TEN bi-communal business partnerships were awarded the Stelios Award for Business Cooperation in Cyprus at a ceremony at the Chateau Status in Nicosia’s buffer zone on Tuesday.
Teams comprising of at least one Greek Cypriot and one Turkish Cypriot entrepreneur won €10,000 for a business, dedicated to promoting trust and bicommunal teamwork in Cyprus.
Launched by easyJet founder, Stelios Haij-Ioannou, the Stelios Award has been encouraging bicommunal partnerships since 2009, having so far given away €1.0 million. Handing winners an oversized cheque, Haji-Ioannou said this year marked a hike in applications from start-ups, with many businesses formed less than a year ago. “We see this as tangible proof that the spirit of entrepreneurship is alive and well in Cyprus – especially during these times of extreme economic difficulty….,” he said.
The winners are:
Helene Black and Aydin Mehmet Ali – Literary Agency Cyprus: This long-standing partnership supports the work of women writers and poets throughout Cyprus and the diaspora through its “Whirling Words” initiative.
Alexis Panayiotou, Costas Falekkos and Tolga Ferhat Celebi – NRG Web Radio: The web-based NRG Radio is live and bringing the latest international music hits to the entire island. (www.nrgradio.com.cy)
Katie Economidou and Dervish Baha – Mediation Consultancy: The first of its kind on the island, Mediation Consultancy offers resolution services and training to private individuals, companies, schools and other organisations seeking to solve differences.
Sofronis Potamitis and Ismail Cemal – Discover Rural Cyprus: These partners are both pioneers in eco-agrotourism, offering visitors a bi-communal Cypriot village experience and preserving the shared traditions and heritage of the island. ( www.discoverruralcyprus.com)
Louis Hadjioannou and Salih Gucel – NatureCY: These professional biologists and experienced divers have teamed up to offer eco-souvenirs to diving tourists visiting the island.
Katerina Antoniou and Erel Cankan – Crossroads Café/Cankan Ltd: What else but coffee to bring the communities in Cyprus together? Strategically located in Nicosia’s buffer zone, Crossroads Café and Cankan offer high quality coffee and coffee products to their customers.
Kyriakos Pierides and Hasan Kahvecioglu – Bilingual Bi-communal Radio Productions: Comprised of two journalists with a long-term dedication to bringing the people of the island together, this team plans to produce a high-quality documentary programme to explore contemporary issues common to the Greek-Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities.
Mary Georgiou and Serife Akman – Telli Firin: This long-standing friendship between the two partners is the platform for the revival of this traditional Cypriot bakery famous for its high quality baked goods and traditional Cypriot food recipes.
George Isaias and Sezis Thompson – Hive CY: This partnership will create a co-working hub in Nicosia’s buffer zone, offering space, networking opportunities and support services to budding entrepreneurs from both the Turkish-Cypriot and Greek-Cypriot communities.
Christina Seroff and Huseyin Diner – Karpasia: These two entrepreneurs are producing and distributing natural, environmentally responsible products that reflect the abundance and beauty of the Karpas Peninsula.