Rural Tourism in Greece Private Enterprises and Cooperatives.pdf

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This article was downloaded by: [Romanian Ministry Consortium] On: 21 March 2011 Access details: Access Details: [subscription number 934223502] Publisher Routledge Informa Ltd Registered in England and Wales Registered Number: 1072954 Registered office: Mortimer House, 37- 41 Mortimer Street, London W1T 3JH, UK South European Society and Politics Publication details, including instructions for authors and subscription information:
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   PLEASE SCROLL DOWN FOR ARTICLE This article was downloaded by: [Romanian Ministry Consortium]  On: 21 March 2011 Access details: Access Details: [subscription number 934223502]  Publisher Routledge  Informa Ltd Registered in England and Wales Registered Number: 1072954 Registered office: Mortimer House, 37-41 Mortimer Street, London W1T 3JH, UK South European Society and Politics Publication details, including instructions for authors and subscription information: Women s Entrepreneurship and Rural Tourism in Greece: PrivateEnterprises and Cooperatives Stavriani Koutsou; Ourania Notta; Vagis Samathrakis; Maria Partalidou To cite this Article  Koutsou, Stavriani , Notta, Ourania , Samathrakis, Vagis and Partalidou, Maria(2009) 'Women'sEntrepreneurship and Rural Tourism in Greece: Private Enterprises and Cooperatives', South European Society andPolitics, 14: 2, 191 — 209 To link to this Article: DOI: 10.1080/13608740903037968 URL: Full terms and conditions of use: article may be used for research, teaching and private study purposes. Any substantial orsystematic reproduction, re-distribution, re-selling, loan or sub-licensing, systematic supply ordistribution in any form to anyone is expressly forbidden.The publisher does not give any warranty express or implied or make any representation that the contentswill be complete or accurate or up to date. The accuracy of any instructions, formulae and drug dosesshould be independently verified with primary sources. The publisher shall not be liable for any loss,actions, claims, proceedings, demand or costs or damages whatsoever or howsoever caused arising directlyor indirectly in connection with or arising out of the use of this material.  Women’s Entrepreneurship and RuralTourism in Greece: Private Enterprisesand Cooperatives Stavriani Koutsou, Ourania Notta, Vagis Samathrakis &Maria Partalidou Women’s entrepreneurship in the Greek countryside has been expressed in two forms of agro-tourism business: private and cooperative. The purpose of this paper is to investigatethe differences between these two forms with regard to the characteristics of the businessesand women entrepreneurs alike. The research was based on personal interviews with 199 women and the results of the survey confirm the existence of significant differencesbetween the two forms of enterprises. The woman who selects the cooperatives is not very  young, has relatively little education, is uncertain and hesitant, while the womanwho chooses the private form of enterprise is younger, better educated and has greater self-confidence.Keywords: Greece; women’s entrepreneurship; rural tourism; women’s cooperatives; private enterprises Women have played an ‘invisible’ role for a long period of time in the economicdevelopment of rural areas, as they have been perceived as helpmates, wives andmothers, and as generally subservient to the dominant economic work of men, both infarming and outside it (Bock 1994; Sauge`res 2002; O’Toole & Macgarvey 2003).Nowadays, local economies are beginning to include the female labour force on thelocal agenda for economic development. Reforms in agricultural policy and many European initiatives and policies have focused on supporting actions to enhanceentrepreneurship, alongside schemes to finance and foster the creation and growth of women’s businesses in rural areas, especially mountainous and disadvantaged regions(Kazakopoulos & Gidarakou 2003), thus changing women’s role and giving them anopportunity to take part in business activities largely similar to those traditionally performed by them at home (Anthopoulou 2006). ISSN 1360-8746 (print)/ISSN 1743-9612 (online) q 2009 Taylor & FrancisDOI: 10.1080/13608740903037968 South European Society and PoliticsVol. 14, No. 2, June 2009, pp. 191–209   D o w nl o ad ed  B y : [ R o m a ni a n  Mi ni s t r y  C o n s o r ti u m]  A t : 08 :41 21  M a r ch 2011  Despite the fact that women have been in charge of enterprises in Greece for at least30 years, it has only been from the 1990s on that women’s entrepreneurship has grownand become more visible. This situation is related to both the social and economiccircumstances, which have improved in the Greek countryside during recent decades(Iakovidou et al. 2007). However, conditions prevailing in rural areas are considerably different from those existing in urban areas, and the case of Greece could besummarised in this regard by poor infrastructure, the inhabitants’ low educationallevel, their ageing, etc. Due to these factors, the appearance of women’sentrepreneurship was delayed in the Greek countryside compared both with Greek urban areas and with rural regions in other countries (Iakovidou et al. 2007).Women’s entrepreneurship in the Greek countryside was heavily dependent ondiversified activities outside the farm and especially rural tourism. According toPartalidou and Iakovidou (2008), rural tourism in Greece is small-scale tourismdeveloped in rural areas by private or cooperative firms, linked to activities such asaccommodation, eating, catering, outdoor activities, tours with ecotourism andcultural interest, recreation, folk art workshops, etc.People involved in rural tourism in Greece are not necessarily farmers by profession, but rather permanent residents of rural areas. Rural tourism has beenproposed as the main opportunity for women to become engaged in business. Localstakeholders as well as public authorities view rural tourism as a tool capable of making women visible in the local economy, but also as the key solution torevitalising and restructuring mountainous and disadvantaged rural areas throughsupplementary incomes in the process of farm diversification (Oppermann 1996;Jenkins et al. 1998).Entrepreneurial activity in rural tourism in Greece srcinated through national andEuropean initiatives implemented since 1985. Mostly of local srcin, rural tourism wasdeveloped primarily by farmers in coastal zones, adding to the existing seasideaccommodation available to the mass tourist trade, and largely unrelated to theirfarms and everyday life in the countryside. At the same time, rural women were alsoinvolved in off-farm activities through the establishment of women’s rural tourismcooperatives mainly offering manufactured products in local shops and, in some cases,bed and breakfast accommodation. This type of entrepreneurship developed by women is, according to Iakovidou (2002), considered to be the most genuine form of rural tourism, due to the fact that it is developed by local inhabitants who arepermanent residents of rural areas with connections to farms, and thus appropriate tothe initial aim of rural tourism.In Greece many studies have examined rural tourism in general (Kizos & Iosifides2007; Partalidou & Iakovidou 2008), women’s entrepreneurship inside and outsidefarming and especially their personal characteristics (Iakovidou 1997; Gidarakou1999; Safiliou & Papadopoulos 2004). Furthermore, the relevant cooperative literatureincludes studies referring to rural tourist cooperatives (Apostolopoulos 1996;Iakovidou et al. 1999; Gidarakou et al. 2000; Koutsou et al. 2003; Giagou & Vakoufariset al. 2007). 192  S. Koutsou  et al.  D o w nl o ad ed  B y : [ R o m a ni a n  Mi ni s t r y  C o n s o r ti u m]  A t : 08 :41 21  M a r ch 2011  Starting from the fact that women have established both private and cooperativeenterprises in rural tourism, our aim is to prove the existence of these two differentbusiness types as two different groups of women entrepreneurs. We will then proceedto explore their differences in terms of the personal characteristics of the women incharge, as well as their business figures.The research was based on personal interviews with women running rural tourismenterprises all over rural Greece. This approach contributes data on these womenentrepreneurs that have not so far been provided through comprehensive analysis,thus adding to the relatively limited Greek literature on the subject. It is this paper’scontribution to the discussion concerning women’s entrepreneurship in rural tourismin Greece. Women’s Entrepreneurship and Rural Tourism According to the OECD (2000), there has been an increase in women’sentrepreneurship globally since the early 1980s. Since then, a growing body of work has sought to examine women entrepreneurs (Baygan 2000; St-Cyr & Ganon 2004;Bruni et al. 2004; Smith-Hunter & Boyd 2004) and many studies have discussedpersonal characteristics, industry/business choices, and barriers to success (Green-berger & O’Neil 1993) as well as theoretical issues in an attempt to explain why womendo the jobs they do (Little 1991).Another well-documented issue is that of women in farming (Symes & Marsden1983; Gasson & Winter 1992; Whatmore 1994; Petrin 1997; Gidarakou 1999;Robinson 2001; Kazakopoulos & Gidarakou 2003; Bock 2004; Anthopoulou 2006;Iakovidou et al. 2006; Verheul et al. 2006). Particular emphasis has been placed onthe situation of women on family farms, and on the gender division of family labour.The research began with the important task of trying to make women visible withinthe boundaries of family farms. It set out to document the hours worked, property resources and women’s involvement in decision-making on farms (Gasson 1989;Whatmore 1991; Gasson & Errington 1993; O’Hara 1994; Shortall 1999). Researchhas described how women in farming have been reported to have severe difficultiesin describing their roles and identifying their occupation, often being unable todescribe their work as an occupation since all their work was unnoticed and invisibleto others. Women were the farmer’s wife through marriage, the farmer’s helper orassistant on the family farm, as well as being mothers and responsible for lookingafter the family and household tasks in the private confines of their homes (Brandth2002; Sauge`res 2002).According to Brandth (2002), when modernisation took place in agriculture, asmanifested in technological and labour changes, there was a redistribution of tasksbetween men and women. This development prompted women to leave work on thefarm in favour of off-farmwork in social services, nursing, teaching, child care, clericalwork and the tourist industry. Anthopoulou (2006) believes that, given the reductionof agricultural incomes in the last decade and the decreased employment South European Society and Politics  193  D o w nl o ad ed  B y : [ R o m a ni a n  Mi ni s t r y  C o n s o r ti u m]  A t : 08 :41 21  M a r ch 2011
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