On Wednesday, February 6, the Business and Cultural Development Centre (KEPA) and the Hellenic Design Centre (HDC) co-organized the "Funding Crossroads" conference, which was held in the framework of Innova-FI project, at the premises of the Hellenic Design Centre in Thessaloniki. The event, which lasted from 16:30 until 20:00, had great success with the massive participation of representatives of the business world and institutions of Northern Greece.
The purpose of the conference was to promote innovative ways of financing, by introducing new opportunities to the business ecosystem of the Region of Central Macedonia. Many entrepreneurs and representatives of relevant institutions participated, in order to receive information about current opportunities for grants and financial instruments, the operation of respective managing authorities, the use of existing tools to enhance innovation, and the processes needed to ensure the SMEs access to these tools.
The event was launched with the Microstars project presentation, promoting microcredit to small businesses, providing beneficiaries with the appropriate financial and soft-support services to support sustainable development, economic and social inclusion, the development of new skills, and finally contributing to the creation of new jobs in Greece.
The participants were then informed about the Innova-FI project, its objectives, actions, and expected results after its completion. Representatives of the Managing Authority of the Operational Program "Competitiveness, Entrepreneurship and Innovation" presented means of financing business innovation through public funds, and a representative of the European Investment Fund (EIF) analyzed the role of the body, the Venture Capital landscape in Greece and the Equifund platform.
Moreover, representatives from private funding bodies with significant achievements in their “equity life”, presented existing funding opportunities, open calls for young entrepreneurs and methods of approaching investment entities. Finally, particular interest was raised by two skilful and successful start-uppers from the city of Thessaloniki, who shared with the participants their ideas, the steps they followed and decisions they made in order to obtain the necessary financial resources for their launching and the next stages of their business development.
With the aim of enhancing the entrepreneurship, extroversion and sustainability of Greek enterprises, this conference was an important information pool, a reference point for the efficient use of business ideas and the development of constructive synergies among the participants.