Writ­ten by R Ve­drenne for L’Actu, France

The Irish Times - Weekend Review - - IMPACTJOURNALISM DAY -

“De­vel­op­ing close ties with the ecosys­tem in Greece is key to­wards ful­fill­ing our mis­sion of bridg­ing Greece with the rest of the world,” says Effie Kyr­tata, the or­gan­i­sa­tion’s chief ex­ec­u­tive. Im­ple­ment­ing these lessons back home can pose un­pre­dictable chal­lenges, such as those faced in Exarcheia – a hotbed of an­ar­chist ac­tivism and crim­i­nal­ity – by the denizens of the Cube.

“We chose to do some­thing in a rather run-down part of the city be­cause rent was low and we felt we could do some­thing to up­lift things,” Messi­nis says. “For now, we’ve suc­ceeded. We had a sig­nif­i­cant prob­lem with drug deal­ing in the area but since about six months ago, we’ve had a sig­nif­i­cant im­prove­ment by col­lab­o­rat­ing with the au­thor­i­ties while also hold­ing them pub­licly ac­count­able. Given the right en­cour­age­ment, they act pos­i­tively.”

Be­yond that, what can the govern­ment do to help the 350-450 com­pa­nies that make up the start-up sec­tor? “We need to cre­ate in­cen­tives on tax, em­ploy­a­bil­ity, ease to set up/op­er­ate and close a com­pany,” says Kalavros-Gousiou.

“And we need to do more to foster an en­tre­pre­neur­ial cul­ture, that will mo­bilise pri­vate Greek money and even in­ter­na­tional start-ups and in­vestors to start look­ing to Greece for op­por­tu­ni­ties.” the­cube.gr

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