Applications invited for 2014 Award - Piraeus Bank Joins Panel of Judges and pledges support for applicants and winners - Prize funding rises to €700,000
Hellenic Entrepreneurship Award (HEA) today announced the opening of applications for its 2014 award programme. Conceived and operated by the Libra Group on behalf of The Hellenic Initiative (THI), the Hellenic Entrepreneurship Award seeks to stimulate entrepreneurial spirit and reward Greece’s most promising start It is open to both experienced and demonstrate innovation, job creation, financial discipline and sustainability.
Each year between one and five winners are awarded the key business started: funding, business support services and an expert mentor be shared among the winners this year is expected to contributors, including Piraeus Bank which has committed to support the programme over five years.
In 2013, the award’s inaugural year, over 800 people registered on the Hellenic Entrepreneurship Award website resulting in the submission of 295 business plans. The judges carefully scrutinized each plan before selecting ten finalists, and finally four winners.
The 2013 winners are all now operational and responsible for the creation of over 250 direct and indirect jobs in Greece. They are: markets; Casa Parlante, a ‘living museum’ which recreates the environment of an historic 19th century mansion on Corfu; Different & ‘rabt’, a smartphone and tablet video streaming application. These businesses are expected to collectively achieve turnovers in excess of They have been supported by ment who have provided legal, HR and marketing support on a pro bono basis.
Applications are now open for 2014 www.hellenicaward.com. The closing date for all entries will be announcement of the finalists will be 2014.
Eligible applicants include: Private individuals who have a business idea, regardless of commercial experience; groups of people who may not yet be incorporated as a trading company; existing privately owned companies which can demonstrate that they have an all-new idea that is not a direct derivative of the company’s core competence and that cannot be adequately funded from the company’s existing resources.
The winning applicants must be based in Greece and will need to prove that they and/or the company they represent will be domiciled within the country. In addition, the judges will expect principal employees of the new venture (though not necessarily all employees) to be based in Greece.
The Hellenic Entrepreneurship Award was launched in 2012 to help experienced and new entrepreneurs bring new business ideas to fruition through the provision of funding, business support and mentoring. The Libra Group has committed over €5 million to the Hellenic Entrepreneurship Award to enable Greek entrepreneurs to support their communities and drive economic growth. Other supporters within The Hellenic Initiative include the Australia-based property investment and development company, Jalouise Pty Ltd, which has contributed US$500,000 to the award programme.
PIRAEUS BANK BECOMES PARTNER TO THE HELLENIC ENTREPRENEURSHIP AWARD
The Hellenic Entrepreneurship Award has also announced a new corporate partner of the annual award programme. Piraeus Bank has agreed to contribute to the winning funds over the next five years, commencing with the 2014 award announced today.
Through its subsidiary, the Excelixi Center of Sustainable Entrepreneurship, Piraeus Bank will also be offering support both to applicants and winners of the award. Dedicated HEA initiatives through Excelixi will include a series of workshops advising on business plan creation, and a funding search service which identifies possible funding options for HEA participants.
The Athens-based bank is one of Greece’s leading financial services companies. The Group employs nearly 25,000 people across 10 countries and has over 1,700 branches. With 30% market share in terms of loans and 29% in terms of deposits it is Greece’s largest bank. Mr Yiannis Rokkas of Piraeus Bank has also joined the award’s Panel of Judges.
Jimmy Athanasopoulos, CEO of the Hellenic Entrepreneurship Award, stated: “We are delighted that such a prestigious and respected institution has joined us in our quest to provide hope and opportunity for entrepreneurs in Greece. The bank shares our belief in the underlying quality, creativity and commitment of the Greek business community. Their generous contribution to the prize funds will make a tangible difference to the support that we will be able to give to winners in the years ahead.”