Greece is not a land of entrepreneurs. In a land of furious anti-Capitalist protests, where wealth seems to be a matter of few families and where richness is associated with corruption, those willing to put their effort and money into starting up new companies and making a profit from them are not well-regarded.
We have grown accustomed to stories of successful Greeks abroad….who stay abroad. This proves two things. First, that Greeks are as capable of succeeding as anyone else. Second, that the problem may lie at home.
The only way out of the current financial crisis in Greece will be through greater competitiveness, innovation and thrust. Yet, innovation does not only come from Information Technologies or software but also, sometimes, from applying the best care and knowledge to what you have closest to you. Thus, the old can prove new.
Greece is an old rugged land that olive trees have called home for centuries. Gaea is a young company opening its way in the international markets by providing the best olive-related products that Greece has to offer.
In a globalized economy, agricultural products may not convey the fancy, glamorous, and fast-paced images associated with a 21st-century economy, but they have the unique taste and flavour that make all mouths around the world water.
It is all about quality.
From a political point of view, the Greeks have lost all trust in their politicians as a result of the crisis, accusing them, often indiscriminately, of having filled their pockets with public money, received bribes and avoided taxes.
Yet, some people with plenty of opportunities abroad, who believe in the benefits of private companies, are willing to stay. Failure might be the likely outcome, but the profit of living, prospering, and building up in Greece is worth the challenge. Panos Petropoulos has succeeded. He and his partner have sold their Blind Type application to Google. Their journey from Athens to Silicon Valley was not a typical one. And it was not an easy one. Their motto: If a country looses the youngest and the brightest, how it is supposed to make headway?