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Opinion

Calling all Greek entrepreneurs! Your country needs you

Euromoney is never shy about trumpeting a good cause in the name of revivalist capitalism, so this month we bring you the Hellenic Entrepreneurship Award (HEA).

Launched in November by The Hellenic Initiative (THI) – (deep breath) a global, non-profit, non-governmental secular institution whose mission, through the generosity of the Greek diaspora and philhellene community, is to develop sustainable economic and business improvement programmes to empower the Greek people toward long-term prosperity – the HEA offers budding entrepreneurs in Greece the chance to receive funding of up to €500,000 for a new business venture, plus comprehensive mentoring and consultancy.

The deadline for submissions in late February had already passed as Euromoney went to press, but we expect THI has been bombarded with applications with all sorts of brilliant practical business ideas that can ably demonstrate the required elements of "innovation, job creation, financial discipline and sustainability".

Of course, this is an admirable scheme, which, according to THI, will help "foster the Greek entrepreneurial spirit" and "encourage new business growth" at a time of dire need for the country.

Curiously, though, we can’t help but notice two members of THI’s executive committee who haven’t exactly inspired much business confidence in Greece of late: Muhtar Kent, chairman and CEO of The Coca-Cola Company, and George David, chairman of the Board of Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company.

After all, it was only a few months ago that Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company, Greece’s largest company, decided to quit Greece in favour of a London listing and Swiss domicile.

Seemingly the best piece of advice one of the biggest, most powerful and iconic companies in the world can offer Greek entrepreneurs is: leave.

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