Initiatives that promote innovative entrepreneurship, strengthen entrepreneurial awareness, and inspire young people and non-native citizens to engage in business, contributing to the improvement of business skills, have been named by the General Secretariat of Industry of the Ministry of Development as “National Winners” within the framework of the “European Enterprise Promotion Awards 2023”.
In particular, the “National Winners” were the Initiative “Joint Research Activities to Promote Innovation & Entrepreneurship in the field of Internal Security” of the Hellenic Police in the category “Improving the Business Environment and Supporting the Internationalization of Businesses” and the “Initiatives for the Promotion of Access” of third country nationals in employability and entrepreneurship” of the City of Athens, in the category “Responsible and Overall Entrepreneurship”.
At the same time, for the first time, an “Honorable Mention” is awarded to the initiative “Strengthening extroversion and supporting the Internationalization of businesses” of the Chamber of Pieria, in the category “Improving the Business Environment and Supporting the Internationalization of Businesses”.
The National Winners will represent Greece in the European section of the competition with the final winners being announced at a special ceremony next November in Spain, as part of the annual European Assembly for Small and Medium Enterprises.
It is pointed out that the “European Enterprise Promotion Awards 2023” is an initiative of the European Commission since 2006 to recognize and reward the excellence of Public Bodies that promote entrepreneurship and small businesses at national, regional and local level.
“Initiatives to promote third-country nationals’ access to employability and entrepreneurship”, of the City of Athens, in the “Responsible and Total Entrepreneurship” category.
The City of Athens, through the Migrant Integration Center, the Athens Coordination Center for Migrant and Refugee Issues and the Athens Development and Destination Management Agency, plans and implements Initiatives for the integration of third-country nationals into the labor market with decent conditions for them and benefits for the local and national economy. It is the first Public Body to implement, since 2019, specially designed projects for the development of professional skills, learning Greek and English languages and using the computer, job counseling to get familiar with the Greek work and business environment and cooperation to remove multiple obstacles faced by female third-country nationals in accessing work and entrepreneurship. Since 2020, in coordination with Civil Society stakeholders and other Greek Municipalities, it organizes “Career Days” (job fairs) with a large participation of companies.
At the same time, it promotes policies for the integration into the labor market of third-country nationals in businesses in the Region, through the “Cities Network for Integration” in which 18 Greek Municipalities participate, with the goal of developing the local economy in the Greek region with the assistance of finding work for these citizens in sectors such as agro-food, construction, tourism, catering and trade. In addition, it implements the European project ENFEM aimed at female third-country nationals (migrants, asylum seekers, recognized refugees, and beneficiaries of temporary protection from Ukraine), contributing to the provision of basic knowledge about entrepreneurship and the work environment in Greece.
The proposal “Initiatives to promote the access of third-country nationals to employability and entrepreneurship” of the City of Athens is an innovative, holistic model of integration of refugees / migrants that highlights social & work integration as “part of the life plan”. It promotes the cooperation of Central and Local Government, International Organizations, Academic Community and Businesses. At the same time, it has an impact on the local society and economy of both Athens and the region, as it contributes to the coverage of job positions and the development of the economy outside large urban centers.