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

The Social Entrepreneur - Greece - 1

Mrs F was born in Sweden and she came to Greece 25 years ago after meeting her husband. She is now in her early fifties and she speaks five languages. During her youth she studied business administration at a university in Sweden but she had also followed a vocational training course as dress designer as she loved creative activities and she had a strong sense of aesthetics. Based on her linguistic skills she worked for many years as a Swedish and English teacher in foreign countries. While young she traveled a lot in England, Mexico and the USA experiencing different cultures and ethics and gained useful experience.

She is extrovert and supportive of female entrepreneurship. It was seventeen years ago when one of her friends suggested she begin working in cosmetics sales. More specifically she was asked to contribute to the networking development and the marketing of a specific brand name in cosmetics. She was attracted by the idea of starting a business dealing with cosmetics sales and promotion. However she is still independent acting as a sole proprietor with no employees, no shop, just collaborators. This means that she is working with conditions established by her and adjusted to her personal needs.

This was the first business venture for her, but she believes that her decision to start the venture was supported by her studies in business administration and moreover her partner who is a freelancer urged her to set up a business. She also emphasizes that she wanted to create something that would carry her own insignia. Of course Mrs F always had ambitions to increase her income which could also be gained through entrepreneurship.

Mrs F thinks that an immigrant has a lot of assets because he brings with him experiences from different cultures and often is a determined person who knows very well how to deal with difficulties. On the other hand a foreigner who doesn’t speak the national language may encounter difficulties in accessing information through everyday procedures and in understanding how the system works. For this reason she took care to study Greek in a school for immigrants.

She would suggest an immigrant who wants to set up a business should start by gathering information from the local institutions e.g Chamber of Commerce, about the basic steps to start a business and to get some directions on legal issues. She also thinks that it would be of great value to develop an online forum to provide useful information about business organization set-up. Moreover, she believes it highly important for a new entrepreneur to ensure access to funds for the start up of the business. In addition to this she believes that a successful freelancer has to be creative and flexible in making decisions. So he has to avoid relying on the current situation of his firm and try to prepare for future developments.

Mrs F believes that Greece is a country with great potential and many prospects for new business activities and for an auspicious future. She would not change anything else in her life except of starting an entrepreneurial career earlier in her life.  

Education and Culture Lifelong Learning Programme
© 2011 ELIE Project
This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication [communication] reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.