As the Greek job market suffocates with unemployment currently running at over 27 percent and more than half the country’s youth without a job, the global Startup Weekend rolled into Athens.
The idea of the event is pass on the basics on how to set up a successful business.
Victoria Stoyanova, the Regional Manager at UP Global, told euronews: “Startup Weekend is a global initiative, designed to inspire entrepreneurs around the world. We actually have more than 1,000 events taking place everywhere around the world and they are all led by volunteers. It is the ninth Startup Weekend that we have here in Athens, and today we can see a lot of positive energy and a lot of community based ideas.”
As traditional forms of employment wither people are having to use their imagination to build a career. Stavros Messinis, who organised the Athens event said: “We had a lot of good results in the past, some teams have formed and some businesses have started. Personally my first business started at a Startup Weekend, so I am a living example of that. It is an amazing process that pushes people to their limits and makes them very imaginative.”
The challenge for those taking part is to transform an idea into a business in 54 hours.
One of those taking part explained what she was doing: “This is the first Startup I have participated in. We are working on an application which will help people transfer goods without having to use a courrier”
Our business correspondent in Athens, Symela Touchtidou, concluded: “In Greece, where youth unemployment exceeds 55 percent, the slogan is “the crisis creates opportunities”. Young entrepreneurs taking part at the Startup Weekend prove the truth of the argument.”