Digital entrepreneurship tools and support for women entrepreneurs



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Digital entrepreneurship tools and support for women entrepreneurs | Tools für digitales Unternehmertum und Unterstützung für Unternehmerinnen | Инструменти за цифрово предприемачество и подкрепа за жени предприемачи | Alati za digitalno poduzetništvo i podrška poduzetnicama | Ψηφιακά εργαλεία επιχειρηματικότητας και υποστήριξη για γυναίκες επιχειρηματίες | Strumenti di imprenditorialità digitale e sostegno alle donne imprenditrici | Digitālās uzņēmējdarbības rīki un atbalsts sievietēm uzņēmējām | Інструменти цифрового підприємництва та підтримка жінок-підприємців

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National Entrepreneurship Ecosystem and Women Entrepreneurs

Impact Measurement – Results of the online survey with digitalization experts

Conclusions from the Local Roundtables with Stakeholders

National Entrepreneurship Ecosystem and Women Entrepreneurs

Greek Women Entrepreneurship in numbers

According to ICAP’s research conducted in 2021, the penetration of women entrepreneurship in Greece, has been gradually increasing over the last few years, amounting to 25.8% in 2021, from 19.6% in 2015, recording an increase of 6.2% in the last seven years. To be more specific, in total of 42.518 companies with available financial data in 2019, 10.955 are run by women entrepreneurs. Most of the companies run by women are small and medium-sized and belong mainly to sectors of Tourism and Trade. The majority of them is being located in the Ionian Islands, the Aegean and Crete.

Women-run companies achieve better performance over time in all profitability ratios as well as in the return on equity ratio of all companies. It is noteworthy that they managed to improve their profitability in a year in which all companies showed a decrease in total pre-tax profits by 16% (2019/18). The above achievement reinforces the opinion that women as business executives are known for their effectiveness in managing financial issues.

Motivations of women entrepreneurs

There are many factors that motivate women in Greece on starting their own business. The most common push factors are (Sarri and Trihopoulou, 2012):

·         Independence/ Power: It is a common truth that business owners have the flexibility to make decisions on their own regarding the future of their company. They can have the freedom to set their objectives, target market and be creative.

·         Work-family balance: Most of the times, the idea of creating a family may act as an impediment to women who want to work. By becoming entrepreneurs, themselves, they can manage better their time and activities, finding the balance between their personal and professional life.

·         Monetary objectives: The financial aspect seems to play a fundamental role, as the total low family income that they receive and the dissatisfaction from previous job income, also lead them into entrepreneurship.

·         The glass ceiling effect: Glass ceiling first encountered in the 1980’s, describes the artificial barriers women face in accelerating in higher positions at the workplace (KETHI, 2008). In the entrepreneurial notion, glass ceiling depicts the barriers women face to support and advance their careers (KETHI, 2008). 

Obstacles they need to overcome

There are many obstacles that women need to face during the development of their business activity in Greece. This happens mainly due to the social perceptions and discriminations that exist around women, their roles and responsibilities in society. Also, the unequal power relations between women and men contribute to this. For example, women have less freedom to choose areas in which they would like to operate, or they would have less access to credit institutions and fundings. The obstacles they face are also related to access to information referring to their activity and to the markets on which they can expand their business. Furthermore, these barriers exist due to the roles and responsibilities of both sexes. The demanding role of women in the family - compared to men - affects their entrepreneurial capacity, reducing the time, energy and concentration levels that women can offer to their business. Women may have lower earnings and productivity levels, as their time to work is limited, due to the time that they have to spend on their family. Their concentration during work can be reduced if there are distractions, leading to a further reduction in their productivity and profits. The internal restrictions they face stem from social stereotypes about gender roles. Women often lack self-confidence and some other important characteristics that play a key role in their business success such as certainty, ambition and a strong vision. As a result, the lack of these traits can make them unable to risk expanding their businesses.

Financial help

The truth is that in Greece, the financial support concerning women entrepreneurship from the state is very limited. During the period 2009-2018, Greece faced a debt crisis which made the state unable of providing help to its citizens. The PA (Partnership Agreement for the Development Framework) 2014-2020 played a significant role in the enforcement of entrepreneurship. The program aimed at the employment of 2.900 citizens, with a concentration on women, helping them create their own business. The financial contribution originated from the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) of the European Union.

On the other hand, there are some private initiatives concerned with women entrepreneurship and businesswoman empowerment:

1.      National Chamber Network of Women Entrepreneurs,

2.      Greek Association of Women Entrepreneurs,

3.      Piraeus Chamber of Commerce & Industry:

4.      Women InterBalkan Business Association: The Women InterBalkan Business Association was created by the Greek Association of Women Entrepreneurs (SEGE), with the collaboration of the Municipality of Thessaloniki and the Thessaloniki Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

5.      Hellenic Management Association (EEDE) – Women’s Organisation of Managers and Entrepreneurs (TOGME),

6.      Federation of Industries of Northern Greece:

7.      Federation of Greek Associations of Young Entrepreneurs (OESYNE):

8.      Centre for the Support of Employment and Entrepreneurship of Women - ERGANI,


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Impact Measurement – Results of the online survey with digitalization experts






Pigi Vardikou

Social Media Expert


Thanasis Zafeiriou

Owner of a web designing, digital marketing and e-commerce company


Giannis Elpidis

Owner of a web designing, digital marketing and e-commerce company


Chrysa Stavara

Owner of a company providing marketing, advertisement, concept and project management


Alkistis Varlami

Owner of a company providing web designing, e-shop and blog development and digital marketing


An online meeting was held in the afternoon of 13rd of January in Zoom Platform. The aim of this gathering was the conduct of an online survey with the contribution of five digital experts, using the questionnaires provided by SEGE. The results of this online research are the following:

1)      Concerning the Curriculum Prototype that has been developed, all the participants agreed on the fact that it is effective and helpful to women who want to upgrade their digitalization skills.

2)      Regarding the question: “How important is, in your opinion, such a training on digitalization designed specifically for women entrepreneurs?”, all participants have answered “very important or extremely important”.

3)      When answering the question: “Have you participated as a trainee in such a training focused on how to support specifically women-led businesses?”, all participants said never, but they expressed their intention of getting more training on this specific matter.

4)      Regarding the next question, three of the trainers mentioned that they had offered their services on digitalization specifically designed for female entrepreneurs “Once” and the other two answered “More than once”.

5)      Based on the participant’s previous experience, in terms of reduction in time related to certain business tasks, most of the experts believe that the introduction of digital technology and the adoption of digital tools will benefit women's businesses at 51%-75%, on an annual basis.

6)      While in the terms of cost reduction on an annual basis, most of the participants answered minus 26%-50%. 

7)      Again, based on their previous experience, in terms of increasing revenues, most of the people questioned believe that the introduction of digital technology and the adoption of digital tools will benefit women's businesses, in the range plus 26%-50%, on an annual basis.

8)      Regarding the last question: “To what extent, based on your experience, the investment that women will need to make to participate in such a training and to purchase the digitizing equipment and tools they will need for their business is profitable in terms of the benefit they will gain both in time and money through the digitalization of business tasks?”, the overall replies by the 5 experts are summarized as followed: The investment that women need to make on digital equipment, will be quite profitable in terms of the benefits they will gain. To be more specific, all participants claim that digitalization of women’s business offers a less time-consuming ability in terms of completing tasks and is also cost effective. In today’s world, the digitalization of a business is crucial starting with the fact that business will have an online presence worldwide increasing their market target, while providing information about their products or services, advertising their work, and giving the opportunity to clients to purchase a variety of products through online transactions.


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Conclusions from the Local Roundtables with Stakeholders

The local Roundtable was held on the 24th of February 2022, its duration was 90 minutes, and it was conducted online due to Covid-19 restrictions. The stakeholders who joined this Zoom meeting were 15 in total and some general information about them is listed below:











Diavalkaniko SA Business Development Center






Oecon Group

Head of the Department of European Programmes





General Secretariat for Demography and Family Policy and Gender Equality

General Secretary





Commercial Organisation of Thessaloniki






Smart Umbrella Management Solutions E.E.

Business Consultant





American College of Thessaloniki

Director of Entrepreneurship Hub






Director of the Department of Thessaloniki





Artabout eCommerce Agency












Communication Manager




Chamber of Chalkidiki – EPICHAL

EU Department




Thessaloniki Municipality

Deputy Mayor





Co-owner, Digital Marketing Strategist





University of Macedonia – Research Committee






Hellenic Women Union

President of “Hellenic Women Union” Department of Athens



During this meeting, the participants had the chance to present themselves and be informed about the Curriculum Prototype. The main conclusions of this conversation with the stakeholders are described below:

o   Regarding the first question, the stakeholders answered that the training based on the Curriculum Prototype should be implemented by associations, NGO’s and institutions who support women entrepreneurs as well as from the Chambers and universities of each country.

o   The experts agreed on the fact that each country should adapt the training program to their proper circumstances. For example, in Greece, most of the companies run by women are small or medium-sized and belong mainly to the sectors of Tourism and Trade. Since we are talking about training that is specialized into the digitalization of women’s businesses, the content should be adjusted to their needs.

o   As we saw in a previous chapter of this report, in Greece the majority of businesses are micro, so experts are being trained to help companies that operate in this environment. The truth is that, due to the lack of proper know-how, the process of training may seem challenging for the trainees. But overall, Greek women entreupreneurs seem to be willing to learn how to digitalize their businesses.

o   Regarding the questionHow the Curriculum will be best used in a way that it is effective in raising the capacity of digitalization experts to support women entrepreneurs in improving their sustainabilitythe stakeholders answered that the first step is to make sure that the Curriculum is simplified and that trainers understand it, in order to be able to implement it later on women’s businesses. Then, it is very important to motivate them by pointing out the benefits generated from this procedure for both trainers and trainees. For example, the added value that it will generate regarding their personal development.

Concerning the expected impact on the businesses of women entrepreneurs, stakeholders claimed that the digitalization would help them face a lot of existing challenges and difficulties. The transition into the digital world, will save them money as well as time. Women will have the chance to find a balance between personal and professional life, which is claimed to be one of their biggest obstacles. Finally, they also have the opportunity to work from home, helping them overcome many restrictions created by Covid-19.


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Last change: 12/29/22.