"Alliance for Entrepreneurship and Development in Western Greece"
13-15 December 2017
Summaries and presentations of research papers
1st Day, 13/12/2017
Research findings and results on entrepreneurship and growth in Western Greece
The recent developments in Greece stressed even more the need to closely observe the economic conjuncture at any point in time, as well as the importance of the ability to assess the possibilities and prospects for viable economic growth with accuracy and precision. Taking into account the major restrictions and shortcomings in terms of the officially and timely available economic indicators for monitoring and evaluating economic conditions, alternative and additional solutions are called upon to fill the gap. To that end, the construction of a monthly Composite Leading Indicator (CLI) of economic activity for the Greek economy, along with the derivation of recession probabilities, can contribute with supplementary information. The most recent estimates show, in the first case, that the signs confirming the definite transition of the economy to a stable period of recovery and significant growth in the near future are still lacking. In the second case, the estimates and projections indicate that the Greek economy has exited the recessionary regime and moves towards a period of expansion. It should be emphasized that any estimation procedure must constitute a dynamic exercise to be repeated constantly, as new statistical data become available and older statistics are updated, and since the economic environment keeps changing in time. In addition, conclusions should not be drawn on the basis of single estimates and indicator values, but should present, instead, the result of the combining use of the total range of the available and obtained information.Download synopsis
Τhe study empirically analyses Greece’s regional GDPs in terms of labor, capital and investment variables across six sectors, and public spending variables from 2000 to 2011 in Greece, in order to estimate the coefficients, the regional total (entrepreneurship-and-technology) productivity factors, and aid in development policy planning. Ιt finds evidence of regional differences in entrepreneurship and technology, different labor and spending effects across regions, and different capital and investment effects across sectors.Download synopsis
This paper presents the economic situation in Western Greece compared to the other national and EU regions based on indices. For the needs of the economic mapping of the position of Western Greece, a system of indicators for well-being, concentration/specialization of the workforce and development prospects of the 276 EU regions was constructed.
Data analysis reveals strong heterogeneity and differentiation between Greek and European regions. Although the Greek regions fall short of the European median in most cases, we identify sectors with a high concentration of labor and the regions which are ranked first among the European regions using relevant indicators.
In particular, the region of Western Greece in 2015 had very high concentration of labor in the primary sector, as well as moderate concentration in the trade-transport-storage-accommodation-food service sector. At the same time, the area was lagging behind in a number of aspects related to growth prospects (with higher score in the demographic composition) and well-being (with higher health scores). There is therefore distance to cover in several fields.
From the time series analysis of the period 2013-2015 for the 276 EU regions, it is clear that changes in the ranking of Western Greece were marginal. Generally, it has low ranking in most of the indicators examined. Sub-indices of labor concentration in agriculture-forestry-fishing and trade-transport-storage-accommodation-food service are positive exceptions, according to which the region ranks among the top 20% of EU regions.Download synopsis
The paper studies the evolution of regional employment, unemployment, non-participation and sectoral employment in a number of sectors (sectors that are important to Western Greece’s workforce) across Greece, and empirically isolates the trend, seasonal and intermediate (cyclical) effects. Ιt finds evidence of regional differences that are useful for territorial development policy planning in Greece.Download synopsis
Some of the major economic measures implemented during the most recent recession period in Greece aimed at strengthening the competitiveness of the country and the local enterprises, partly through the improvement of the domestic business environment. Still, in many cases, and to some extent due to the depth of the economic crisis which had not been predicted but was linked to the legislation of certain economic measures, the course of specific economic variables indicate that policies adversely affected and did not contribute to an upturn in domestic business activity. The presentation of the path of selected major macroeconomic variables (gross value added, gross fixed capital investment and income from entrepreneurial activity in agriculture) related to economic activity on a regional level indicates the adverse developments following the beginning of the recession. Econometric indicative estimation of the significance of selected economic policy measures for all non-financial enterprises with respect to some key macroeconomic measures (gross value added, gross fixed capital formation and disposable income) further point to the impact of specific measures, mostly characterized by a negative sign. Overall, it can be argued that the final removal of the imposed capital controls, the avoidance of any further delays and the fast implementation of all the necessary procedures along the wide range of actions facilitating and boosting entrepreneurship –legislation, implementation, tax policy adjustment, use of all the available financial instruments, etc.– can, among other things, form the basis for creating the appropriate conditions for the improvement of the domestic business environment in the short to medium term.Download synopsis
The present study demonstrates the importance of institutions in economic development. High quality institutions are a necessary and, perhaps, sufficient condition for growth. Local governments can rely upon high quality institutions in order to promote and facilitate regional development. Moreover, local governments should look for opportunities to positively affect some of the key institutions, thus paving the way to regional economic development. At a conceptual level, the study follows Douglass North’s definition of institutions. At an empirical level, a variety of definitions by international organizations such as the World Economic Forum, the World Bank and the OECD is used as a means to operationalize and measure several institutions that critically affect regional development. Such institutions include bureaucracy and the burden of regulations, the legal system (degree of independence as well as its effective operation), tax system and tax authorities, property rights protection, transparency in policy making, etc. It is important to note that local governments could make a difference by adopting a bottom-up approach which allows for more effective information flow between citizens and top management.Download synopsis
The concept of social responsibility has lately expanded to organizations beyond the for-profit, private business sector such as non for-profit and public organizations. Local government organizations are an important actor and stakeholder for regional and national economic development. As such, local government organizations have significant responsibilities in their role as key socio-economic actors who affect regional development. This study presents the chain of social responsibility and demonstrates how local governments are a major stakeholder within this chain. Then based on international as well as national practices the study examines and illustrates potential actions from local governments that are entrepreneurial in nature and affect society, economy and the environment. The Periphery of Western Greece has significant comparative advantage in a number of sectors such as: Salt production, aquaculture, livestock, hydroplanes and, tourism which combined with culture could produce a globally unique product.Download synopsis
The aim of this research is to propose and develop an analytical model of the entrepreneurship perspective in the region of Western Greece, in order to link the specific characteristics of entrepreneurship with the productive structure of the region. Through the model will be possible to identify the potential developmental dynamics, and to assess the potential benefits of expanding entrepreneurship for the regional economy.
Entrepreneurship is a major driver of growth for a regional economy with a wide range of different effects such as: creating new businesses, increasing production of goods and services, creating new jobs, adopting new technologies production-management-distribution, creation of innovation, improvement of labor productivity, export dynamics, etc. However, the possibilities of expanding entrepreneurship are largely affected by the current economic crisis and the unfavorable characteristics of the business environment.
Taking into account the current economic and social environment, we develop the model in two distinct modules. The first module explores the characteristics and the evolution of entrepreneurship for the region of Western Greece (paying particular attention to the impact of the current economic crisis) while the second module identifies the sectoral features of the regional economy, as they result from the application of input-output analysis.Download synopsis
The paper outlines the plan submitted on March 2016 by the (then) deputy Head of the Region of Western Greece, G, Angelopoulos, to the European Committee of the Regions: the plan that earned Western Greece the award of European Entrepreneurial Region for 2017 (cor.europa.eu/en/takepart/eer/Documents/EER 2017/western-greece.pdf). It describes the new network-and-support-system that would be created in order to advance entrepreneurship and economic development in W. Greece (featuring the establishment of SEADE, platforms for data collection, the interaction of the main agents involved etc.), as well as the initiatives that SEADE and the Region of Western Greece were expected to take in the first year or two. It closes with the author’s evaluation on what was proposed and what was carried out.Download synopsis
A decision support model (DSM) is presented and implemented in order to identify probable and realistic export opportunities for Greece. The aim of the model is to select those combinations of products and countries of destination (markets) that are attractive based on widely recognized criteria (such as country risk indicators, macroeconomic data, market shares, accessibility of destination country, degree of market concentration, etc.). The DSM consists of a filtering process during which the less attractive export opportunities are successively eliminated in order to focus on those markets that have the desired characteristics. Analysis for selected Western Greek agricultural products is also presented.Download synopsis
This paper examines the role that regional social capital plays in regional entrepreneurship in services. The social capital variable used was constructed by the means of Exploratory Factor Analysis (EFA). The present analysis also separately assesses the effects of regional values of trust and social networks on regional entrepreneurship. The results obtained from the use of fixed effects demonstrate the benefits of regional social capital for regional new firm formation. In addition, regional trust and regional social networks positively affect regional new firm formation. From the other control variables, unemployment and within services knowledge spillovers lead to an increase of new firm formation in Greek regions, while human capital and knowledge spillovers across different sectors appear to restrict entrepreneurial activity. In turn, GDP growth has an insignificant effect on regional new firm formation activity in services. The policy implications discussed herein emphasize the need to strengthen the amount of social capital in regions.Download synopsis
This paper explores the determinants of R&D collaborations of SMEs using a unique dataset derived from a survey of 3500 Greek SMEs. In doing so four categories of factors are examined for their potential role in the engagement of firms in R&D collaborations referring to (a) technological competencies, (b) multinational activity, (c) competitive strategies, and (d) internal organization. The descriptive statistics show that SMEs located in the Region of Western Greece tend to exhibit a greater cooperative R&D intensity compared to the total sample of SMEs under examination. The empirical analysis is based on the estimation of ordered probit models for different age groups of SMEs. Our main results indicate that firms’ technological competencies seem to significantly increase the likelihood of older firms to participate in inter-firm R&D collaborations. Moreover, we find that international diversity of export activity raises the probability of older as well as middle-aged SMEs to participate in inter-firm R&D collaborations. Finally, professional management appears to play a significant role in firms’ decision to participate in R&D projects especially in the case of young SMEs. Policy and managerial implications of our findings highlight the need to stimulate SMEs’ internationalization and support the development of technological competenciesDownload synopsis
There is a growing interest around the world for the role of entrepreneurship in addressing a series of important societal issues concerning growth, societal progress through innovation, employment generation and social empowerment. Moreover, the assumption and successful implementation of innovative ventures are crucial for any company to develop and maintain a competitive advantage. Greek entrepreneurs’ perceptions regarding the determinants of their business performance and innovative behaviour were investigated by a questionnaire survey. The entrepreneurs’ majority states to be relatively satisfied with their business performance (i.e. profitability, growth, market share) when compared with the industry average. Among the key determinants of firm performance emerged to be the company's ability to collaborate smoothly with suppliers and its extensive focus on innovation, its export activities and the submission of a business plan to an investment incentives’ program. The respondents, on average, alleged to have achieved three of the five stated innovative actions during the last three years, and around two-thirds of them claimed to have their business operations reorganized and their production process improved. The most innovative entrepreneurs appeared to better handle the lack of funds for new investments and are more probable to pursue the improvement of their competitive position by expanding into new markets and increasing their product range, as well as, to submit of a business plan to an investment incentives’ program. Results indicate that the investment incentives’ programs could constitute a valuable tool for small businesses to assume and successfully implement innovative ventures to strive in the increasingly competitive environment.Download synopsis
E-commerce is rapidly gaining importance at the international level, changing the relationships of businesses with both their customers and suppliers. Greece, despite the improvement it has been recently experienced, appears to significantly lag behind the majority of other EU member states in terms of firm digitization and e-commerce. In this study we examine important parameters and potential determinants of e-commerce adoption in Greek firms using data derived from the annual survey on the "Use of Information, Communication and Electronic Commerce Technologies (ICT) undertaken by the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT). Using descriptive as well as econometric analysis, we explore the role that various factors related to infrastructure, human capital, industry and region might play in e-sales and e-procurement activities of Greek firms.
According to our findings, the dissemination of e-commerce in Greece is still rather limited. Firms in manufacturing and services sectors exhibit higher rates of e-commerce than the other sectors. Also, investments in infrastructure and human capital appear to be particularly important for the adoption of e-commerce by Greek enterprises. On the other hand, the inappropriateness of products/services for internet sales and the high cost of introducing and using related technologies seem to be the primary obstacles to e-sales. Finally, the region of Western Greece presents the lowest rates of e-commerce adoption in Greece, while the regions of South Aegean and Crete show the highest rates.Download synopsis