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 September 10.

Each team comprising at least one Greek-Cypriot and one Turkish-Cypriot entrepreneur working together for the benefit of the island – received €10,000 and the personal congratulations of easyJet founder, Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, in the form of an oversized cheque.

Reaffirming his commitment to support entrepreneurship on the island where his parents were born and grew up, Sir Stelios has now given away €1 million since 2009 to select partnerships from the island’s two business communities. In its fifth year, the Stelios Award for Business Cooperation continues to recognise young entrepreneurial teams, giving them a funding boost to help them grow. The awards are given by the Stelios Philanthropic Foundation, which supports educational, environmental and entrepreneurial initiatives across Europe.

Stelios Haji-Ioannou said: “This year we received more applications from start-up partnerships. Out of the more than 20 applications, many were businesses formed less than 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 – and that entrepreneurs on both sides of the green line continue to uphold a commitment to peace and reconciliation. I congratulate these entrepreneurs and wish them all success!”

Bi-communal business partnerships given Stelios Award

Notes for editors – 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. (see 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 organizations 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. (see 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.

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