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Home > Life Stories > The Portfolio Entrepreneur - Greece - 1

The Portfolio Entrepreneur - Greece - 1

Mrs S is from the Netherlands and came to Greece when she was 25, following the completion of her studies in History. In 1985 she was working in the Greek islands as a tourist guide for a Dutch tourist company, which was when she took her first steps in entrepreneurship and decided to stay in Greece. At the beginning she did not know the language and the people with whom she could communicate in English were very few.

Later on she ran her own tourist agency and car rental office for five years. When she came to Thessaloniki Mrs S networked with other professionals and used her knowledge and experience to assist other immigrant female entrepreneurs. So when an immigrant entrepreneur wanted to start up a business in Thessaloniki they would contact Mrs S to get proper guidance about the procedures and necessary steps that had to be followed. Based on this experience Mrs S decided to make a career in business consulting.

Today Mrs S is a freelance international business consultant and belongs to a pan- European network of consultants based in London. She does not employ staff and her clients are mostly international companies wishing to come to Greece or Greek companies wishing to move abroad. Mrs S offers consulting related to knowledge management and corporate communication and serves as a coach for CEOs.

Mrs S feels that is a great gap in business consulting in Greece where consultants are often mistaken for insurance consultants or salespeople. In reality however, business consultants do not care only about financial issues but deal with the whole picture including marketing strategy, strategic planning, corporate communication and HR management; trying to correct flaws in the system and help client companies develop further.

In terms of her success, Mrs S considers her foreign background as an advantage. Her family background in business and commerce is also a strong point. Mrs S thinks that anyone who decides to emigrate in a foreign country is a ‘strong’ person, mainly because it’s never easy to leave your home country. If someone possesses this strength and is a dynamic person then the chances for success in Greece are great. She believes that the current economic crisis provides an ideal opportunity for immigrant entrepreneurs to buy Greek companies.

Mrs S would advise a young immigrant who wants to start up a business in Greece to find something that is really inspiring and have passion. She believes that these are the necessary skills needed to overcome any difficulties and hard times on the way to business success. Mrs S is very happy with her career choices so far, and if she could turn time back she would have done exactly the same things. 

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