An interview with Tournavitis Panagiotis – Cooperative Bank of Karditsa

Credits: Young Entrepreneurs Succeed

Good Morning, I’m Tournavitis Panagiotis CEO of the Cooperative Bank of Karditsa. The Cooperative Bank was founded on 1994, with the initiative of the Chamber of Commerce of Karditsa and for the past 25 remains faithful to its mission, which is none other than supporting local entrepreneurship, providing financial support towards the local businesses. All those years, and especially during the crisis, our Bank provided the necessary resources and means, in order to support all initiatives that lead to the development of our area.

What is the profile of unemployed youth?

The truth is that in our reality we face new initiatives of unemployed that are trying to make a new beginning. I would say, that if I would outline their profile, I would say that they have these common characteristics:

First, they highly educated, they all have remarkable studies, they speak fluently foreign languages, so they have an exquisite level of education and knowledge, however they are possessed of the same anxiety about their future, they are scared, to start something new or they troubled by the economic situation, of the area and the wider country. In general, I would say that they are surrounded of fear and don’t make the step towards entrepreneurship.

What are the main barriers of young people to set up a business?

I would say that the main obstacles are connected to the culture that our society has, that is against entrepreneurship. We have a culture of officers/clerks, as I usually say, and this prevents a lot of people from trying their strengths in entrepreneurship.

How can young people get access to entrepreneurship?

Access to entrepreneurship is, to start with, a Decision, they have to decide, that they have to stand and trust their own strengths.

The access to the finance, to rephrase, presupposes that all the dangers that are connected to the idea, have been analyzed and namely from the side of the potential entrepreneur, a clear analysis of the dangers that may be faced and those if analyzed properly, one by one to face.

Our job, as a bank is to face the danger that he/she will face in the first steps of financing the effort.

How can the different actors cooperate to make it possible?

Strengthening young entrepreneurship, is a subject that all stakeholders must face together and each one to contribute according to its strengths, towards the solutions of this problem. I would say that all must contribute, there is no excess, and the Bank must create the necessary products to address young entrepreneurs. Also, the other stakeholders must contribute in a supportive way, meaning to create structures that at the beginning, someone could be hosted (incubators) or provide consultancy structures, so that someone can use to upgrade his/hers competencies.


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