MELINA TAPRANTZI

OLBIOS CORRESPONDENT GREECE

Her first degree may have been in Philosophy, but eventually the world of marketing and communication won her over, a field in which she has worked for over 10 years, assisting many brands to become established and known. Always a volunteer, ready to offer help to various charities, she recognized the need for their existence as well as their difficulties in remaining sustainable as they try to relieve social problems. Social entrepreneurship is exactly what fulfills her because it is incredibly important to work and offer simultaneously, to be able to maintain a degree of sustainability and offer a solution to an important social problem. This is what led to the creation of “Wise Greece”, a social enterprise that on the one hand promotes top quality Greek products and on the other uses the profits from sales in order to buy foods in bulk and donate them to soup kitchens, children, families and the elderly in need. ‘Wise Greece’ has essentially two 2 important missions: to promote all that makes us Greeks proud and at the same time to offer to unprivileged people their most basic need, food. Today Wise Greece works with over 100 small producers who offer over 1.000 products, exports to 8 countries, has donated over 25 tons of food to orphanages and charitable institutions, has received many important awards for its work, including a prestigious “Models of Excellence” award from the President of the Greek Republic, as well as a Start Up award for sustainability and social contribution. Melina often presents Wise Greece and its model of Social Entrepreneurship at international congresses and conferences aiming to inspire young people to create their own social enterprise. She has spoken at Forums that support female entrepreneurship, including “The Next Women 100”, she is a key note speaker in international seminars on social entrepreneurship, an Ambassador of the “Think Young Entrepreneurship School”, a speaker at TEDx Academy, a co-builder of the international “World Human Forum” and a mentor to start up social enterprises. Lately she writes articles on social entrepreneurship for newspapers and magazines.

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