The thematic workshop ‘Doing business in the Sharing and Collaborative Economy’, organised by the National Documentation Centre for the StartupNow Forum, October 24 2019, was a great success. The workshop included examples of the collaborative ventures and Sharing Economy initiatives of recent years which cover not only existing social needs but also viable business.
The story of a modern agricultural co-operative, a prototype collaborative project in the heart of Athens and a movement to reduce food wastage were just some of the examples given.
Following a short presentation by EKT specialists, Barbara Vassilakis presented the BeShared project, which is being implemented by EKT as a partner in the Enterprise Europe Network. Giorgos Megas presented some examples of sharing economy companies, which have received funding from European financial instruments such as the SME Instrument and Angelos Angelidis presented EKT’s support for research, innovation and entrepreneurship, as well as the services offered by the Enterprise Europe Network.
The workshop continued with representatives from businesses and Sharing Economy ventures. ‘Everything begins and ends with humans’, said Christos Stamatis when presenting the history of the Stevia Hellas co-operative. ‘Sixty partners began a prototype co-operative venture with equal shares and a co-operative form of production. No venture can survive with social criteria alone: timing plays a critical role. For a business to be viable, a venture requires a ready market,’ said the CEO of the company..
Vee Bougani talked about the Sustainable Food Movement, the movement that wants to raise awareness of food waste, and the Foodity app. Today, the application is used by two hotels in Athens, with food waste daily becoming meals for company staff. As she said, ‘although at first, we chose to follow the B2C business model, that is an enterprise interacting directly with the final recipient of the service, after better studying the market, we adopted the B2B solution.’
Impact Hub has become well-known in recent years as a very special co-existence space for professional and entrepreneurs. Co-existence in a workplace can lead to knowledge exchange and that is exactly what was being sought in this case. As explained by Dimitrios Kokkinakis, this common workspace really does help the exchange of ideas and know-how.
Impact Hub Athens is also involved in the management of the Municipal Market of Kypseli project. The building is provided by the Municipality of Athens for social entrepreneurship with the focus on culture, education and creative entrepreneurship. The vision is ‘for the market to be a means of social cohesion, co-operative spirit and co-creation in one of the most populated, multicultural and historical locations of Athens.’
Concluding the workshop were presentations by Stavros Karagiannis and Ioanna Hatzidavidou. Stavros Karagiannis presented the platform pouliseto.gr which offers a secure marketplace for buying and selling used goods.
Ioanna Hatzidavidou talked about the startup Carma Share. The entry of the company into the car rental market is supported by a strategic partnership with an insurance company.
The success of the workshop was such that all participants agreed to continue the discussion in a new event to be held late November, 2019.
EKT is a Community Partner of the StartupNow Forum 2019. As a partner of Enterprise Europe Network, EKT implements the BeShared: Embracing Innovation and Interconnection in the Sharing Economy project which is funded by the COSME programme. The project focuses on sharing best practices between sharing economy initiatives and connecting innovative business models with SMEs wishing to commercialise new products and existing innovations through the sharing economy.