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Startups bloom and boom in crisis-hit Greece

Five years of economic crisis in Greece have not cracked down the spirit of young, educated Greeks who found themselves unable to get a job. A  job that will provide them with more than just pocket money for a short period of time and the perspective of  long-time unemployment, as the common practice is nowadays. The traditional labor fields like a permanent work place in public administration or taking over daddy’s shop are gone due to strictest austerity in public sector hiring and torturing recession that has closed down hundreds of thousands of small businesses and enterprises.

The magic word for the dreams of eager to work Greeks to come true is called “startup“.

Hundreds of young and talented Greeks sat down and started to give their innovative vision an entrepreneurial form  in the fields of technology and apps, health and tourism, food and agricultural products, games and fun,  just to name a few.

“The number of startups has grown nearly tenfold between 2010 and 2013 — from sixteen to 144 — while investment rose from 500,000 euros to 42 million,” Endeavor, a global non-profit organization supporting entrepreneurship, told AFP.

An a report entitled “Greece Is Becoming A Huge Startup Incubator Despite Economic CrisisAgence France-Press features some of the major Greek startups, their funding and mentoring options, the mentality changes and chances amid the worst economic crisis the country faces during the last decades.

AFP : Greece Is Becoming A Huge Startup Incubator Despite Economic Crisis

A taxi-tracking tool, a head-hunting engine and a vertical gardening company — all business startups that have paradoxically emerged from a Greek economy long in the doldrums.

Faced with the worst unemployment wave in living memory, Greece’s youth are turning away from the traditional pursuit of civil service or family-centered jobs, and towards innovation and foreign funding.

“If I can make it here, I can make it anywhere,” muses Petros Boskos, a 35-year-old architect

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.

From ‘daddy’s store’ to innovation
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.

One in two youths under 25 is currently out of work.

“The public sector and daddy’s store have lost their sheen,” says Aristos Doxiadis of Openfund, a venture capital fund.

Enter the innovation incubator.

In the last five years, at least eight such initiatives — offering advice to budding entrepreneurs with bankable ideas — have opened in Athens.

“We know that the Greek economy in its current form has no future,” states Giorgos Vrachnis, manager of Egg, a business startup incubator backed by Eurobank, one of the main Greek lenders. (full AFP article via BusinessInsider)

A list of 100 founders and co-founders of Greek startups with links to their websites and Twitter-follow optionsportunities was recently uploaded here

 

 

 

 

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