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Two Albanians and a Colombian with Greece’s entrepreneur of the year award

22 November 2009 / 11:11:53  GRReporter
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Victoria Mindova


Two Albanian businessmen and a woman from Columbia were awarded entrepreneurs of the year by the Multicultural Emigration Center to the municipality of Athens. The topics of discussion at the two-day’s seminar organized by the center were related to the launch of a new business by economic emigrants in Greece, including lectures and discussions on the effective practices and experience connected to that. The event took place with the support of the Athenian Chamber of Tradesmen and Industrials, the Center for Research and Equality, the Union of Young Entrepreneurs and the Labor Office (OAED). Guest lecturers were businesspeople from all around the world who told of their experience and troubles on the road to becoming successful businessmen as emigrants. Among the successful entrepreneurs was the Pakistan journalist, businessman Jamil Mohammad Syed, who found the Pakistan-Greek cultural center, and Theophilus Obioha- a tradesman and founder of the Nigerian society on Greece.

The award for foreign businessman of the year was granted to the Albanian economic emigrant Aris Kiritsi who created a small enterprise for fixing and installation of ship engines. Aris, who is qualified engineer, came to work in Greece in 1991 with the desire of a better life. He shares: “Every day we work is a day of achievement. Investment is not easy these days. The investment that I and my wife, who was my partner in the enterprise until recently, are making is in our children.” Aris is a father of two boys who have followed his steps and are now studying engineering. He is currently employing six people and when a big order is due the employees may reach fifteen.

The award for a foreign businessman with contribution to the society was received by Koka Lorens who graduated in medicine but latest technology and informatics are his passion. Lorens is an Albanian who came in Greece in 1996 and founded the study center Business Expert in Athens. Together with the regular curriculum, he is offering weekend classes in informatics and Albanian language to children and the elderly from the Albanian community. “Children from Albanian descent who were born and raised in Greece are the bridge between our two countires,” said Lorens.

Bonty Eskalon, Colombia, received the award for a businesswoman of the year. She has been living and working in Greece for the past 25 years. She came on vacation with her parents but her love to the country made her stay. Bonty is happily married and a mother of one, with extremely successful carrier. She has been the director general of the Europe branch of the well known travelling agency Classic Vacations which is offering tourist packages for around the world to American customers. Over eight thousand tourists visit Greece annually and over forty thousand-Europe, using the services of Eskalon’s department. Bonty shared the difficulties she experienced in the beginning not only as a foreigner, but as a business- woman. However, hard work and perseverance brought her where she is now.

The chairman of the Athenian Chamber of Tradesmen and Industrials Konstantinos Mihalos addressed the guests at the event with the words: “Emigrants in Greece have been long playing a very important role in the country’s economic life. With ambition, persistence and perseverance many of them have managed to realize their dream of a better life, developing a successful business. Today, as a representative of one of the largest trade-economic institutions, I would like to promise to you that we will continue to work for and support entrepreneurs, regardless if they are Greek or foreigners.”

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