Sir Stelios rewards Bi-communal entrepreneurship for Cyprus peace

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For the 12th year, 20 Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot entrepreneurs will receive a total of €200,000 for doing business together.

The awards will be made in April 2022.

Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, creator and owner of the easy family of brands (see ) and the founder and President of the Stelios Philanthropic Foundation (see is offering cash prizes of €20,000 per bi-communal team (€10,000 per person in the team of 2).

Each team will include one Greek Cypriot and one Turkish Cypriot entrepreneur who can demonstrate their joint business benefits the economy of the whole island.

(For clarity: each bi-communal team will be awarded €20,000, and ten such teams will win these Awards in 2022, giving a total of €200k).

The “Stelios Bi-Communal Awards 2022” annual event in Cyprus was held for the first time in 2009.

Unfortunately, they were cancelled in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic and instead, donations were made to hospital staff on the island as a “thank you” for dealing with COVID on the front line.

Since 2009 the total value of the bi-communal awards granted by the Stelios Foundation is €3,990,000 (including this year).

Due to the pandemic, the application process will be conducted mostly online via zoom to reduce the need for travel and face-to-face meetings.

Even if some restrictions are lifted by then, the awards ceremony will take place via zoom on Thursday, 28 April, with Sir Stelios zooming in to congratulate the winners.

This year’s Awards will focus entirely on entrepreneurship amongst Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots.

This reverses the original concept, which started back in 2009.

So, unfortunately, this year, the Stelios Awards will not accept applications from teams in any other form of co-operation, other than “for-profit” businesses.

Sir Stelios commented: “I am a great believer that entrepreneurs are progressive and innovative and are already overcoming the current difficulties and cooperating with members of both communities for the benefit of their joint business activities.

“We are going back to our roots by only inviting entrepreneurs to apply for the 10,000 euro per person prize this year.

“All these entrepreneurs with their joint ventures are contributing to a lasting peace on the island.”

From 4 January, teams can submit their joint application to the Bi-communal Awards 2022.

Visit the website, click on the relevant link and download the application form. Once completed, please email [email protected]. The deadline is 31 March.

Eligible to participate are Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, whose business has a turnover of at least €5,000 per year and employs at least one staff member besides the owner.

Please provide evidence of joint venture activity in both communities.

Winners and candidates of previous Stelios awards in Cyprus from earlier years are welcome to apply again for the awards this year, provided they meet the financial criteria.