Chrysella and Giannis had a vision: To improve the daily life of people with eyesight problems. As blind individual themselves, they knew the problems and wanted to take action. There were plenty of ideas, the zest for action was great, but the knowledge for organizing a business was minimal. They decided to fill out the application form for the PRAKSIS BCC (Business Coaching Center).
After 4 months of a demanding participation, their dreams came true with the establishment of Blacklight, the social enterprise that trains employees in retail stores to serve visually impaired customers. The hard work of Chrysella and Giannis, combined with the guidance of PRAKSIS BCC consultants, has led to success, as Blacklight now has a clientele that includes some of the largest retail companies.
“We may have been friends and partners from other jobs for years, but it is different when you start a company from scratch. You are called upon to find funds, to fight with business risk, to agree on roles and responsibilities in the team, all at the same time … We needed someone to advise us and we found them at PRAKSIS BCC “says Chrysella Lagaria, co-founder of Blacklight.
The PRAKSIS BCC entrepreneurship support program has been implemented since 2014 by the humanitarian organization PRAKSIS and offers its services completely free of charge. Since August 2016 it has been funded exclusively by Citi Foundation. This collaboration has had three awards (Education Business Awards) and the creation of more than 95 companies and 220 jobs to show.
PRAKSIS BCC is a 4-month, intensive program that supports the young entrepreneur holistically. It includes meetings with business consultants so that the strategy of the business can be determined, business coaching so that the entrepreneur himself can develop the personal skills needed to succeed and seminars so that knowledge in entrepreneurship can be gained. At the same time, it enables young businessmen to get in touch with distinguished entrepreneurs and CEOs who participate in the PRAKSIS BCC network.
The group of Ambassadors of the program includes: Hem. Kyriakou (Citi Country Officer), Al. Angelopoulos (CEO, Aldemar Resorts), K. Marinakis (CEO, Oriflame), S. Batzias (Principal on Strategy, Deloitte), D. Chris (CEO, Tuvunu), M. Lampraki (Chef, author), G. Karakakasis ( Master of Wine), D. Fountoukakou (General Director, IST College) and H. Mangipudi (CEO, finUNO).
Applications will be accepted up to February 21.
For more information and the application form visit praksisbcc.gr
More information on the Citi Foundation’s Pathways to Progress initiative
The Citi Foundation’s Pathways to Progress Global Initiative, which has funded PRAKSIS BCC since August 2016, involves a three-year, $ 100 million investment program and an offer of 10,000 Citi employee voluntary to support vocational training and employment for 500,000 young people, around the world to meet the challenges of the modern competitive labor market. This is an extension of an initial $ 50 million offer that supported more than 100,000 young people in ten US cities.
The Pathways to Progress initiative aims to reduce youth unemployment in major cities around the world, improve the quality of the workforce by creating opportunities for first-time work, internships, vocational training and business skills development. At the same time, it presents the findings of a global survey that demonstrates the high level of optimism of young people and the lack of opportunities and skills.