For the first time in Greece, a pioneering fundraising initiative has been created to serve the real needs of the Greek economy and society. The act4Greece program is an innovative initiative of the National Bank of Greece, which serves as an online platform for collecting donations and resources that promotes social and developmental banking by means of crowdfunding and supports actions in Greece that concern the community, the environment and sustainable growth, through the key action areas of social welfare, solidarity and entrepreneurship.
Created by Crowdpolicy, a pioneering company in the CrowdSourcing and CrowdFunding fields in the Greek and European Μarket, this first-ever crowdfunding – or “participative financing” – platform enables the gathering of resources from the “crowd” – from anyone interested, wherever they may be in the world – and then directs them specific projects undertaken by implementing organizations and foundations of international standing in the fields of Welfare, Health and Solidarity, Social Economy and Entrepreneurship, Culture and Cultural Entrepreneurship, Research, Education and Training, Young and Innovative Entrepreneurship, Environment and Sustainability and Sporting Activities.
The core philosophy of crowdfunding is to enhance awareness among the public and to motivate people to contribute to the implementation of projects that are needed by Greek society. The various act4Greece actions are being implemented by bodies with a solid track record in such activity by leveraging the potential of the crowdfunding financing model. The funds for act4Greece are raised through donations for the time being and as soon as the appropriate institutional framework is in place they could also be through lending (especially small loans) and equity participation by supporting innovative business start-ups.
Speaking at the launch event of the Act4Greece program last week (1.2), Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras called for everyone- the government, the public and the private sector- to join forces and help the country get out of the crisis with society remaining unwounded and expressed hope that the successful completion of banks recapitalization opens the way for the return of deposits, the efficient management of loan portfolios and more cheap money channeled in the real economy. The PM highlighted the importance of small and medium-sized enterprises as the main thrust for economic recovery and viewed the role of Banks as critical in re-boosting the economy’s engine. Any attempt to exit the crisis must first see a consolidation of the banking system, he noted, and banks should have the opportunity to once again play their social and economic role by improving liquidity and financing.
The Prime Minister recognized the value of participative and social forms of funding for development such as Act4Greece, which brings together innovation and social and developmental banking in order to give start-ups access to alternative forms of financing, to improve liquidity and to restart Greece's economy.
TheAct4Greece program is run by the National Bank of Greece in strategic cooperation with organizations and foundations of international standing, such as the John S. Latsis Foundation, the Bodossaki Foundation, the Alexandros S. Onassis Foundation, the Hellenic National Commission for UNESCO and the Hellenic Network for Corporate Social Responsibility.