As the last 10 years of the crisis combined with the pandemic, entrepreneurs in Greece have been tested by unprecedented challenges, now is the right time to regain and expand their business activity, making a leap into the future, underlines Efstathios Liakopoulos, CEO & Founder of BSS. Referring to the new development law, he estimates that it has come to strengthen the investment and to multiply the speed of growth, adding that it is time for the companies to follow the triptych: Proper strategic development – Financing – Sustainability. “The outlook for the future of the economy is positive. We have never had so many growth tools in the country, nor such a positive investment climate. We need to mobilize immediately.”
-Since your company is involved in creating value for the companies it works with, what are the key elements that add value in your opinion to a business endeavor and why?
Having devoted most of my life to the effort of developing the business creation and the release of the potential that Greek entrepreneurs hide, I am extremely proud that in BSS for the last 24 consecutive years our vision is in line with our work, as a Hellenic Company of Business Consultants for the progress and prosperity of the country.
In the last 10 years of the crisis in combination with the pandemic, entrepreneurs in Greece have been tested and are being tested as much as anyone else by unprecedented challenges. Many times they felt they were moving away from their business vision, but they did not bend for a moment. Now is the time to re-earn and expand your business by leaping into the future!
In this new data, the investment in innovation, extroversion, functional reorganization, continuous training along with the rapid adaptation and application of new advanced technologies, are a structural pillar to build a new development model together.
Based on the anthropocentric approach, companies today, behind the numbers, must always choose the person, building relationships of honesty and trust.
With ethics and integrity, to always be next to their customers-partners, resolutely with passion, providing added value with practical workable solutions and know-how.
We also need to invest in partners, we need to interact with as many marketers and developments as possible.
– In your opinion, which sectors of the Greek economy offer the most important opportunities and challenges at the moment?
At BSS we primarily believe in a new concept of entrepreneurship that will create new opportunities. The one who is not disappointed but is constantly trying to succeed. The one that continues to adopt and advocate principles and values despite the economic circumstances and inherent difficulties.
Entrepreneurs must look openly to the future, dare not be afraid to cooperate, to innovate, to acquire extroversion. This requires specialized Consultants who will shape this environment that will encourage, facilitate and at the same time promote business initiatives, which will assist in the improvement and development of the business. A business partner. This is exactly what the BSS stands for.
Estimates for the future of the economy are positive. We have never had so many development tools in the country, nor such a positive investment climate. We must mobilize immediately.
The main areas of development will be digital and energy upgrades. The shift to renewable energy, the development of circular economy and waste management systems, the tourism industry, industry 4 in investment automation of data exchange in production technologies, health and upgrading of primary care and prevention infrastructure, the logistics that will highlight the country as a logisticshub in SE Europe, agritourism for the growth and modernization in technology production and product research, processing and exports with significant support of sectors with strong production and export activity.
As we understand it, the development environment is broad and will include other sectors.
The achievement of the main and individual goals-opportunities can be done gradually in the coming years with combined financing actions such as the TAA Recovery and Sustainability Fund, the new Development Law, the NSRF programs 2021-2027, in important sectors of the economy.
72 billion funds are coming to the country for utilization, there is great interest from abroad and for the first time after many years the credit institutions free from red loans are looking for companies and plans to finance.
Do not stay out of this opportunity, regardless of industry, because your competitors will not be idle.
– Tell us if you want the most important tools and changes that in your opinion are brought to the surface by the new development law for the companies that will proceed with their utilization.
The new development law came to boost investment and multiply growth speed.
This is the first time that the grant can reach up to 75% of the total investment while the remaining amount can be financed at a fixed interest rate of 0.35% for part of the loan for up to 15 years. If we think about it, it looks like a fairy tale but it is an absolute reality.
The target market of each company and the source of funding are criteria for planning the development strategy. The new development law is the direct channeling of financial resources to Greek companies and the leverage of capital. It is the first time that the prospects for recovery concern the largest number of companies in the country, specifying the next day of modernization and the rapid exit to the markets.
With the new development we expect to launch investments, to emerge innovative companies with strong competitive advantages based on European standards, to significantly support the Greek ecosystem to lead as a country and society to maturity and prosperity.
In this phase of development it is important to submit the business idea, as today there is the largest variety ever of financial instruments, both in their source: Banks, Investment Funds, private investors and in terms of their form, working capital, interest arrears, with or without a State guarantee, with or without an interest rate subsidy.
Traditionally, financial instruments, in this case the new development law, are a key source of funding for the development and upgrading of our economy. With 13 new aid schemes, it allows the business community to design, develop and implement existing or new investment plans.
The minimum amount of investment depends on the size of the business, as for large it amounts to 1 million euros, for medium to 500 million euros and for small to 250 million euros.
An important point is that with the development law you can develop an investment “piggy bank”, for three-year investment programs, without forcing you to complete 100% but with a minimum of at least 55%. you implement depending on the developments.
Also the development law is not subject to de minimis restrictions. Even if one has run out of de minimis funds, one can raise funds through the development law.
It’s time for businesses to follow the triptych
Proper strategic development – Funding – Sustainability.
– Considering the fact that a large part of Greek companies are small and medium-sized, what would be the main components on the basis of which you believe that Greece can achieve a greater degree of concentration and larger corporate formations, achieving synergies? Is the crisis we are going through a challenge and it paves the way for something like this as we will see many companies being pushed significantly and the existing balances upset?
Size has been shown to contribute to competitiveness and expansion, as it leads to economies of scale. In the Greek environment of activity and entrepreneurship, the form of family and small and medium-sized structures still exist and this usually makes such ventures difficult.
Despite the crisis of the pandemic we are going through, we were led to a fever of acquisitions, mergers and 2022, as many industries showed resilience, competitive advantage and immediate adaptability to the new data, attracting investment companies Funds and investors seeking new business opportunities. as their investments seem to exceed 6.5 billion euros.
The trend towards size is strategic. It is highlighted by the fact that the TAA considers the acquisitions as a key pillar of funding. It finances acquisitions, with a fixed interest rate of 0.35% for up to 15 years for part of the loan, while a tax bill with significant tax relief is expected. That is, a company will be able to buy another financed one with an interest rate of 0.35% for part of the loan and at the same time commit tax exemptions of 30% per year. It’s like telling us to move on immediately.
Our experience and successful results in the field of acquisitions, in the last 10 years, with emphasis on this year with 3 transactions worth over 32 million euros, showed that now is the opportunity for Greek small and medium enterprises through acquisitions or mergers to strengthen, reap benefits such as economies of scale, increased market share, enhanced corporate reputation and customer base, increased bargaining power with suppliers, acquisition of know-how, attracting senior executives, access to international markets, tax incentives and state aid.
Technology, energy, financial services, pharmaceutical companies, food industry, retail are increasingly attracting foreign groups, as the Greek market has a strong growth prospects and is also a hub for growth and synergies in the wider region.
– Given that as a BSS you maintain a presence in major cities in Greece such as Athens, Thessaloniki, Xanthi and Larissa, what will be the next steps regarding the expansion of your activity in the near future?
At BSS we manage financing of over 1.7 billion euros, we have submitted during the last three years alone, 327 development law grant programs & NSRF, with 100% approval, thus contributing to the development support of the Greek economy.
During the last four years we have achieved a 123% increase in the services provided by the Independent Financial Management, we have contributed to the search for investment funds – Funding, in more than 60 cases with great success, while we participated in the process of seeking and issuing financing over 700 million euros. we managed the financing terms for more than 1 billion euro loans.
We continue with the same passion our corporate excellence and development. Our values are unchanged and non-negotiable for quality, honesty, commitment and efficiency, with the aim of expanding our network with offices in Heraklion, Crete, Nicosia – Cyprus and Ioannina.
Our goal is to communicate with the business world. It all starts with the magic of communication with a first meeting followed by the next steps towards the future.
Let’s pursue it.