Introduction to the Region of Western Greece

The Region of Western Greece is one of the thirteen regions of Greece, occupying the North West part of the Peloponnese and the western extremity of Mainland Greece. It is bordered by the Ionian Sea, Kyparissia Gulf, Patras Gulf and Corinthian Gulf. Western Greece is divided into three Regional Units of Aitoloakarnania, Achaia and Ilia, which are further subdivided into 19 municipalities.

The Region of Western Greece is the 4th largest region in terms of population in Greece: 679.796 inhabitants. The inhabitants mainly work in services, trade and industry.

Western Greece possesses a workforce that by and large engages in simple activities (production, trade etc.) rather than complex (entrepreneurial) activities intended to further add value, and exhibits more individualistic rather than collective traits. 

The number of employees in Western Greece in 2012 was about 233.600 people. The percentage of the employment level in Western Greece to the total percentage of country remained near 6% (Average 5.85% and median 5.84%).

Rural Profile of the Region

The rural sector (Agriculture, Livestock farming, Fishing, Forestry) is one of the most important and basic pillars of Region’s growth and development. According to a recent analysis (2014) of Greek Ministry of Development Western Greece has a very strong concentration of workers in the rural areas and agriculture (9th among 272 European regions) – as also in SMEs workers (26th among 272 European regions). Having these in mind the Region’s rural SME’s play a significant role to the reconstruction of Region’s productive base.

The rural sector includes besides the the primary sector, the secondary (Agro-industry, food-processing, dairy industry, etc.) and the tertiary (tourism, trade, transports, etc.) sector. The food-processing branch concentrates the largest number of workers in Western Greece. 

 Strengths of the Rural Economy

  • The basics (quality raw materials, natural resources, human capital) are already present in the region. 
  • Main economic activities include the production of agriculture products. 
  • The Region of Western Greece located in a key strategic position at the centre of Greece.  The Region of Western Greece won the "2017 European Entrepreneurial Region Award"

Challenges in the Rural Economy

  • Strengthening of SMEs’ competitiveness and local entrepreneurship in rural areas of Region.
  • Increase of employment in sectors of agro tourism, cottage industry, manufacture, etc.  
  • Promotion of local qualitative products aiming at the increase of their added value and the improvement of rural income.
  • Development of suitable infrastructures for briefing, education and training of productive potential and transformation in order to reduce brain - drain.

What the Region is known for

  • Unique archaeological sites and historic places of great cultural importance, such as Olympia (The birthplace of the Olympic Games), Mesollonghi (The sacred town of the Greek War for Independence), etc.
  • Nodal place of Patras as Western Gate of Country (Bridge Rio – Antirrio)
  • Unspoilt natural beauty / environment.
  • Powerful and multidimensional productive base in the primary sector (olive oil, wine, citrus fruits, vegetables, livestock, fishes, etc.)
  • Educational and Research Institutes which offer highly attractive location opportunities for companies and promote innovation in several fields of economy.

Introduction to the Regional Authority of Western Greece

The Regional Authority of Western Greece, as a second level public administration body, counts more than 800 employees, spread in 22 Directorates and 2 Development enterprises (which are legal entities under private law) and the Regional Development Fund.

Introduction to Spyros Papaspyrou

Spyros is Head of Department of Regional Policy

Phone: 0030 261361 3630

Email: [email protected]

2 things to know about Spyros

  1. Spyros has  experience in rural economy programs and entrepreneurship.
  2. He has a PhD in Rural economy, MSc, MEd

What Spyros loves about his region

  • Diversity in landscapes
  • The location, environmental cultural and human resources
  • The Region of Western Greece is one of the key areas (in Greece but also worldwide) producing strawberries. From the production to marketing of strawberries (mainly exports) a rural SME has to cover a long road. Its impressive that there are actually rural SMEs in our region that have integrated in house R& D department having their look miles ahead. This results that these SMES have become member of world strawberry market supplier, based in research and innovation.

The changes the Region of Western Greece would like to see implemented from this project

Support and promotion of the local entrepreneurial ecosystem, changes in the mindset of the key players in favour of entrepreneurship, lifelong learning.