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A great celebration of entrepreneurship by OPAP with the announcement of the new SMEs of the OPAP Forward program and the awarding of the companies that excelled

Pioneering Small and medium businesses were the center of attention at the special event organized by OPAP, on Tuesday, March 12th, 2024, for the launch of the sixth cycle of the OPAP Forward entrepreneurship program, with the awarding of the companies that already participate in OPAP Forward and stood out for their performance.

Specifically, OPAP Forward, which has been a key pillar of OPAP's corporate responsibility strategy since 2016, welcomed 13 new, dynamic SMEs. At the same time, special awards were given to the companies of the program that have excelled in critical areas, such as the creation of new jobs and increase in their turnover.

The thirteen new companies, which entered the sixth cycle of the OPAP Forward program, cover a wide range of dynamic sectors, where Greek companies have a competitive advantage. These companies are AgroApps, Archeiothiki, Callista, Alati Dadakaridi, Fresh Line, Goumenisses, Ideal Bikes, KYKNOS, Nutree, Prigipo, SKAG, Softweb and Unismack.

Moreover, the impressive results achieved by OPAP Forward's businesses were presented during the event. With the support of OPAP and the international non-profit organization Endeavor Greece, the participating companies have managed to create 2,847 new direct jobs to date, while supporting 23,000 new indirect jobs through their partnerships in the market. In addition, they have increased their turnover by a total of 470 million euros.

Talking about OPAP Forward's philosophy and results, OPAP CEO, Mr. Jan Karas, commented: "The best way to predict the future is to create it... And this is exactly what we are trying to do through OPAP Forward. We support dynamic small and medium-sized enterprises that want to "build" their future... We stand by them, offering the necessary tools, know-how and opportunities to exploit their prospects, grow and create new jobs, for the benefit of the economy and society... At OPAP, we are proud of this program, as it reflects our vision to offer to the Greek society... The results, after all, speak for themselves."


On his part, OPAP Deputy CEO, Mr. Odysseas Christoforou, talked about the new companies of the program, stressing that: "Tonight, we welcome 13 new companies to the OPAP Forward family. Our ambition is to help them grow, enhance their extroversion, and create new jobs... The new companies of the program cover a wide range of dynamic and competitive sectors, utilize new technologies and innovations, and come from various parts of Greece, outside the major urban centers... Also, more than half of the companies, have women in their leadership, as a part of our commitment to support female entrepreneurship."

Markos Veremis, Partner of Big Pi Ventures and Member of the Board of Directors of Endeavor Greece, discussed on stage with Kostas Mallios, Corporate Vice President CSD, EUROPE of Applied Materials, about entrepreneurship in Greece and internationally. The two speakers pointed out the high status of companies participating in the OPAP Forward program, noting the impressive development of Greek business in the recent years. They also stressed that the quality of the businesses is the best indicator of a country's health. In addition, they emphasized the need to take risks and closely connect businesses with their customers, while highlighting inclusion and diversity as key ingredients for success. At the same time, they underlined how important it is for Greek businesses to keep their eyes on the global market and dare to expand abroad.


The companies of OPAP Forward that stood out for their performance

The OPAP Forward awards were received by small and medium-sized enterprises, which are already participating in the program and stood out for their successful performance in various categories. It is noted that the companies awarded this year joined the program in 2020, in one of the most difficult periods for entrepreneurship, as it coincided with the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.


The companies and the categories in which they excelled:


  • Business Excellence | Winner: Vitex
  • Creation of new jobs | Winner: Lariplast
  • Faster economic growth | Winner: VIOZOKAT
  • Leading Export Activity | Winner: Vitex
  • Active Participation | Winner: Anna Maria Mazaraki
  • Contribution to the OPAP Forward program I program Winner: Vitex


Moreover, an award was given to the mentor who offered the most consulting hours to the participating companies. Specifically, the "Top Mentor" award was given to Eleni Bathianaki, Managing Partner at Halcyon Equity Partners.