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So many young scientists are abandoning Greece for a better future abroad that it is actually newsworthy when Greeks decide to stay and invest in their homeland.
They took a leap of faith in difficult times
Among them, Dimitris Dimakopoulos and Dimitris Tritsetakis, two young men who founded a tech company in Athens. At the height of the economic crisis they dared to enter the unstable private sector, though they had no contacts or sufficient funds.
They had worked in a string of companies but decided to resign, even though they were earning pretty good salaries and had benefits. Immediately after that they founded their own company, ignoring family and friends who advised against it.
“These are not the times to experiment. Now, you at least have a salary and insurance” they told them. But Dimakopoulos and Tritsetakis wanted to be autonomous, not only for financial reasons but because they had witnessed unpleasant situations in the workplace.
“In a company we worked for, there was a young colleague who was married and had a young child. The employer pushed him inhumanly and he took it, because he needed the money. In his eyes, we saw ourselves in five years. This would be our life if we didn’t take action. We decided to found our own company, to be our own bosses and vowed never to become like our previous employer” they told us.
They are creating jobs
At first, they hired an employee through a temporary wage subsidies program. They went on to offer her a full time job and benefits. Now, they are hiring two more employees, and experienced coder with specialized skills and a “rising talent”, as they call him.
Furthermore, they applied for a European Structural and Investment Fund (called ESPA in Greece) and were able to secure a €40.000 grant. The procedure was bureaucratic and time consuming but they didn’t have to pay anyone off nor were they asked for money under the table.
They are not only respected scientists but they are also skilled in different fields. They are constantly working on becoming better and try to differentiate from the norm.
They are multifaceted, with technological, logistic, marketing and public relations skills. They even know a thing or two about tinkering!
It’s like they are living in a different county
The thing that makes the two young entrepreneurs in our story different than the rest is their optimism. They don’t wallow in self pity... It’s like they’re living in a different country and not crisis struck, depressed Greece.
They don’t whine about taxes, social insurance or benefits. They understand that dysfunctions and bureaucratic procedures are part of the Greek reality and the overcome them methodically and with a positive predisposition. You ask them how their business is going and they answer “ok” but without sighing and bobbing their heads in pity.
They have no delusions nor are they naive. Everything is not peachy but they are physiologically ready to overcome any obstacles that they may face. They would be able to create a solid company, sustainable in extreme conditions, even if they were stranded in the middle of the desert.
An example for all
‘Dimitris and Dimitris’, as their friends call them, were students at the postgraduate program of Technology of the University of Piraeus which they recently completed.
They impressed their professors both with their professional success and their desire to stay in Greece whatever the cost.
They were even asked to present their professional experience to the rest of the postgraduate students in order to encourage them to found and invest in a similar business in Greece. To give them courage and hope that they don’t need to leave Greece in order to be successful.
TEXT-PHOTOS: GEORGE ZAFEIROPOULOS