national economies and societies, contributing to economic growth, production and employment and also to decentralisation and social cohesion.

Therefore, the national policy provides for a framework of action focusing on the following keystones: creation of a favourable administrative environment; facilitation of financing through the establishment of a Guarantee Institution; support in terms of their technological and organisational modernisation; promotion of clustering; promotion of entrepreneurship; subsidies for the recruitment of personnel; and support in terms of their entering the New Economy.

The current economic and financial crisis has led to the specification of the National Plan for Supporting Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (2010-2013) and also to the strengthening of self-employment support programmes, with a view to boosting their dynamics with respect to job creation, promoting their competitiveness and improving the regulatory framework. These new actions promote innovation and competitiveness, outward thinking and the support of the aforementioned target groups.

At this point, it should be underlined that, during the last two years, there seems to be a clear trend toward a separation of actions between VSEs and Medium-sized Enterprises, with policy discussion and policy focus putting increasing emphasis on explicit actions, which, in their majority, are additional measures focusing on dealing with the financial crisis, while a wider discussion on further boosting interventional actions by the Greek Government during the crisis is taking place.

Sources: Ministry of Finance, Greek Manpower Employment Organization (OAED), Hellenic Organization of Small and Medium Size Enterprises and Handicraft (EOMMEX), The Greek Ombudsman.

Table 3: The policy content and significance of the financial recession*
Self-employment
Elaboration of content (please describe and also indicate whether it is treated explicitly/implicitly)

No information available at that moment *

Change due to the financial recession

Please tick:

Yes: □

No: □

If ‘Yes’, please elaborate:

Hiring the first employee
Elaboration of content (please describe and also indicate whether it is treated explicitly/implicitly)

No information available at that moment *

Change due to the financial recession

Please tick:

Yes: □

No: □

If ‘Yes’, please elaborate:

Hiring additional employees/creating additional jobs in micro enterprises
Elaboration of content (please describe and also indicate whether it is treated explicitly/implicitly)

No information available at that moment *

Change due to the financial recession

Please tick:

Yes: □

No: □

If ‘Yes’, please elaborate:

* Despite continuous efforts to come in contact with OAED in order to get the specific information, there has been no response.

2. Disincentives for self-employment and job creation

The following two questions will investigate whether there has been a change in the political agenda which has forced new political initiatives that may result in disincentives for job creation and business development (e.g. considerations regarding public budget).


2.1 Have public measures (e.g. with the aim to increase public revenue or cut public spending) led to disincentives for self-employment or job creation in one-person or micro enterprises before the financial recession? (Please briefly describe the major developments/initiatives (max. 300 words)

Greece is undoubtedly recording the highest rates of self-employment and has the most – in comparison with the total number – small and medium-sized enterprises in the EU 15; the enterprises, in their majority, are personal/one-person enterprises without any special differentiation between men and women.

One of the main conclusions of the annual report of the Foundation for Economic and Industrial Research (ΙΟΒΕ) entitled ‘Entrepreneurship in Greece 2006-2007’, which was conducted in collaboration with the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) for the year 2007, is that ‘necessity entrepreneurship’ accounted in 2006 for over 20% of entrepreneurial initiative, as against 14.2% in 2005. This practically means that one out of five persons becomes an entrepreneur due to unemployment. The respective rate in Europe is 18.6%, which means that Greece prevails in this kind of entrepreneurship (9th place among 21 European countries). In 2006 in Greece, nearly 16% of the population (approximately 1.1 million people) were connected to some kind of business activity, either established or start-up; 8.24% of those persons (about 560,000 persons) were Established Businessmen, namely they participated in the ownership of an enterprise that had been operating for at least 42 months. This is the 2nd highest record in Europe and may be interpreted as a result of high self-employment in Greece. 14.2% (about 965,000 persons) declare that they intend to engage in some kind of business activity (including self-employment) within the next three years.

However, according to many people, the public measures taken before the crisis, such as high tax rates in combination with a complicated legal framework, the bureaucracy and also the extraordinary employer’s contributions to social security occasionally imposed, constituted a competitive disadvantage for the Greek economy, in the form of reduced investments and a decelerating trend in self-employment and job creation, especially in VSEs. Moreover, those measures often acted as a disincentive for any foreign enterprise that would like to engage in a business activity and invest in the country. According to a survey about corporate income taxes and indirect taxes conducted by KPMG (2010) in 114 countries, in Greece the tax burden on the profits of enterprises is 24% as regards the undistributed profits and 40% as regards the distributed ones (the actual tax burden is 15.9%), whereas the standard VAT rate is 23%, while in most neighboring countries (Bulgaria, Albania, FYROM and Cyprus) the corporate tax rates are approximately 10% and the standard VAT rates range from 15% to 20%, creating conditions of tax dumping inside the EU. According to a Survey of the European Commission about tax revenues and tax reforms, our country recorded, during the period 2000-2009, the highest increase of the so-called tax wedge among all the Euro Area countries and also in the European Union. More specifically, it increased approximately by 2 points, whereas in all the other Member States (excluding Malta), it decreased or remained invariable during the specified time period. In this manner, namely through different tax burdens in the EU Member States, undeclared work and internal depreciation are increasingly considered as an alternative.


2.2 Have public measures (e.g. with the aim to increase public revenue or cut public spending) led to disincentives for self-employment or job creation in one-person or micro enterprises as a result of the financial recession? (Please describe – max. 300 words)

In order for the institution of self-employment and the VSEs to survive amid the economic and financial crisis, the Greek government took a series of measures, such as: the Law about the simplification of the procedures for the establishment of partnerships and capital companies, which enacts regulations aiming at simplifying the procedure for the constitution of companies; ‘The New Innovative Entrepreneurship’ for supporting VSEs whose objective is to turn innovative ideas to advantage; the recent programme entitled ‘Extroversion-Competitiveness of Enterprises in the sectors of Commerce, Processing, Constructions and Services’, which is intended especially for VSEs; the ΤΕΜ PΜΕ Programme (for economically viable enterprises <50 employees): repayment of social security and tax liabilities. This programme covers the tax and social security liabilities of small and medium-sized enterprises through low-interest guaranteed loans. The new programme providing support to Small and Very Small Enterprises for the ‘Coverage of Expenses for the Purchase of Raw Materials, Goods and Services’. The subsidy scheme for enterprises entitled ‘Green Infrastructures 2010’, which existing small and very small enterprises that are engaged in waste management or wish to cover certain expenses are eligible for; the ‘Innovation Coupons for Medium-sized Enterprises’, an action aiming at supporting enterprises with 0-20 employees through the subsidy of the acquisition of know-how and expertise by innovation agents; the ‘Contract for the Support of Medium-sized Enterprises’ concluded between the Ministry of Finance and representatives of the country’s economic operators and financial system (Hellenic Confederation of Professionals, Craftsmen and Merchants [GSEVEE], National Confederation of Hellenic Commerce [ESEE], Pan-Hellenic Exporters Association [PSE], Hellenic Bank Association, Exporters’ Association of Northern Greece, Exporters’ Association of Crete); the programme entitled ‘I Participate’ that is implemented following an agreement between the Ministry of Development, the OAED, the GSEVEE and the ESEE, and aims at boosting the purchasing power of unemployed people and, at the same time, supporting small enterprises; the programme entitled ‘Support of Unemployed Persons for the Establishment of Single-person and Corporate Enterprises in the sectors of Culture & Environment’ that is implemented by the Ministry of Labour, and also the OAED’s Programmes for supporting self-employment and entrepreneurship, such as ‘Entrepreneurship of Unemployed Women Aged 22-64’, ‘Structural Adjustment of Employees of Small and Very Small Enterprises ≤49 persons, in the context of the financial crisis’, or the ‘Special Four-year Programme for Promoting Employment through the Subsidy of Social Security Contributions, for the hiring of 40,000 unemployed persons’.

At this point it should be stressed that Law 3833/2010 about the ‘Protection of the National Economy – Emergency measures for dealing with the financial crisis’ cuts labour costs that implicitly affect Very Small and Small Enterprises such as: it reduces overtime costs by between 5% and 10%, reduces the minimum wage of newly hired workers under 25 years of age to 84% of the minimum national wage, etc (GR1007019I).

These new measures that aim at supporting self-employment and entrepreneurship in VSEs are quite recent and, therefore, cannot be evaluated.

3. Representation of/lobbying for self-employed and micro enterprises


Are self-employed and micro enterprises in your national context explicitly or implicitly (e.g. entrepreneurs or SMEs in general) represented by the following types of organisations (e.g. for lobbying, defending their interest etc.)?

Table 4: Representation of self-employed and micro enterprises
 

Self-employed

Micro enterprises

Employers’ organisations

Self-employed are represented explicitly by Federations, Chambers and Associations in which they are, usually, members

*Hellenic Federation of Enterprises (SEV)

Employees’ organisation

 

*

General Confederation of Greek Workers (GSEE)

Not-for-profit organisations

   

Others

 

*

*Very small enterprises are covered by the National General Collective Employment Agreement, in which they are represented implicitly by SEV, GSEE. They are also represented by Sectoral or Professional Associations as long as they are covered by Sectoral or trade-related collective employment agreements that are declared as generally obligatory (expansions of the collective employment agreement).

Part 2: Identification and description of relevant recent support instruments

The following section asks for the identification of public or social partner based support instruments initiated during or after the recent economic crisis (that is, 2008 onwards). These measures might have, but must not necessarily have been triggered by the recession. Measures may also have been initiated earlier, but changed in order to adapt to the recession or other recent developments. Rather than a comprehensive list of all instruments available at national, regional or local level, the most important, most innovative, most interesting and most effective tools are to be described. Thereof, a selection of up to three ‘Good Practices’ to be described in more detail is to be made.

1. Selection of region(s) when total coverage of the entire regional and local level is too comprehensive

When providing the brief overview and the three ‘Good Practices’ in this section of the questionnaire, measures and instruments at national level have to be included. We would in addition ask you to include regional and local level initiatives where relevant. Nonetheless, a complete coverage of regional and local levels may not be possible for all countries (e.g. because of a high degree of decentralisation resulting in a wide range of respective measures characterised by considerably heterogeneity). At the same time, it can be assumed that for instruments targeting at supporting self-employment and the creation of employment in one-person and micro enterprises the local administrative level is of considerable importance. If so, such measures will be designed to fit to the local characteristics and needs, resulting in a wide variety of different approaches. In this case, one or few local areas or regions may be selected to be covered in this report. Details on the selection are given in table 5.

Table 5: Administrative level/region(s) covered for the following research (max. 50 words per region)

Administrative level relevant for the rest of the questionnaire

Please see Section 2.1 and Table 6

If a specific regional/local are is selected, please provide the following information

Name of region

Please see Section 2.1 and Table 6

Motivation for selecting this region

Please see Section 2.1 and Table 6

Facts about the region e.g.

- Geographic location

- No. of inhabitants

- Business structure (sector, size)

- Labour market

- Specific characteristics if applicable

Please see Section 2.1 and Table 6

2. Brief overview of recent instruments to foster self-employment or job creation in one-person and micro enterprises


2.1. Please provide a brief description (max. 800 words) of public or social partner based instruments recently initiated (2008 onwards) to support self-employment and job creation in one-person or micro enterprises.

Measures covered by the European Employment Observatory Review on self-employment 2010, European Commission, Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities are to be omitted to avoid duplication (see Part 3 of this questionnaire).

In the last few years the National Strategy has been moving toward the support of persons and enterprises for the working out and the implementation of Integrated Structural Adjustment Plans, in order for them to respond to the new reality created by the economic crisis and to incorporate new technologies and innovation in the production process.

The Integrated Structural Adjustment Plans include specified actions connected to predetermined guidelines and scheduled changes in the organisation of each enterprise, with particular emphasis being put on sectors like: the optimisation of the use of resources, which refers to the introduction, in enterprises, of management methods that contribute to the saving of resources (e.g. raw materials, energy, technical equipment, human resources); the improvement of environmental management, which has to do with the adoption of work and management methods that respect the environment (e.g. product, services and processes quality assurance, hygiene and safety, risk management, waste management, legislation); the boosting of extroversion, which includes an effort to assist enterprises in developing an export activity (e.g. export techniques, export marketing, product labelling specifications); and the development of models and practices for the proper preparation of personnel belonging to all ranks and categories (employees and businessmen) for the protection of the enterprises and of precarious jobs and for safeguarding jobs for specified groups of employees.

So, for instance, the targeted programmes of the OAED aim at supporting sectors facing acute problems, mainly due to the crisis, such as tourism, constructions and trade, and groups of the population, such as the entrants on the labour market, the unemployed, women, young scientists, young businessmen and vulnerable groups threatened with social exclusion from the labour market. The Programme entitled ‘Structural adjustment of employees and enterprises in the financial crisis’; the Programme entitled ‘Subsidy of 200,000 full-time jobs through the subsidisation of employers social security contributions for the maintenance of at least 400,000 jobs in enterprises and private sector employers in general’; the special four-year programme entitled ‘Promotion of employment through the subsidisation of social security contributions for hiring 40,000 unemployed persons’; the Programme entitled ‘Subsidy Programme for 4,000 New Freelance Professionals – Women aged 22-64’, in brief ‘ENTREPRENEURSHIP OF UNEMPLOYED WOMEN AGED 22-64’ are some of the recent support programmes whose objective is to help employees respond to the new conditions created because of the financial crisis and take business initiatives, and also to implement restructuring and adjustment changes and measures, which will bring about a serious shake-up and have a strong impact on their business and working environment.

At the same time, as we mentioned before, the current economic and financial crisis has led to the specification of the National Plan for Supporting Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (2010-2013) and also to the strengthening of self-employment support programmes with a view to boosting their dynamics with respect to job creation, promoting their competitiveness and improving the regulatory framework. The new actions promote innovation, competitiveness and extroversion and the support of the aforesaid target groups, as well as the activation, in cooperation with the European Investment Bank, of ‘Jeremie’ initiative for the granting of low interest loans to newly established enterprises. The establishment of an Entrepreneurship Fund for special business projects regarding green initiatives and innovation and, finally, the announcement, by the General Secretariat of Industry, of actions having a total budget of € 300 million, in the context of the National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF 2007-2013). At this point, we should mention that, according to the ESPA, Greece’s strategy focuses, for example, on actions for: the promotion of innovation, research and entrepreneurship and their interrelation; namely, the promotion of high-potential entrepreneurship and the support of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises that face expansion problems, as well as the expansion of the development effort toward clusters or categories of enterprises that are promising and have considerable potential. Emphasis is put on the development of sectors in which innovation becomes a competitive advantage in the course of production. The investment in human capital, through actions that are intended to create more and better jobs. In this context, the promotion of life-long learning, the improvement of the quality of education and training, etc. are strategic choices for dealing with the labour market’s structural problems. The facilitation of the access to the labour market is directly connected to the country’s overall development, the achievement and maintenance of high levels of competitivenessς and the creation of new job opportunities. The upgrading of the institutional environment, through the simplification of the regulatory framework (reduction of bureaucracy). The strengthening of the civil services’ administrative capacity will help increase productivity and the quality of work, promote entrepreneurship, attract investments and create jobs.

Finally, we should not omit one more action that aims at dealing with the new economic situation, namely the One Stop Shop whose objective is to simplify and fast-track the procedures pertaining to the establishment and operation of all kinds of commercial companies in the country. According to the action, the sole procedure takes about an hour in one place only, and ensures the establishment of an enterprise and the immediate commencement of its financial activity within a day or, at the latest, on the next workday.

Table 6: List of recent instruments

Title

Nέα Καινοτομική Επιχειρηματικότητα

New Innovative Entrepreneurship

Aim/objective

Strengthen the entrepreneurial activity of microenterprises and new small-sized enterprises by enhancing innovative, pioneering and inventive ideas.

Description of support

The programme supports (subsidisation of equipment, operational costs etc. as well as advice and support on human resources management and various expertise issues) the creation/establishment of new enterprises by natural persons which aim to turn an innovative idea or/and a registered/patented expertise that has not been commercially utilised into entrepreneurial innovation. In addition, it supports micro enterprises and new small-sized enterprises which aim to utilise innovative ideas at a commercial level, by marketing new products or services through expanding/differentiating their products/services. The programme is funded with € 30,000,000.

Target group

Micro enterprises and small-sized enterprises

Initiator and other actors involved

Ministry of Finance, Competitiveness and Mercantile Marine / General Secretariat of Industry – Directorate of Small and Medium Enterprises (DΜΜΕ) / Intermediary for the Operational Programme Competitiveness and Entrepreneurship (ΕFΕPΑΕ)

Duration (please also indicate whether the measures has been initiated due to the recession)

The programme was opened in March 2011, within the framework of specific measures to face the financial crisis; it lasts 18 months starting from the date of the decision to incorporate the enterprise, with a possible extension of 6 months

Title

Κοινοί Ευρωπαϊκοί πόροι για τις Πολύ Μικρές ως Μεσαίες Επιχειρήσεις

Jeremie - Joint European Resources for Micro enterprises to Medium-sized Enterprises

Aim/objective

Funding, in the form of a loan, micro enterprises and medium-sized enterprises, which are currently being established or which are newly founded, aiming to the enterprise’s investment and expansion

Description of support

The programme constitutes an initiative of the European Union, aiming to support small-to-medium and medium enterprises (1-50 employees) and to enhance entrepreneurship. The loans will be granted for the expansion and the investment of the company, with a full payment period from 36 to 72 months, including a period of grace, and with an interest rate of 3%. The micro credits granted will be up to € 25,000, the credits up to € 100,000 and the loans up to € 500,000 as regards investments in modern technology and in the field of Informatics and Communications.

Target group

Micro enterprises to Medium-sized enterprises

Initiator and other actors involved

Ministry of Regional Development and Competitiveness / General Secretariat of Investments and Development

Duration (please also indicate whether the measures has been initiated due to the recession)

The programme, which was opened in the beginning of 2011 as a tool against the financial crisis, lasts until depletion of the budget

Title

Εξωστρέφεια-Ανταγωνιστικότητα των Επιχειρήσεων

Outwardness-Competitiveness of Enterprises

Aim/objective

Strengthen and support the micro enterprises, the small and medium-sized enterprises, as well as large enterprises, on certain conditions, in order to start/continue with their outward competitiveness and entrepreneurial activity

Description of support

The programme aims to create the necessary conditions to strengthen outward entrepreneurship (that is, international activities), as a main option for upgrading the country’s production basis towards goods and services of high added value. It enhances outward entrepreneurship and the promotion of Greek enterprises and their products by subsidising equipment, promotional activities to specific market goals, operations of planning, certification and compliance of the products etc. The programme is funded with € 30,000,000.

Target group

Different old and new micro enterprises, small and medium-sized enterprises in the field of the manufacturing, constructions and services; old and new micro enterprises, small and medium-sized Enterprises in the field of trade; groups of (at least 3) old or new micro enterprises, small and medium-sized enterprises

Initiator and other actors involved

Ministry of Finance, Competitiveness and Mercantile Marine / General Secretariat of Industry

Duration (please also indicate whether the measures has been initiated due to the recession)

The programme was published in February 2011, within the framework of specific measures against the financial crisis; its duration is 18 months starting from the date of the decision to incorporate the enterprise, with a possible extension of 6 months

Title

Τροποποιημένο Πρόγραμμα επιχορήγησης 200.000 θέσεων πλήρους απασχόλησης με επιδότηση των εργοδοτικών εισφορών, για τη διατήρηση τουλάχιστον 400.000 θέσεων εργασίας, σε επιχειρήσεις και γενικά εργοδότες του ιδιωτικού τομέα

Amended programme for the funding of 200,000 full employment posts through subsidising the employers’ social contributions, in order to maintain at least 400,000 posts in enterprises and, in general, in private sector employers

Aim/objective

The objective of the amended programme is to fund 200,000 full employment posts, in enterprises and, in general, in private sector employers, by subsidising the non-wage labour cost that corresponds to the monthly employers’ social contributions

Description of support

Funding the non-wage labour cost as a motive to maintain at least 400,000 jobs for a period of 18 months, emphasising special groups of employees, analysed as follows: people with disabilities, employees at the age of 50 or older. The enterprises involved will be financed for 50% of the workers they employ on the date of submission of their application and, more particular, for one up to 30 employees maximum, on the condition that they maintain a number of non-funded employees that is at least equal to the number of those funded throughout the programme. The programme also includes enterprises that employ just one person under full employment, on the condition that they keep that person throughout the programme.

As regards enterprises employing 2-9 persons, 10 to 49 persons and over 50 persons, the amount of funding is the amount corresponding to the monthly employers’ social contributions. The amount of funding for enterprises with one person under full employment is the amount corresponding to 75% of the monthly employers’ social contributions.

Target group

Private sector enterprises with 1 or more employees

Initiator and other actors involved

Ministry of Labour & Social Insurance, OAED

Duration (please also indicate whether the measures has been initiated due to the recession)

The duration of the entire programme, amended and enhanced in February 2011 and aiming to face the financial crisis, is 18 months, out of which 12 months regard funding and the remaining six months regard commitment.

Title

Διαρθρωτική προσαρμογή εργαζομένων μικρών και πολύ μικρών επιχειρήσεων, που απασχολούν 1-49 άτομα, εντός της οικονομικής κρίσης

Structural adjustment of employees of small enterprises and micro enterprises, employing 1-49 persons during the financial crisis

Aim/objective

The Programme regards the aid granted to small enterprises and micro enterprises by drafting and implementing ‘Sectoral Plans for the Structural Adjustment of Enterprises in the Regions’ and it envisages their responsiveness to the new circumstances generated by the financial crisis

Description of support

Small enterprises and micro enterprises (1-49 employees), members of the Sectoral Collective Bodies, are requested to produce a file of submission to the programme for activities like: 1) provision of consulting services to the enterprise regarding business operation or staff issues or 2) training the company’s staff in thematic fields related to the company’s object. The total budget amounts to € 51,000,000.

Target group

Small enterprises and micro enterprises of any legal form and of 1-49 employees

Initiator and other actors involved

Ministry of Labour & Social Insurance / Vocational Training SA

Duration (please also indicate whether the measures has been initiated due to the recession)

The duration of the project, which was opened especially in order to support micro enterprises and small enterprises to help them respond to the new circumstances generated by the financial crisis, is 18 months.

Title

Εγγύηση από την ΤΕΜΠΜΕ ΑΕ Χαμηλότοκων Δανείων για την κάλυψη Φορολογικών και Ασφαλιστικών Υποχρεώσεων ΜΕ/ΠΜΕ

Guarantee by ΤΕΜPΜΕ SA for Low-Interest-Rate Loans for the coverage of Tax and Insurance Obligations of Small/Micro enterprises

Aim/objective

Support small enterprises and micro enterprises by directly covering their obligations to the State and the Insurance Funds.

Description of support

The programme regards the guarantee of new bank loans of fixed expiration aiming to cover the obligations of small/micro entrepreneurship to Tax Offices and insurance funds. The amount of the loan is directly related to the number of employees (annual working units: AWU) working at the enterprise: From € 5,000 to € 40,000 for 0 to 4,99 AWU, from € 5,000 to € 70,000 for 5 to 19,99 AWU and from € 5000 to € 100,000 for 20 to 49,99 AWU

Target group

Already existing small enterprises and micro enterprises with less than 50 employees and a turnover that is lower than or equal to € 10 million

Initiator and other actors involved

Ministry of Finance, Competitiveness and Mercantile Marine / Guarantees Fund for Small Enterprises and Micro enterprises

Duration (please also indicate whether the measures has been initiated due to the recession)

The programme, which started in April 2009 because of the financial crisis, will end once the amount of € 5 billion is covered.

Title

Επιχορήγηση Επιχειρήσεων για τη Δημιουργία Νέων Θέσεων Εργασίας στον Τομέα του Φυσικού Περιβάλλοντος

Funding Enterprises for the Creation of New Jobs in the Field of the Natural Environment

Aim/objective

Creation of new jobs in private enterprises, as well as in enterprises of local authorities

Description of support

The programme’s objective is to create new jobs in private enterprises, enterprises (pure and mixed) of the Local Authorities (ΟΤΑ) and non profit-making companies and associations that are active in the field of the Natural Environment, by funding them in order to recruit unemployed persons. The job created must represent the net increase in the number of employees in the enterprise, compared to the average of the last 12 months preceding the date of submission of the application to be submitted to the programme. Partial and seasonal employment is included in the net increase. The amount of enterprise funding per day of full employment amounts to € 14. In the case of partial employment (4 hours and more per day), the funding amounts to half of the aforementioned amount.

Target group

Private enterprises, enterprises of Local Authorities, non profit-making companies and associations

Initiator and other actors involved

Ministry of Labour & Social Insurance / General Secretariat for the Management of Community & Other Resources

Duration (please also indicate whether the measures has been initiated due to the recession)

The period of the funding destined to enhance small and medium-sized enterprises during the financial crisis is 18 months.

Title

Επιχειρηματικότητα Ανέργων Γυναικών Ηλικίας 22-64

Entrepreneurship of Unemployed Women aged 22-64

Aim/objective

Promoting employment for unemployed women, by supporting entrepreneurial initiatives

Description of support

Financial support of unemployed women aged 22-64 starting a new business that is active in innovative fields and especially in green economy. The amount of funding for each new liberal professional submitted to the programme is set at € 24,000.

Target group

Unemployed women under self-employment

Initiator and other actors involved

Ministry of Labour & Social Insurance, OAED

Duration (please also indicate whether the measures has been initiated due to the recession)

The period of the funding, which was published in April 2010 within the framework of the activity of the Manpower Employment Organization in order to support self-employment during the financial crisis, is 36 months.

Title

Ειδικό Διετές Πρόγραμμα Προώθησης της Απασχόλησης με Επιχορήγηση των Ασφαλιστικών Εισφορών για την Πρόσληψη 25.000 Ανέργων

Special Two-year Programme for the Promotion of Employment by Funding Insurance Contributions for the Recruitment of 25,000 Unemployed Persons

Aim/objective

Creation of new jobs in private enterprises (micro and small) by funding part of the wage cost and of the non-wage labour cost

Description of support

The programme regards private enterprises and, in general, employers of the private sector, giving priority to micro enterprises and small enterprises (up to 50 persons), especially to those that are active in innovative fields like the green economy. The objective is to create new jobs by subsidising part of the wage cost and the non-wage labour cost, which corresponds to the amount of social insurance contributions, taking as a calculation basis the income corresponding up to the amount of the lowest basic salary, as stipulated each time by the ΕGSSΕ, in private enterprises, as a motive to recruit 25,000 unemployed persons, under full or partial employment.

The amount of funding is the amount that corresponds to part of the monthly insurance contributions, for full or partial employment, as calculated below per year, for all main insurance sectors of the Social Insurance Institute – Unified Insurance Fund for Employees (IΚΑ-ΕΤΑΜ) and of the supplementary Unified Supplementary Insurance Fund for Employees (ΕΤΕΑΜ) insurance, as well as to part of the monthly insurance contributions of those that IKA collects or co-collects for the Bodies and Sectors of Social Insurance.

As regards workers employed under full or partial employment, instead of ΕΤΕΑΜ, they are insured in Supplementary Funds; The amount of funding is the amount that corresponds to part of the monthly insurance contributions for all main insurance sectors of ΙΚΑ-ΕΤΑΜ and to part of the monthly insurance contributions of the relevant Supplementary Funds, as well as to part of the monthly insurance contributions of those that ΙΚΑ collects or co-collects for Bodies and Branches of Social Insurance.

In addition, the amount of funding is also the amount corresponding to the insurance contributions for Christmas and Easter bonuses as well as for vacation bonuses, for the months for which these are paid.

Target group

Private micro enterprises and small enterprises

Initiator and other actors involved

Ministry of Labour & Social Insurance, Manpower Employment Organization

Duration (please also indicate whether the measures has been initiated due to the recession)

The period of funding is 24 months. After the end of the funding, the enterprises are bound to maintain their staff for another 12 months. It is a specific crisis measure.

Title

Τροποποίηση του «Ειδικού τετραετούς προγράμματος προώθησης της απασχόλησης με επιχορήγηση των ασφαλιστικών εισφορών για την πρόσληψη 40.000 ανέργων»

Amendment of the ‘Special four-year programme for the promotion of employment by funding insurance contributions for the recruitment of 40,000 unemployed persons’

Aim/objective

Support self-employed women that employ up to one person, for the creation of one new job

Description of support

Self-employed women employing up to one person may be submitted to the aforementioned programme for the creation of one new job, with the aim to support the operation of their personal enterprise for a period from 6 to 18 months during their absence from the enterprise due to pregnancy, confinement or childcare, given that they produce the supporting documents required upon submission control. After the end of the period for which they will be submitted to the programme, if they desire so, they may continue with the programme for the period remaining until the completion of the 48 months of funding and the commitment of 12 months without funding.

Target group

Self-employed women

Initiator and other actors involved

Ministry of Labour & Social Insurance, OAED

Duration (please also indicate whether the measures has been initiated due to the recession)

The programme, which was amended in November 2010 as an action against the financial crisis, has a duration of six to 18 months per enterprise

Title

Υπηρεσίες Μίας Στάσης για τη Σύσταση Επιχειρήσεων & Γενικό Εμπορικό Μητρώο (Ν. 3853/10)

One-Stop Shops for the Establishment of Enterprises & General Register of Companies (Act. 3853/10)

Aim/objective

Simplification and acceleration of the procedures for the establishment and operation of any type of commerce company

Description of support

This particular service replaces the so far multiple and costly steps to establish an enterprise with one single procedure, which lasts approximately one hour and ensures the establishment of an enterprise and the immediate start-up of financial activity in one day or, on the next working day at the latest. The cost of said procedure is reduced by approximately 33%.

Target group

Any type of commerce company (Unlimited general partnership, Limited partnership, Limited liability company)

Initiator and other actors involved

Ministry of Regional Development and Competitiveness

Duration (please also indicate whether the measures has been initiated due to the recession)

It’s an ongoing measure adopted with the aim to simplify procedures


2.2. In-depth description of ‘Good Practices’

Please choose up to three examples from the above list that can be considered as ‘Good Practice’ (e.g. because of their effectiveness, innovative character or beneficial cooperation among different stakeholders) and describe them in detail.

Table 7: Description of ‘Good Practice’ examples of recent support instruments

Name of the programme/instrument

In national language and English

Υπηρεσίες Μίας Στάσης για τη Σύσταση Επιχειρήσεων & Γενικό Εμπορικό Μητρώο (Ν. 3853/10)

One-Stop Shops for the Establishment of Enterprises & General Register of Companies (Act 3853/10)

Is the instrument explicitly addressing any of the following:

Self-employment

Hiring the first employee

Hiring additional employees/creating additional jobs in micro enterprises

Please ‘X’ and/or describe if relevant

-

-

-

Operational level

Local

Regional

National

Please ‘X’ and/or describe if relevant

   

X

Rationale/motivation for the instrument

(please describe)

Simplification and acceleration of the procedures for the establishment and the operation of any type of commerce company (Sociétés Anonymes, Limited Liability Companies, Unlimited and Limited Partnerships)

Purpose and aims for the instrument (please describe)

This particular service replaces the so far multiple and costly steps to establish an enterprise with one single procedure, which lasts approximately one hour and ensures the establishment of an enterprise and the immediate start-up of financial activity in one day or on the next working day at the latest. The cost of said procedure is reduced by approximately 30%.

Initiator
Please ‘X’      
Other stakeholders actively involved in implementation (please name them and describe their roles)

The operation of One Stop Shops is enabled through the cooperation of bodies the role of which is to support and provide consulting and supporting services, as well as to gather and expedite actions for the submitted applications: Chambers of Commerce, Notary’s Offices, Citizen’s Service Centers (ΚΕP). 71 bodies cooperated for the development of One Stop Shops, including the Ministry of Regional Development & Competitiveness, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Interior, Decentralisation and Electronic Governance, the Ministry of Justice, Transparency & Human Rights and the Ministry of Labour & Social Insurance (with the participation of the Insurance Institution for the Liberal Professions and the Social Insurance Fund), as well as the Central Union of Chambers in Greece and the 59 Chambers of the country.

Target groups        
Please describe the target groups (sector, age, level of education, gender)

Any type of commerce company in Greece

Funding        
Please describe the funding of the instrument/programme (national and European sources, budget available)

n.a.

Activities    
Please describe the activities of the programme or institutional initiative as detailed as possible

The One Stop Shops simplify and accelerate the procedures for the establishment and operation of any type of commerce companies. According to official announcements (Ministry of Regional Development and Competitiveness), 5 ministerial computer systems interoperate, 71 bodies cooperate, 59 trade chamber shops operate as One Stop Shops, 3,200 notary’s offices operate as One Stop Shops, 52 selected ΚΕP (Citizen’s Service Center) are gradually incorporated in the system in order to enable the establishment of a company in 1 day instead of 38 days, at 1 contact point for citizens instead of 8, under 1 procedure instead of 11 and within 1 hour. According to the competent bodies, the cost for the establishment of an Ltd, is reduced by approximately 33%

Results (Effectiveness)      
Please describe the results e.g. number of beneficiaries, advised enterprises

According to the Ministry of Regional Development & Competitiveness, based on the results of its first month of operation (4.4.2011 to 3.5.2011), the One Stop Shop yields positive results, while it ‘gradually becomes a reliable ally of businessmen’.

According to the data, 280 companies were founded, in total, at the One Stop Shops during this period throughout the country, while 2,279 companies were registered (out of which 1,806 are individual) in the General Register of Companies.

Challenges in order to reach the objectives e.g. for the organisation offering the instrument, the entrepreneurs (Please describe); and if available how these have been overcome
Assessments of the effectiveness e.g. investments made in order to reach the objectives of the programme (outcome vs. investment) (Please base this assessment on evaluations when possible)

There is no relevant information available.

Outcomes (Efficiency)  
Increasing self-employment, growth and employment e.g. number of start-up and/or jobs created etc. (please describe, preferably based on evaluations, otherwise on experts’ assessment)

As mentioned above, during the period from 4.4.2011 to 3.5.2011 (1st month of operation of the One Stop Shops), 280 companies were founded, in total, throughout the country. More analytically, the following company types were founded: 17 SAs, 18 Ltds, 95 Limited partnerships and 150 Unlimited partnerships.

Please provide link to evaluation documents if possible

http://www.mindev.gov.gr/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/2011-04-11_YMS_PrinKMeta_Memo.pdf

http://www.mindev.gov.gr/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/Memo_One-Stop-Shop_final.pdf

http://www.mindev.gov.gr/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/2011_05_09_yms_gemi_apologismos2.doc

Part 3: Annex: Update on recent self-employment study

The recent European Employment Observatory Review on self-employment 2010, European Commission, Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities provides insight into support instruments for self-employment. To avoid duplication of this information, we ask you as National Correspondent to omit these measures already covered in your research (Part 2 of this questionnaire), and only update or add any additional details or measures that exceed the information already provided in this report.

Table 8: Additional information on specific instruments to the EEO national report on self-employment:

Title of the instrument

n.a.

Additional information

n.a.

Table 9: Please add any other comments to the EEO national report on self-employment:

-According to data from the National Statistical Service (ELSTAT), 4th quarter of 2010, self-employment hits 22.6% in enterprises with no employees and 7.8% in enterprises with 1 or more employees.

-According to a report entitled ‘Entrepreneurship on the verge of the crisis: the GEM research 2008-2009’ of the Foundation for Economic and Industrial Research (ΙΟΒΕ), female self-employment increased, resulting to a 40% of first-stage entrepreneurs being female in 2008, as against approximately 30% in the past two years.

Table 10: Please indicate ‘X’ if you have no additional information to the EEO national report on self-employment:

Please indicate ‘X’ if you have no additional information to provide

 

Commentary

Elena Kousta, Labour Institute of Greek General Confederation of Labour (INE/GSEE)

As mentioned before, in Greece, in the last few years, the dialogue on public support instruments to support self-employment and job creation in one-person and micro enterprises, (we should point out here that in Greece very small and small enterprises (1-20 employees) represent 68% of enterprises), revolves round the need to support employment and self-employment, to support very small enterprises (VSEs) so that they are modernised, survive and distinguish themselves in an internationally competitive environment. The current economic and financial crisis has led to the specification of a series of nationwide programmes, in order for the self-employed and the VSEs to answer to the requirements of a complex and ever-changing competitive environment.

There is no doubt that the specified measures will be judged in the near future as for their efficiency. However, it should be pointed out that certain reservations are being expressed with respect to the achievement of their goals and, primarily, to whether they are adequate in order to deal with the current situation. It is also clear that, the dimensions of the economic and financial crisis, which the country is going through, make dealing with it a rather difficult task.



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