Greece: Small Business Update

February 26, 2021

Equipping small businesses throughout Greece with the machinery and business-know how they need to succeed is part of IOCC’s Give for Greece programming. Photo: IOCC/Konstantinos Tsakalidis

Helping small business grow and thrive is a core part of IOCC’s Give for Greece program, and since 2015 IOCC has helped 138 microbusinesses and agricultural associations throughout Greece with new production equipment, technical services, and business mentoring. Pandora’s Box Souvenirs, in Assiros, near Thessaloniki, is just one of them. You met Pandora’s in the last edition of News and Needs, and we’re happy to share another update with you.

Pandora’s Box received a specialized machine from IOCC to print creative designs on marble in 2018. This equipment, which the program made financially accessible, has allowed the company to ramp up production, adding to their catalog. One new product that the new machine made possible created significant revenue for Pandora’s in 2019.

Specialized machinery received through IOCC programming – like this printer that can transfer art to marble – helps small businesses expand their productivity and grow. Photo: IOCC/Konstantinos Tsakalidis

In addition, Pandora’s Box received business mentoring through the program from IOCC partner KEMEL (Center for Volunteer Managers in Greece). The company was able to add a second machine to their workshop (without IOCC support), further expanding production. With the combination of new machinery and mentoring, Pandora’s increased sales in 2019 by over 45%. In early 2020, Pandora’s Box participated in trade exhibitions and received sizeable orders.

While strict measures to combat the COVID-19 pandemic have affected sales – as well as the overall Greek economy, still reeling after years of recession – Pandora’s Box Souvenirs has reason to be hopeful. Now making the most of the time to build out their website and cultivate retail clients, this small business is positioning itself for a sustainable, successful future.