The Stelios Bi-communal Business Awards 2015 aim at promoting common business endeavors between Greek and Turkish Cypriot entrepreneurs. The awards ceremony was held Monday at the Bi – Communal Café of Stelios Philanthropic Foundation in old Nicosia in the presence of President Anastasiades.
Speaking at the ceremony Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou said that “we are a political barometer for Cyprus” noting that this year`s applications hit record high receiving for 4 times more applications than previous years. The new record number is mainly due to the positive political climate, the promotion and publicity and the operation of the first Bi-Communal Café, as he said.
He also announced that in next year the amount of grants will be increased to half a million euro to be allocated to 50 bi-communal teams. Since 2009 over 1.2 million euro have been awarded to some 40 bi-communal teams in Cyprus for the implementation of various business projects in a diverse range of sectors.
In his address, President Anastasiades said that ‘Stelios Bi-Communal Business Awards’ ceremony is an institution, given that it takes place for the 7th consecutive year. In essence, the ‘Stelios Bi-communal Business Awards’ are firmly established as an annual celebration of bi-communal co-operation and creative interaction, he added.
He also said that “through these actions the Foundation is playing an invaluable role in facilitating much needed contact and re-building the socio-economic bonds of the two communities of the island, which existed for many decades”.
President noted that “the remarkable record number of applications that the Foundation has received for this year’s awards – four times more since last year – is a tangible proof of the genuine, tenacious desire of the people of Cyprus, Greek and Turkish Cypriots, to re-establish and further advance their socio-economic ties and cooperation”.
“The impressive outreach and success of these awards should come as no surprise: Greek and Turkish Cypriots collaborated and co-created successfully for decades, proving that their common denominator, their Cypriot identity, and their common desire to prosper together, are strong and lingering”, President concluded.
After the end of the ceremony Sir Stelios along with the winners and participants walked through the Ledra Street checkpoint to the occupied part of Nicosia where a second Bi – Communal Café is set to be build.