Saturday, December 8, 2012

How Greek startups are doing their part to beat the crisis

by Harry Mylonadis


December 8, 2012

If you follow the news about Greece you must be in shock about its current situation. Billions in debt, one of the highest unemployment rates, and companies closing or moving one after the other. It certainly doesn’t look like there is any future for this country.

I was born and raised in Greece and worked through the system until almost 7 years ago when I decided to move to the UK to further my studies and experience. I won’t start telling you how beautiful the country is or that it was the birthplace of many sciences. What I’m trying to find out is if there is any hope for my home country and if people are doing something when their government and systems have failed them.

Growing up and after finishing an education in Greece, up to very recently, people had two options. Either get a job in one of the civil services or in a large company. In a country that has thousands of small businesses and mom and pop shops, entrepreneurship had declined to a status of non-existence. If someone mentioned that they were going to look away from the “security” of a comfy cushion at a large organisation in order to start their own business they would have been laughed at and told to get serious.

With the economic crisis something very important happened. What Greeks thought of as security ceased to exist. Government services were asked to cut budgets with an axe and companies started laying people off by the thousands. With any form of security lost, Greeks were faced with a live or die situation.

Being a very withstanding and innovative nation, my gut was telling me that something was going to happen and that Greeks would be able to find their way out of this mess. They have survived political, economical and natural hardships in the past and there is no way that they are going to give up. A couple of years ago things started to change.


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