Entrepreneurship in Greece in the times of the financial crisis
Entrepreneurship in Greece is a double edged sword, given the enduring financial crisis and associated uncertainty. One line of thinking suggests that given its financial woes, Greece will suffer entrepreneurially as talent leaves the country and investors prefer more stable destinations. An alternative line suggests that there is always opportunity coming out of the ashes and the current crisis will breed a new generation of entrepreneurs.
Both lines of thinking can be supported conceptually or empirically, and they don’t have to be mutually exclusive. At the same time, understanding entrepreneurship (in Greece but also in general) needs to go beyond the financial environment and examine other related factors that may have a material impact, given the economic backdrop.
Entrepreneurship should be enjoyable (because success is not guaranteed)
From an international point of view, the vast majority of entrepreneurial ventures do not survive past their third year of existence, regardless of the state of the economy. And for every successful app that we hear of, there are thousands of others that never make it to the publicity or profitability limelight.
Financial sustainability and long term growth require persistence, and persistence has an intuitively positive correlation with enjoyability. Greece, and indeed several other countries, offer a different entrepreneurial context, one that balances quality of life, great weather, locally produced food, and ample natural escape opportunities alongside the profit motive.
For the entrepreneur that wants to tap into deep financial markets and a large pool of programming talent, it is out of the question that places like London or San Francisco offer more opportunities, and more competition. For the entrepreneur who values combining risk taking, long working hours and stress with blue skies, healthy lifestyle, weekend breaks at nearby islands and a diverse natural ecosystem, Greece can be one of the alternatives. For me personally, it was indeed an objective of the Live-Bio venture to combine the challenges of entrepreneurship with memories that extend beyond the hours spent in pure working mode.
Greece is not only about blue skies
Having said this, entrepreneurship in Greece is not only for bon viveurs. There is a large pool of well educated graduates, relatively low labour costs and a growing ecosystem of successful entrepreneurs. Within our property at Live-Bio we are nurturing an environment that supports creativity and balances it with personal, emotional and social well being. We have already had guests who came to stay with us to study for their exams, finish writing a book, or programme code while facing the blue of the Aegean Sea.
Entrepreneurship should be enjoyable, or it will not last long. If this line of thinking appeals to you, or if it has never crossed your mind, drop me an email for an honest discussion of all the supporting and conflicting arguments that you should consider.