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In this picture dated Nov. 3, 2012, African immigrants push a shopping cart loaded with scrap metal, near the village of Nea Philadelphia, in northern Greece. When Greece adopted the euro, it poured billions into modernizing its infrastructure, building spectacular bridges, highways, and a brand new rail transit network for Athens. Now, locked in recession and crushed by debt, Greeks are targeting many of those projects, gouging out the metal and selling it for scrap to feed ravenous demand driven by China and India. (Nikolas Giakoumidis/AP)
In this picture dated Nov. 3, 2012, African immigrants push a shopping cart loaded with scrap metal, near the village of Nea Philadelphia, in northern Greece. When Greece adopted the euro, it poured billions into modernizing its infrastructure, building spectacular bridges, highways, and a brand new rail transit network for Athens. Now, locked in recession and crushed by debt, Greeks are targeting many of those projects, gouging out the metal and selling it for scrap to feed ravenous demand driven by China and India. (Nikolas Giakoumidis/AP)

Small Business Briefing

Greece places its bet on young entrepreneurs Add to ...

The latest news and information for entrepreneurs from across the web universe, brought to you by the Report on Small Business team. Follow us on Twitter @GlobeSmallBiz.

Are they the future?

Unemployment in Greece has been surging in recent months, with a rate hovering around 25 per cent, as austerity measures continue to put increased pressure on the fragile economy. Prime Minister Antonis Samaras does not have a lot of fiscal room to manoeuvre, but one area he says he’ll invest in is entrepreneurship, Southeast European Times reporter Andy Dabilis writes from Athens. His government is dangling the offer of state support to fund business proposals in information technology, digital media, cellphone apps and agriculture.

“There is an absolute need (for entrepreneurs) because unemployment is so high for young people and they see no chance of getting a job in the state administration, and the private sector is suffering,” says Elias Spirtounias, executive director of the American-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce. “Not all these businesses will succeed, but the mindset must change.”

According to Mr. Samaras, an unused building in Athens will be home to a startup hub, and the government is going to set up and provide the required infrastructure. Three ministers have been tasked with assisting the young entrepreneurs.

An arresting development

Vancouver’s old police station on Main Street may be turned into an incubator for technology startups, Vancouver Sun reports. The city needs to find someone to run it, and expressions of interest are now being accepted. The Vancouver Economic Commission cites a lack of space at existing facilities as inspiration for the idea, a concern echoed by others. “Most of the accelerators operating across the province and the Lower Mainland are full and there is still demand that is not being met,” says BC Innovation Council CEO John Jacobson. The police station, chosen for its availability, would be used for such things as mentoring, training, and funding support for entrepreneurs.

Teen founder sells startup to Yahoo

Yahoo has bought Summly, a mobile news reader launched two years ago by a 17-year-old entrepreneur, Forbes has posted. Yahoo has said it will shut down the app, which succinctly summarizes news stories, and will likely add the feature to its own suite of services. “The opportunity that Yahoo has is really big,” adds founder Nick D’Aloisio, who will join the larger company. “The thing that excites me is the scale that Yahoo brings us. They have a lot of pre-existing properties. They have a newsroom that obviously is a great asset for us.” The acquisition price was not disclosed, but AllThingsD estimates Yahoo paid almost $30 million (U.S.).

EVENTS AND KEY DATES

Brands meet bloggers

The first Canadian Connecting Bloggers and Brands Conference will be held in Vancouver on April 30, bringing bloggers and national brands together face-to-face so they can learn about how they can work together. It is the first of a six-city, cross-Canada 2013 tour. In addition to Vancouver, conferences will be held in Calgary, Regina, Winnipeg, Toronto and Halifax.

Startup Weekend in Waterloo

Startup Weekend Kitchener-Waterloo runs from April 5 to 7. The non-profit organization is headquartered in Seattle, but organizers can be found in more than 200 cities. Anyone is welcome to pitch a startup idea. Teams organically form around the top ideas (determined by popular vote) and then it’s 54 hours of business model creation, coding, designing, and market validation. It ends with presentations for local entrepreneurial leaders to get critical feedback.

EDITOR’S PICKS FROM REPORT ON SMALL BUSINESS

Stand and deliver

Entrepreneurs are in increasing demand – and facing increasing competition – for positions at the podiums of events for business audiences. Public-speaking engagements can provide opportunities to share expertise, promote company brands, network with other influential people, develop new business connections and make some extra money. However, being at the podium doesn’t come without challenges. Aside from the growing competition for engagements, entrepreneurs also have to consider the time it will take away from their regular business commitments, knowing what to share and how best to share it, and stage fright.

FROM THE ROSB ARCHIVES

You can do it

No one ever said it was easy. Follow this process to become a more effective leader.

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