FNF Greece: Innovation and Entrepreneurship Awards 2020

Winners and organizers on stage

For the second consecutive year, the Greek office of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom organized the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Awards, titled “Innovate Greece 2020”. Given the restrictions due to COVID-19 only 50 guests were allowed but this did not prevent the good spirit in the celebration of the champions of Greek entrepreneurship for 2020.

The organizing committee consisted of the representatives of the FNF, KEMEL (Center for Volunteer Managers) and IMEDA (Institute for Mechatronics and Entrepreneurship) and their judgment was based on the profile of the companies, the introduction of innovation and, the generated social feedback. As liberals, we recognize social market economy as a form of responsible development and through the selection process we would like to highlight that liberalism respects not only economic freedom but also the general development of society.

The presenter and moderator of the Awards was Mrs Vicky Hantzi, a talented and well-known TV journalist who launched the ceremony introducing FNF and the themes of its activities in Greece.

The “host” of the event was Mr Martin Kothee, Regional Director of FNF for East and Southeast Europe and Director for Bulgaria, Greece and North Macedonia. When Mr Kothee took the floor, he welcomed the guests to the event and talked about the commitment of FNF to support the idea of entrepreneurship and open market economy in Greece.

The keynote speaker of the event was his Excellency, the Ambassador of the federal Republic of Germany to Athens, Dr Ernst Reichel. In his speech he underscored his admiration for the Greek entrepreneurs who in a very difficult period of economic crisis did not give up but managed to compete in the international market. He also spoke about the close ties between Greece and Germany and last, he expressed the support of his country the Greek economy.

The German Ambassador Dr. Ernst Reichel

The organizing committee awarded 5 prizes. For the category “Development and Administration of Network” the prize was given to DOMOTEL Hotels and it was received by Mrs Evelyn Christopoulou, CEO of the company. The awards was delivered by Mr Aret Demirci, Project Assistant of FNF Regional Office SOOE.  For the category “International and extrovert company” the prize was given to FINEST ROOTS and it was received by the founders Mr Nikos and Manos Smyrlakis. The awards was delivered by Ambassador of Germany Dr Ernst Reichel. For the category “Viable innovation of production” the prize was given to EOLIA COSMETICS and it was received by the founder Mr Ananias Karachanidis. The award was delivered by Mrs Sophia Vaimaki, Director of Sales & Marketing of Grand Hyatt. For the category “Social and economic interaction” the award was given to NICKAN sportswear and it was received by the CEO Mr Nikos Andriopoulos. The award was delivered by Mrs Katerina Papanikolaou, liberal activist. Last, the “Special award for contribution to European Development” was given to Mr Panagiotis Gennimatas, Honorary Vice President of the European Investment Bank by Mr Apostolos Siokas, coordinator of the Network of Liberal Councillors.

The ceremony was assisted very effectively by the volunteers of the Young Liberals Greece, Greece's liberal political Youth.