Key facts


Current population of Greece

Data supplied by the World Bank


Current GDP of Greece
214,873.88 ($ millions)

Data supplied by the World Bank

World Happiness Index

Greece currently ranks 5.948 out of 10.

Since 2002, the World Happiness Report has used statistical analysis to determine the world’s happiest countries. To determine the world’s happiest country, researchers analysed comprehensive Gallup polling data from 149 countries for the past three years, specifically monitoring performance in six particular categories: gross domestic product per capita, social support, healthy life expectancy, freedom to make your own life choices, generosity of the general population, and perceptions of internal and external corruption levels.

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Social Enterprise Data

(Source: ESEM)

Country Fact sheet: Greece

Read The European Social Enterprise Monitor Report, 2021 – 2022

Country factsheet: ESEM SEs in Greece

(Source: ESEM)

Coming soon

Perceived Political Support Grade

  • 67.8% perceive national political support for social entrepreneurship to be low, very low or non-existent

Top 3 Business Sectors (UN ISIC)

  • Accommodation and food service activities (28.1%)
  • Human health and social work activities (21.9%)
  • Education (21.9%)

Company Size (OECD)

  • Micro enterprises 61.5%
  • Small enterprises 33.3%
  • Medium enterprises 4.2%
  • Large enterprises 1.0%

Top 3 UN SDGs

#8 – Decent work and economic growth (55.2%)
#3 – Good health and wellbeing (44.8%)
#10 – Reduced inequalities (38.5%)

Impact Management & Measurement

  • 38.5% currently measure their social/environmental impact; 27.1% plan to do so
  • 23.9% refer to the UN SDGs in impact reporting; 31.3% plan to do so

Top 3 Beneficiaries (Persons)

  • Individuals with a physical disability (37.5%)
  • Long-term unemployed (32.3%)
  • Individuals with mental illness/health problems/psychological/neurological disabilities (28.1%)

Top 3 Sources of External Financing

  • Public financing (66.7%)
  • Bank loan (24.0%)
  • Private donations (15.6%)

Funding Gap

On average, Polish ESEM SEs only managed to secure enough funding to meet 59.4% out of 100% of their financing needs in the past 12 months. Gap = 40.6%.

Top 3 Key Barriers

  • Poor understanding/awareness of social enterprises among the general public and customers (55.2%)
  • Poor understanding/awareness of social enterprises among banks, investors and support organisations (51.0%)
  • Lack of supportive fiscal framework (50.0%)

Key Stakeholders & Members

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Other Stakeholders


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Universities/Research Centres

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Key Policies

Key Legal and Policy Framework Overview


In Greece, the social enterprise legislative context has been characterised by Law 4019/2011 on social cooperative enterprises (then updated by Law 2230/2016). Nevertheless, other legal forms such as EPEs, OE, and IKEs (see below) can be recognised as de facto social enterprises. 

Law 4019/2011

It established the Social Cooperative Enterprise (SCEs or KoinSEp) legal form which are further divided into: 
  1. SCE for Inclusion;
  2. SCE for Social Care;
  3. SCE for Collective/Productive purposes.
Furthermore, it created the National Registry of Social Economy under the Greek Ministry of Labour.
It is important to highlight that this legislation had a sectoral focus rather than a transectoral perspective of the social economy. Moreover, the overall aim of the legislation was on tackling unemployment rather than to prioritise “social aims”. 

Law 4430/2016

Introduced criteria for separating social enterprises from profit-oriented firms. It  defined SCEs as “civic cooperatives of Law 1667/1986 (see below), which have as fundamental aim the collective and social benefit […] and have ex lege entrepreneurial activity”. They are horizontally managed and can redistribute profits only to employees.
This means that the social enterprise legal form is disentangled from the SSE status making the latter accessible to a wider range of entities with respect to previous legislation (namely Law 4019/2011). This, in turn, implies that entities with different legal forms can be registered in the NRSSE if they meet a series of operational criteria. The operational criteria are the following: 
  1. Aims at social benefit defined based on the concepts of “sustainable development” and “social services of general interest”;
  2. Ensure the informed participation of member through democratic governance and apply the One member One vote principle;
  3. Ensures economic equity: max wage ≤ three time the minimum wage;
  4. Profit distribution constraints;
  5. Membership constraints.
SCEs are divided into two categories: 
(i) integration SCEs:
further divided into integration of (a) vulnerable groups (e.g., disabled people) with the requirement that 30% of members are from such group and (b) of special groups (e.g., refugees and victims of domestic violence), with the requirement that 50% of members and employees are from such group; 
(ii) Collective and social benefit SCEs:
Entities which carry out sustainable development activities and/or supply services of general interest. 
Moreover, the law launched the Special Secretary of Social and Solidarity Economy – i.e., an administrative body fostering SSE – under the Ministry of Labour.

Law 2716/99 on ‘Development and Modernisation of Mental Health Services’

Establishes the form of limited liability social cooperatives (KoiSPEs). Their membership is required by law to include at least three categories of stakeholders: (i) mental patients (>35%); (ii) mental health workers (<45%); (iii) individuals and other private or public entities (<20%). Each member shall have equal participation in decision-making

Laws 921/1979, 1541/1985, 2810/2000

These legislations deal with the legal status of Women’s agrotourism cooperatives. They produce products – e.g., jams, conserves and other traditional delicacies –, process farm products, cater, and handcraft products such as jewellery or carpets. Their profits cannot be redistributed and must go towards the expansion of the cooperative’s activities. They can register in the NRSSE but receive no incentives in doing so.

Law 1667/1986

Introduced civil cooperatives – i.e., associations with financial purpose that target economic, social and cultural development of their members. Profit distribution among members is allowed.

Law 4072/2012

Introduced the legal type of IKEs – i.e., private companies – as a democratically governed entrepreneurial legal form. They are governed by a general assembly of members who do not have personal responsibility for the company. This makes the start-up procedures straightforward and inexpensive. 

Law 3190/1955

Established EPEs – i.e., limited liability companies – and OEs – i.e., General Partnerships – as democratically governed entrepreneurial legal forms. 
  • EPEs: The law allows for individuals to run businesses democratically through an assembly of their members with the possibility to delegate the management to an external manager.
  • OEs: Each member has equal rights and responsibilities. 

Law 602/1915

Introduces Agricultural cooperatives. Their profits are redistributed to the members but the pursue of a social aim is not required by default. Nevertheless, they often include democratic and inclusive governance thanks to their cooperative nature. Important to notice that legal forms regulated by this law can be considered as social enterprises only if they include a social dimension and set profit distribution limits

Financing and Support Measures

  1. SCEs are exepted from paying (i) business tax; (ii) taxes on profits redistributed to employees; (iii) registration taxes
  2. Support Centre for Social Solidarity Economy: Envisions the creation of 15 centres in 2019 and 74 later on to operate as information points and advisory mechanisms for SSE entities. 
  3. According to Law 4430/2016, public social security institutions can lend parts of their property to  public and non-public actors including SSE organisations. The same is true for municipalities and regional governments under Law 4555/2018. 
  4. Public procurement for SSE entities is present. 
  5. Incubators, networks and support organisation are growing in number. 

Key policy documents

Coming Soon

Funding Partners

Relevant Research Experts

Despina Sdrali

PhD Despina Sdrali Greece Universities & Institutions Harokopio University Areas of Interest Statistical Analysis Environmental awareness Tourism Sustainable development Despina Sdrali is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Home Economics and Ecology at the Harokopio University of Athens. See all work by this Author

Styliani Graikioti

PhD Styliani Graikioti Greece Universities & Institutions Harokopio University Areas of Interest Labour sociology Social exclusion Employment history Analytic sociology Research methodology Analytic sociology Styliani Graikioti works in the Department of Home Economics and Ecology at the Harokopio University. See all work by this Author

Sandra Cohen

Professor Sandra Cohen Greece Universities & Institutions Athens University of Economics and Business. Areas of Interest Social enterprises Public Sector Accounting Management accounting Intellectual Capital Sandra Cohen is a Professor of Accounting in the Department of Business Administration at Athens University of Economics and Business. She holds an MBA and a PhD in Accounting [...]

Helen Salavou

Assistant Professor Helen Salavou Greece Universities & Institutions Athens University of Economics and Business. Areas of Interest Entrepreneurship (traditional and social) Innovation Strategy of small firms Helen Salavou is currently an Assistant Professor of Business Administration at the the Athens University of Economics and Business. Her main research interests involve innovation, entrepreneurship and strategy. [...]

Nikolaos Nagopoulos

Professor Nikolaos Nagopoulos Greece Universities & Institutions University of the Aegean Areas of Interest Coming soon Biography coming soon ... See all work by this Author

Nikolaos Apostolopoulos

Assistant Professor Nikolaos Apostolopoulos Assistant Professor Cyprus Universities & Institutions Neapolis University Pafos Areas of Interests Entrepreneurship Innovation Dr Nikolaos Apostolopoulos is an Assistant Professor in Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Neapolis University Pafos.He also acts as a Scientific Advisor at the Labour Institute (INE-GSEE). He was Lecturer in Entrepreneurship and Director in the MSc [...]

Ridvan Cinar

Marie Curie Fellow/ PhD Candidate Ridvan Cinar Norway/Portugal Universities & Institutions Western Norway University of Applied Sciences Universidade de Aveiro Areas of Interest Universities Social Entrepreneurship Social enterprise Social innovation Regional development. He is a Marie Curie Fellow within Horizon 2020 RUNIN (Role of Universities in Innovation and Regional Development) project and a PhD [...]


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