In an initiative focused on strengthening healthy and sustainable entrepreneurship in Greece , the American Farm School has opened the Center for Agricultural Entrepreneurship, which is based in the School’s tertiary education division, Perrotis College . The Center aims at preparing urban and rural individuals with the technical knowledge and skills needed to succeed in their chosen field of agricultural business, mentoring them in the creation and testing of business plans, and providing guidance and access for young entrepreneurs in securing start up funding.
President of the American Farm School and Perrotis College Dr. Panos Kanellis inaugurated the new Center at a September 28th ceremony on the Thessaloniki campus. He stressed that his goal is for “young men and women to learn sound entrepreneurship and how to differentiate and promote their high quality agricultural products in the marketplace.”
Greece’s Minister of Development Kostis Hatzidkis told the guests gathered at the inauguration, “The School’s new Center for Entrepreneurship gives optimism to the people of Greece – it is a bold innovation for others to seek to emulate.”
Angelina Kyriakopoulou from the village of Gefira on the outskirts of Thessalonki, raises the Chios breed of sheep. She has taken Adult Education courses at the American Farm School in cheese-making, and is now enrolled in the new Center. She encouraged the audience, “There are many opportunities even in a deep economic crisis. Once you have the entrepreneurial instinct, the American Farm School gives you ideas, motivation and know-how to make sure your business is profitable.”
Dimitris Politopoulos, founder and CEO of Macedonian-Thrace Brewery/Vergina Beer urged fellow entrepreneurs to use the excellent raw materials Greece has to offer – in his case, barley to make beer; and botanical herbs collected in the mountains of northern Greece, Greek honey, and fresh lemons from Argos to make the new all-natural iced mountain tea he is introducing to the local and export market.
Also on hand for the inauguration was Greece ’s Minister of Agricultural Development & Food Mr. Athanasios Tsaftaris and several other ranking members of the Athens government, the U.S. Consul General in Thessaloniki Robert Saunders, and a capacity audience of individuals interested in preparing themselves at the Center before undertaking their own agricultural ventures.