This article is sponsored by Invest.Career, the website dedicated to attracting talent to Cyprus.
Apart from the obvious post card worthy Mediterranean cuisine and beautiful sunshine, this small island that boasts just over a million inhabitants holds many more features attractive to the foreign worker or Business person than just the beach and kebabs.
We could regurgitate the benefits that we all know infamously and predominantly as:
- Lower operational costs
- Tax incentives
- English as one of the most widely spoken languages
- Lower cost of labour
- Lower cost of living
- Low crime rates
But how about the more elusive, intangible advantages that make us in Cyprus particularly unique?
Like creativity and the startup community, like the intimate business environment we operate in. When the going gets tough, the tough get going. An apt expression that would describe Cyprus post 2012 and 2013. We got creative and we got industrious, we took skills and experience and startups and ventures appeared island wide. So much so that our startup community in the wake of a Bank collapse attracted the attention of other countries and we now have startup colleagues from other countries continuing secondary operations right here. The recent boom in tech firms attests to this. A tool also helping this, is the recently introduced Startup Visa program, which aims to attract talent from countries outside EU.
The shared traumas of 2012 and 2013 consolidated the business community, made us all as business professionals or entrepreneurs better networkers and keener tech enthusiasts. Reaching the rest of the world online using SEO and digital marketing became inherent to us. Mutual referral systems and collaborative business arrangements has become second nature. In short, we have become more inclusive and more business friendly. And not just with each other as local business people but also with our foreign investors and international operations that have still been drawn to Cyprus for all the reasons we know and have cited above.
As a country with an occupied capital, with a tough brutal decade in our banking and financial industry, we have survived against all odds with a resilience unprecedented, and faster than expected. As local residents to the island we are often privy to the observation that our infrastructure as an EU country is not up to the mark but I would challenge this pessimism, I would point out that given our history politically and economically the last half a century, we are doing surprisingly well in incorporating the vast changes we have been challenged to by the EU and the global economy.
For a tenacious startup, like the team at HR Innovate, operating in business in Cyprus means they have been able to be more creative and more included, while their actual reach is more extensive in comparison to larger countries with very complicated and rigid regulatory frameworks. Where else can you operate in one city and literally hop down the road to the next city to meet a client? Where else can you advertise and with a solid digital media strategy reach a majority population in a matter of days or weeks? Our small but intimate business environment means it is also welcoming to new players and highly approachable. A small pond some might say but not one to be underestimated.
Our community is literally choc-full of a highly educated and skilled professionals, talented and well travelled. In fact, Cyprus has the highest percentage in tertiary education among EU countries. All occupying the same small pasture. This also means greater accountability, where reputation means more.
Consumers are further protected by this feature of Cyprus as are business owners in terms of local due diligence since anyone and anything can be researched and reputations and reliability assessed. SMEs can make a loud noise in a community this tight and this small, much harder for them to imagine doing in the ocean size markets and communities like New York or London, Dubai or Sydney.
“Small is beautiful I have heard so many times over the years and used to scoff at as a younger person. As an entrepreneur and business owner in HR and Recruitment, keen to have an ear to the ground, and absolutely dedicated to succeeding…it rings true at last. New York will always be New York but no-one will remember you there in hurry, in Cyprus you can get noticed”, says Katerina Andreou, founder of HR Innovate.