Oliveshop.com and entrepreneurship in Greece: Give stool sample please!
The story of an online entrepreneur in Greece comes as a shock to many. Greece is unique in its stubbornness to shed old methods of bureaucracy, initiated in the 19th century.
Giving stool samples and asking the founders of a company to provide chest x-rays sounds like a remnant from an era when tuberculosis was a silent killer.
But why would one provide these as the operator of an online business, is beyond us.
Oliveshop.com co-founder, Fotis Antonopoulos, spent 10 months fighting the Greek bureaucratic system, like a modern Hercules.
To establish his business of olive-oil products, Antonopoulos had to provide an actual physical store he’d have to pay rent for, in order to receive permits from a half dozen agencies, ” including the Athens Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the municipal service where the company is based, the health inspector’s office, the fire department and banks.”
It was at the health inspector’s office that he was informed that he, along with the other co-founders of Oliveshop.com, had to provide stool samples and chest x-rays.
Further down the road, the Greek bank that would handle his online transactions demanded that the descriptions of the products be listed in Greek only. For an entrepreneur aiming for a global clientele, Fotis Antonopoulos decided to bypass the bank and go with PayPal instead.
Read the details of this remarkable story here. No stool sample is required.