ICAP: Women run one in four companies in Greece

The penetration rate of women entrepreneurship in our country has been gradually increasing in recent years, amounting to 25.8% in 2021 from 19.6% in 2015, recording an increase of 6.2 percentage points in the last 7 years. Specifically, in a total of 42,518 companies with available financial data in 2019, the 10,955 companies are run by women executives.

The data comes from the ICAP publication “Leading Women in Business”, which focuses on Women Entrepreneurship and Leadership. The Financial Research and Sector Studies Department of the Group, conducted a Study on Women Entrepreneurship, which, among other things, presents a summary of some key structural elements and financial figures for the following three groups of companies:

A. Total Companies: It concerns 42,518 companies operating in all sectors of the Greek economy, which have been drawn from the ICAP database and have financial data available for the year 2019. It is reported that, for a percentage of these companies, and more specifically for 10.7% (4,542 companies) financial data are available for the year 2020 until the period of preparation of this analysis.

B. Companies Managed by Women: Of the aforementioned total (42,518 companies), the companies run by women amount to 10,955 (Chief Executive Officer, or Manager).

C. Top 500 LWiB: Refers to the 500 largest companies based on their total turnover in the period 2019 – 2020 which are managed by Women and are presented in detail in this edition. These companies emerged from the sample of (above) 10,955 companies.

Commenting on the results of the survey, Stamatina Panteleiou, ICAP Director of Economic Research and Sector Studies, noted the following:

“The majority of companies run by women are small and medium-sized, the largest concentration of which is located mainly in the Ionian Islands, the Aegean and Crete and belong mainly to the sectors of Tourism and Trade.

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 reinforces, for another year, the view that women as senior business executives are distinguished for the effectiveness of their management, as they seem to better manage their costs.”

Perseverance and diligence

According to S. Panteleou, examining the quality characteristics of women entrepreneurs / executives, we find that the main characteristic that distinguishes them remains perseverance and hard work, while at the same time they are called to cope with the increased family obligations.

Maternity protection is the most important step for women to access senior management and entrepreneurship, followed by a corporate culture of non-discriminatory development (86%).

During the pandemic, women were given more attention, while the lockdown reduced their personal time, not only during the general traffic ban, but also afterwards, as the majority of them (77%) find it difficult to balance between work, business, and family and at the same time consider that the pandemic had a significant impact on the increase of job insecurity of women (40%).

Women Managers estimate their revenue losses in 2020 at 2.4%, while they appear more optimistic for the next two years, expecting a significant increase in the turnover of the companies they manage, of 17.8% in 2021 and 18, 3% in 2022.

“All of the above prove the skills and capabilities of Women’s management and therefore both the State and companies must make more use of the valuable capital called Women,” concludes S. Panteleou.