Greece, Prime Minister, Social Enterprise, British Council
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras speaking with the British Council's Maria Nomikou at the Social Economy Expo in Athens in November 2017 ©

British Council

This is the largest study to date of the social and solidarity economy (SSE) in Greece.  It finds that the SSE is less developed in Greece than in other European countries, but that there is great potential for it to grow and expand its impact. 

Cooperatives, social enterprises and other SSE organisations are helping to tackle some of the country’s most significant challenges while also promoting and demonstrating alternative business models that incorporate social benefit alongside their economic activity. A high proportion of SSE organisations in Greece seek to reduce poverty and unemployment. A significant number provide support for the elderly, people with a physical or learning disability as well as refugees and asylum seekers.

Although there is a long tradition of cooperatives in Greece, the wider SSE sector is relatively young, with 68 per cent of organisations started in the past five years. SSE leaders tend to be well educated, as 41 per cent of them have a postgraduate or doctoral level of education. Some 35 per cent of the organisations are led by women, making the sector far more inclusive than mainstream business. 

The report also explores the barriers that SSE organisations face, chief of which is access to finance. Additionally, it examines the opportunities for building an ecosystem to support social enterprises and other SSE organisations in Greece. 

It forms part of a larger project of technical support focusing on the SSE provided by the British Council to the Ministry of Labour, Social Security and Social Solidarity (MoL) in Greece with funding from the European Commission through the Structural Reform Support Service (SRSS).

The full report and executive summary are available for download in both English and Greek.

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