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Unemployed Greek women set up their own delicatessen business

July 2010

Anna Darzenta

With the help of EU funding, a group of women with no previous professional experience managed to launch a workers' cooperative as a way of earning a living. This is how the TO KASTRI Women’s Agro-Tourist Cooperative was born.    

The Greek island of Syros has a high unemployment rate, but a group of active local housewives pooled their efforts in order to start working outside the home by opening their own catering business. Since 2000, Anna Darzenta and 27 other women have been pursuing this social venture, which provides catering for parties both on Syros and other Greek islands. They also make sweets and run a successful low-cost restaurant serving typical Greek food.  

When they started out, none of these women had any relevant professional education or training, but they pressed on regardless. The EQUAL programme for women entrepreneurs, funded through the European Social Fund, has helped them out from the beginning. The programme is aimed at more equal working markets in the EU and fights discrimination among both workers and job-seekers. Darzenta is delighted with the EU support, pointing out that "people's prejudices against us as women" were the biggest obstacle in the early days.

Anna Darzenta presented TO KASTRI PDF [4 MB] within the framework of the European SME Week 2010. European SME Week aims to provide information on the support that the EU and national, regional and local authorities are offering to micro, small and medium-sized businesses, as well as to promote entrepreneurship so that more people seriously consider becoming an entrepreneur.

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