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Green Sunglasses and the Greek Economy


Things have not been going well in the Greek economy for some time now. Between excessive government spending, costly entitlement programs, and a drop in tourism, the Greek economy has suffered quite a bit since the turn of the century. But now there are some young people who have decided to take matters into their own hands. They have become entrepreneurs determined to make their own way. One of them is doing it with green sunglasses.

Stavros Tsompanidis was still a student when he came up with an idea for a startup. He was walking along the beach when he noticed accumulated piles of dried up sea grass. Then it dawned on him: he could use what others would consider a waste product to create green sunglasses, phone cases, and gift boxes. He set about figuring a way to do it and then lined up investors. Four years later he is selling green sunglasses both in Greece and around the world.

Entrepreneurship Is the Answer

Tsompanidis is now 25 years old and still as passionate about his endeavor as he was when he started it. But what he’s doing is not so much about sunglasses as it is taking control over his own future. To hear Tsompanidis talk about things, the future of Greece’s economy rests on entrepreneurs like him who are willing to take a risk and build a business.

Tsompanidis is among a growing number of young people in Greece who have become disillusioned with both politics and economics. They have seen how unsustainable a society built on entitlements is; they realize that Greece’s two main industries – tourism and shipping – are too dependent on global economic factors to rely on. They want to see homegrown businesses that rely more on the skills, knowledge, and work ethic of their own people.

These young business owners may have a very good point. According to a Reuters report, nearly 60% of young people were out of work during Greece’s most recent financial crisis. Thousands of companies shut down and hundreds of thousands of Greeks left their homeland to find a better life elsewhere. Tsompanidis and people like him believe that the salvation of the Greek economy and culture is entrepreneurship.

Eyewear an Excellent Choice

Tsompanidis’ idea for business was really about transforming a natural waste product into usable consumer goods. Could he have chosen something other than sunglasses and gift boxes? Absolutely. But, as Utah-based Olympic Eyewear explains, sunglasses are an excellent choice. Sunglasses can be manufactured relatively inexpensively and then sold at retail for a good profit. Moreover, sunglasses are a product that consistently sells, day in and day out. They are product that is in demand all over the world.

Olympic Eyewear explains that despite one or two global conglomerates dominating the designer eyewear market, there is still plenty of room for smaller companies like the one Tsompanidis is building in Greece. It is just a matter of differentiating yourself from the competition, Olympic Eyewear explains.

Some companies differentiate themselves in their styling. For example, wooden frame sunglasses are pretty hot right now. In Tsompanidis’ case, the difference is in the raw materials being used. His line of green sunglasses is truly green in every sense of the word. That gives him a marketing edge with millennial consumers and their children who are more environmentally conscious than ever before.

Will Tsompanidis’ sunglasses save Greece? Not alone they won’t. But if enough young people take up the call to entrepreneurship, there is no limit to what they can accomplish. Tsompanidis believes that, and history has proved it.

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