Women's Agricultural Co-Operatives in Greece: A Comprehensive Review and SWOT Analysis
Vol. Volume 20, Number 1 March/2015
Sergaki Panagiota, Partalidou Maria, & Iakovidou Olga
Nowadays, very few women’s co-operatives exist in Europe, the vast majority of which are involved in non-agricultural sectors. In Greece, numerous women’s agricultural co-operatives have been established in rural areas for the past thirty years and scholars have articulated several aspects of their role in both women’s life and the local development. A cursory glance at the history of the Women’s Agricultural Co-operatives in Greece and a review of the literature highlights the uniqueness of this type of entrepreneurship, rare in Europe, and their significant role for rural society cohesion, mainly in geographically and economically isolated rural areas. In this paper we employ a SWOT analysis to elaborate on strengths and weaknesses, which vary from co-operative to co-operative. Either bottom-up or top-down created women’s co-operatives are currently a social innovation. Their strengths mainly concern economic independence and social inclusion of women in rural areas, while their weaknesses are mainly associated with funding, organization, administration, know how, culture, product promotion and marketing problems. Nevertheless, they are called upon to survive in a competitive environment whilst difficult, but one that provides also opportunities that most likely can outweigh threats.
Women’s co-operatives, SWOT, social innovation, social economy