NICOSIA – Women have largely been excluded from the otherwise success of some 55 startup companies on Cyprus that employ only a handful of people, said a study by the University of Cyprus’ Center for Entrepreneurship.
“Cyprus’ entrepreneurial ecosystem has achieved great progress in the past decade but there is still a lot to do to fully utilize the tremendous potential this field can give the country’s economy,” PwC Cyprus, which supported the study, said.
Of the startups, 31 are in the capital Nicosia, 13 in Limassol and three in Larnaca with only 4 percent called pre-startup companies, the report saying that 91 percent have been in operation an average of 3 ½ years.
Many are spinoffs from research and while they have a product still aren’t registered though, said to be because of legislation that puts restrictions on those that began in public universities.
Only 17 percent have either a female founder or co-founder, and 64 percent have only two to five employees, 25 percent with 10-50 workers and only 2 percent with more than 100, reported Kathimerini.
The study found that 60 percent of entrepreneurs on Cyprus believe local conditions are favorable and the infrastructure is good for startups, while 40 percent thought there is still “huge room for improvement,” the paper reported.
The survey showed the best areas were in “information and communication technologies” and “favorable conditions for starting a business,” followed by the “level of regulation” and “access to research facilities and universities.”
But limited access to funding and qualified staff is holding down more startups and entrepreneurs and many said they have trouble finding investors to take a chance on them.