FNF Greece: Forging tomorrow’s free marketeers

Entrepreneurship

If liberalism is for free market economy, then entrepreneurship stands at its very core. Innovation, private initiative and economic freedom are the most important elements for an individual to grow and for society to prosper.

Greece may still be in crisis, but many of its people dare to invest on themselves seeking opportunities in entrepreneurship. To support young entrepreneurs getting the fundamentals and implementing their own start-up idea, FNF Greece hosted the “3rd Entrepreneurship Academy” in Xylokastro together with various partner organizations. Michael Iakovidis, Co-Founder of the Greek Liberties Monitor (GLM), participated for a day and presented the GLM/FNF co-production “Greek Crisis Success Stories”.

DSC_0041The participants – 16 enthusiastic young entrepreneurs – joined the seminar open for a fresh mindset that transcends the financial vagueness in the country and create their own space in the market. Some of them had already done the first steps and wanted to learn how to make a safe second one. Others had a business idea and wanted to consolidate it and make a robust business plan before entering the market. All of them, united in hope and ambition, spent four days with experts and prominent professionals, tabling theory and practice under experimental learning models.

The seminar was led by Konstantinos Theodoropoulos, Business Operation Analyst and entrepreneurship expert, who introduced the philosophy of entrepreneurship, developed different investment models and taught how to design one’s business plan. Vassileios Peratzakis, e-Business expert, discussed the ongoing transition to online marketing and delivered lectures and workshops on doing business with online tools and methods. George Karlatiras focused on the sources and solutions of finance for small and medium enterprises, explaining different types of funding and the prerequisites for applying. Georgios Papanikolaou, chairman of the Young Liberals, lectured about Corporate Social Responsibility and business ethics.

DSC_0237In addition to seminar’s staff, the academy hosted distinguished speakers from the market. Pantelis Lamprou, Director of Strategic Communication and Markets Analysis at the ‎Athens Stock Exchange, offered a workshop on the business model canvas and marketing strategies, while George Dimitriou of the Thessaloniki-based “Alexander Innovation Zone” spoke about the importance of start-up companies in Western economies. Last but not least, Leonidas Typaldos, CEO of the Sikyon Coast Hotel where the seminar took place, talked about tourism and hospitality industry in Greece, presenting the potentials as well as the challenges.

To loosen things up, the group paid a visit to Palivos Domain in ancient Nemea, a second generation vineyard and exporting company. George Palivos, CEO of the domain, gave a warm welcome and guided the participants through the vineyard as well as the bottling laboratory. Afterwards, he presented his investment in modern wine-making technology and analyzed successes and failures in his 20-year effort to establish his brand internationally.

“It was a unique opportunity to receive so much knowledge and experience from, distinguished people”, commented Ioannis Stamopoulos, a student of economics and potential entrepreneur. Georgia Konstantinou, Manager at Skywalker.gr, Greece’s leading job finding portal, added that “the organization was excellent and the topic was fully covered from many aspects. I will definitely recommend it!”

The 3rd Entrepreneurship Academy was organized with the support of the Institute for Entrepreneurship, Development and Advancement (IMEDA), the Center of Volunteer Managers (KEMEL), the Greek Liberties Monitor (GLM), the Alexander Innovation Zone (AZK), Young Liberals and Skywalker.gr.

Athanasios Grammenos
Pictures: FNF Greece