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Wanna learn from the best? Join the Open Office Hours at Stone Soup

In a recent post we touched upon the opportunities derived from the reversed brain drain, a very exciting process to witness happening in Greece the past year. Everyday we feel inspired by the people based at our coworking space and the example they set: fellow coworkers who are traveling around the world carrying with them their social and personal skills, transferring knowledge, and enriching the local markets they engage with.

We are happy to share the latest news from our community and the background of our highly skilled coworking members. We are also thrilled to announce our new venture that is designed to contribute to this positive change.

Open Office Hours

Open Office Hours are one-on-one sessions with experts in different fields. The sessions will take place at Stone Soup and they will be open to all, and fees won’t be charged. Their objective is to share the knowledge beyond our walls and to strengthen the Athens Digital Creative ecosystem.

Wanna learn from the best? Let’s cut to the chase, and introduce George Carey-Simos, a Stone Soup resident, and the first expert you are invited to visit during Open Office Hours.

George is a Digital Strategist and helps people and companies use the Internet to their  advantage. Born in South Africa and having spent most of his life in different countries; South Africa, Czech Republic, UK, and Greece, he eventually decided to anchor his life in Greece for good.

He has a solid 15 years of working experience gained from numerous positions in different industries and countries. He started his career in Sales and moved into more traditional Media & Communications and PR work – and worked in the field for several years. Then in 2013, he switched to a small digital agency, running various digital projects for SMBs and large multinational brands, also advising clients on social media and digital strategy as a whole. His passion to explore the cutting edge developments in the digital sphere, also led him to co-found WeRSM | We are Social Media at around the same time. It didn’t take long for WeRSM to be recognized for the value it provides to digital marketers of all kinds – and agencies – by keeping them up to date on the latest news, practices, and trends. WeRSM very soon became international.

For the past 4 years, George splits his time between WeRSM and working as a freelancer for his clients. His multidimensional experience gives him the advantage to provide holistic consultancy, project management, and custom training for his clients. He is well-connected, and has a broad network to tap into when he needs to recruit and orchestrate any project.

Apart from his freelance projects, he also runs custom training sessions in digital strategy, social media strategy, and growth hacking. His growth hacking course is taught as part of a series of seminars organized by KnowCrunch at Deree college. Finally, he is also a startup advisor, mentor at Founder Institute, a regular judge at social media awards and startup events, and a speaker at international conferences.

Book your slot!

Whether your business is up and running or you are just starting out, the sessions with George could give you valuable insights on your digital strategy, your resource and team management, but could also help you refine your pitch and develop your USP.

We will announce George’s availability and time slots next week.

Stay tuned!

 

Social Economy for Social Empowerment

Social Solidarity Economy (SSE) is a relatively new concept of the social economy with an impact on the way of production. In comparison to existing market practices, the SSE paradigm is about starting and growing a business in which all economic activities of production, distribution and consumption are organized horizontally and managed democratically. SSE has the ability to take the best practices that exist in our present system (such as efficiency, use of technology and knowledge) and transform them to serve the welfare of the community based on different values and goals.

Following this idea, many initiatives are starting to adopt the concept in their way of working, and becoming part of this growing community, and, to help on the implementation of it, some platforms were created to help us achieve SSE, one of them is our resident Dock.

The idea behind Dock

The Dock initiative was formed in 2017, inspired by the idea of creating business that have principles of democratic governance and sustainable methods of production. Dock is a platform that was founded to help such initiatives. They focus on supporting the people, enhancing the SSE concepts and on strengthening the initiatives and the overall social economy ecosystem.

 

How it works

Dock is currently connecting and consulting SSE initiatives providing 3 different operations which are: 1. the infopoint, 2. the helpdesk and 3. the forum.

Infopoint, is a free of charge consulting area for getting information and answering questions in SSE matters, while Helpdesk, involves supporting SSE actors at any stage of development, from the initial idea and team formation to initiatives and entities that are already economically developed. Finally, Forum works as a cooperative network linking those actors by sharing a common ground.

They have presence in the European SSE community and collaborate with other initiatives to increase the visibility of the SSE movement. To that end, they also organize events and participate in delegations and interventions like in the organizational team of UniverSSE 2017. They currently participate in the Αttica’s SSE entities Union. At European level, they are members of the pan-European Ripess EU network.

SSE in Greece

In Greece, SSE initiatives are in an early stage, however, the successful launch of such paradigms is becoming a political priority, acknowledging that SSE has the power to mobilize economic and social forces in a cooperative way in order to relaunch the productive model of the country in a more fair and democratic way.

Dock has successfully initiated the “Fruit of Solidarity” campaigns. They provide a networking and collaboration platform between Greek agricultural producers and international stakeholders. “Greenland” action for instance, is a Social Cooperative Enterprise, helping olive oil producers in Kalamata to embrace fair trade practices and expand to international markets. The organisation succeeded in exporting all of their products (more than 20 tones of olive oil and almost 10 tones of olives) in Sweden, France, Luxembourg, Belgium, Netherlands and Japan in 2017. The importance of this was major if you consider that the producers sold their goods without an intermediate and bargained their own prices, ending up enjoying 60% of the profits which is 20% higher than the one they would have if they were participating in traditional business.

The field has potentials to evolve through the years of 2020 and 2021, giving a new perspective of business and production that values human capital before economic capital and builds a sustainable and socially fair environment.

If your are interest in knowing more about SSE and other business trends, keep it up with Stone Soup Facebook page.

Serving the Rising Demand for Rentals in Athens

In a recent post, we talked about an increase in companies starting up in Athens. Olala Homes is one such company that serves the rising demand for rentals in Athens. They have been working from Stone Soup’s shared workspace for the past few months.

Olala Homes specialises in providing well-designed touristic apartments for short-term and mid-term stays in Barcelona and Athens. The main motto, is to make every guest feel comfortable and happy as if they were living in their own home.

The company consists of an international group of enthusiasts who’s love for travelling and hospitality inspires them to give each of their customer a memorable and cherished experience abroad.

Eitan, the manager of the Olala Homes division in Athens is originally from Israel, therefore, his experience in Athens as a foreigner encourages him to give the best experience to the tourists travelling to Athens. As the manager, he looks over the renovation of these apartments and also focuses on the bookings and customer service. Eitan feels that having an office in the center of Athens is favourable as it is easy to commute using the public transportation and is in close vicinity to multiple restaurants and cafes. Some other perks of working in a shared workspace is that you get all extra amenities like a kitchen, living room and also the opportunity to socialize and get pro bono consultancy on day-to-day matters.

Olala Homes is growing at a rapid rate in Athens as they are soon going to have 25 furnished apartments available by October. These apartments are going to be located in the most desirable locations of Athens, however the two most popular locations are presumed to be Syntagma and Kolonaki. People travelling to Athens can conveniently book their apartments with Olala Homes on booking, expedia or Airbnb.

Read more about Olala Homes or directly book an appartment on their official website!

 

Starting-up your business in Greece, could a coworking space benefit you?

Lucy is a US citizen who decided to move away and live in Greece. She is a marketer and start-up advisor, and she recently launched the website for her new company The Port. For the last couple of months she has been working from Stone Soup, so we thought to ask her about her experience and how is life for her in Greece.

In the summer of 2016, Lucy traveled to Greece on holiday and fell in love with the country. By the end of the year, she had become educated on the local tech community in Athens, and made the move to bring her skills to a new market. Since arriving in Greece over a year and a half ago, Lucy has been getting to know the local tech scene and culture, working with startups and small businesses both in Greece and the States. She is using her experience to better understand the needs of startups here, and identify the best practices from Silicon Alley (New York City) that could be adapted to help Greek startups grow.

This year, Lucy officially launched The Port, a startup resources hub and consultancy that is “helping startups navigate unchartered waters.” Specifically, in the Greek Market, The Port is helping local startups adapt and leverage the strategies that have helped the rapid growth of American tech companies.

Lucy joined Stone Soup in search of a shared space to surround herself with creative energy and inspiring hustle, and for all the other coworking space benefits that come with it. The welcoming community and open space office layout provides her with a “tight-knit community” enabling her to interact and collaborate with “creative and bright minds.”  The location was also a big plus and attracted Lucy to the space. Working in the heart of Athens, she is in walking distance from all other central neighborhoods—like Greek food hub, Syntagma Square and the famous Monastiraki Square and Flea Market.

To answer our initial question, Lucy felt that setting up shop in a local coworking space has greatly helped in both her transition into the Greek lifestyle and the successful launch of her business.

We would like to thank Lucy for her kind words, and to wish her lots of success!

More about Lucy:

Lucy grew up in the suburbs of Detroit, Michigan and spent her university years in Philadelphia where she obtained her bachelor’s degree in business from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. After graduating, she went on to join IBM Global Business Services in New York City. After spending some time in corporate America, Lucy decided to make the shift to working with technology startups: early-stage e-commerce game Drop’ Til You Shop  and visual commerce platform Curalate. To learn more about The Port and the services it offers for Greek startups, go to the official website www.totheport.com