posted at 20:50
Author Name: Sophie Makris
Innovation hatching in Greece amid slow economic revival
Until recently, most Greeks fresh out of university contemplated life-long job security in a civil service post, or guaranteed employment in their family-owned business. The four-year Greek economic crisis killed off thousands of small and middle-sized companies, and staff cuts and hiring freezes imposed by the cash-strapped state has made new public sector hirings all but impossible. "The public sector and daddy's store have lost their sheen," says Aristos Doxiadis of Openfund, a venture capital fund. Part of the challenge lies in the established mindset in Greek universities, where corporations and non-state funding are viewed with suspicion. The campaign is assisted by European Union funds - some 70 million euros earmarked under the Jeremie programme that helps small and medium-sized companies. A number of nascent Greek funds like Openfund have been assigned to distribute the money. According to Endeavor, a global non-profit organisation supporting entrepreneurship that opened a Greek branch in 2012, the sector has grown exponentially in the last four years. "The Greek market was ripe for startup growth," says Spyros Trachanis, one of the managers of Greek fund Odyssey, arguing that valuable experience was gained during a first spurt in the telecoms sector a decade ago.

Posts Archive