Entrepreneurship is the backbone that supports the European economy. It is a concept, utterly linked to European projects. Europe’s strongest organizations in the field of EU project implementation are adding entrepreneurship in their proposals in an effort to make them even more successful. But why is entrepreneurship such an important part for societies nowadays?
Today we sit down with Dr. Anastasios Vasiliadis, the President of the Institute of Entrepreneurship Development, for an interview about IED, entrepreneurship and its importance for EU projects.
Give us some basic information about IED. When was it established and how did everything start?
I am a strong supporter of Entrepreneurship. I wanted to help promote the concept of entrepreneurship in Greece so in 2005 IED was established, aiming at promoting entrepreneurship as well as innovation in the world of business.
What inspired you to create the Institute of Entrepreneurship Development?
Entrepreneurship and all it can offer to people. In Greece, there are many strong businesses. However, they are not able to provide young people with the opportunities they need to build their own future. Entrepreneurship can do that and teaching and promoting entrepreneurship to young people the motive behind the creation of the organization.
Why do you think entrepreneurship is so important for young people?
Young people have smart and innovative ideas that can change the world of business. Entrepreneurship can give them the opportunity to do just that! It is a way to battle unemployment and to create new types of businesses with the potential of a great social impact.
What is your opinion about the importance of Entrepreneurship as part of EU projects?
Every European program must be able to cope with the difficulties of today. One of the key issues that Europe is concerned with is unemployment.
By nature, entrepreneurship can address this issue. By integrating it into European programs, we make sure that the program is successful both in the short and the long term. Also, social entrepreneurship in European programs paves the way for the significant social impact these programs are aiming for.
EU Projects are difficult to implement. What motivated you to participate in them?
Change, innovation, social impact, you name it. I believe in EU Projects and the change they can bring to society. I believe that they can make a difference for younger generations. I believe that they have the potential to promote innovation in every field possible.
Yes, they are difficult to implement but through hard work, I learned that the result is always worth it!
Talk to us about your participation in Europe’s biggest financial framework Horizon 2020. What makes IED a good partner for such a massive programme?
Our first experience with Horizon 2020 was the Liverur project that started in 2018. It was a big enough challenge for us because we had never taken part in something so big before. We did not change the way we work of course and that had a positive result.
Our identity was what put us in the program and the reason why are implementing it so successfully. Through the program, we have managed to show that entrepreneurship plays an important role both in programs focused on business environments as well as large research programmes.
The reason why I think IED is a very good partner choice for Horizon 2020 is that there is a place for entrepreneurship in this great research program. IED has the knowledge the programme needs and the expertise to make entrepreneurship a strong part of every Horizon 2020 project proposal.
IED is a very successful organization in the field of EU projects. Why do you think that is?
Ι think this is due to the spirit of cooperation that is a great part of our work. In order for a project to be properly implemented, all of us must work together. The work of each member is important for the implementation of a program.
We are a team and we support each other as every team should always do. We succeed and we fail together and that, I believe is our strongest point.
Of course, through the years of implementing EU projects, all the team members have gained a lot of expertise which also adds to the success rate of IED.
You employ a lot of young people although you could work with older and more experienced professionals. Why not choose the easy way?
As I said, young people have innovative ideas and an appetite for work. Entrepreneurship can offer them the opportunities they need.
An organization like the Institute of Entrepreneurship Development could do nothing but promote this action. Young people may not have the experience of the older professionals but they can certainly acquire it as well as contribute to the promotion of a business, through innovation.
What is your vision for the future of IED?
My vision for the future is simple. Growth. We want to grow as an organization. We want to get included in many more European projects. We want to gain the recognition we deserve as a center of excellence in Entrepreneurship in Europe and we want to achieve true innovation in the world of business.