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beewise: change without change: the cash-free project

all over Greece, GreeceAthens, Greece
Year Founded:
Organization type: 
Project Stage:
$10,000 - $50,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Beewise focuses on maintaining the quality of life of skilled un/under-employed professionals + preventing them from marginalization, depression, social exclusion, poverty, potential homelessness. It creates the infrastructure for this pro-active initiative through a web based, barter marketplace.

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

through a cooperative community we eliminate fear and instill confidence and security to professionals at risk.
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

1.350.000 officially unemployed + unofficial unemployed + underemployed people = 3.796.000 (year 2012) people living under the threat of poverty and social exclusion. 295.000 empty houses, not providing their owners with income, causing burden with extra expenses (taxes, maintenance fees). Moreover they create urban dysfunctionalities. Meanwhile rent is the major expense of Greek families that don't own a house. Product consumption is reduced.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

The project is based in the strong belief that, in addition to its financial benefits, peoples’ participation in an active, creative community engages them in a meaningful way and motivates them to stay healthy and efficient; It has a positive impact to people’s mental + physical health and social life. It prevents social exclusion, depression and suicides. If we treat "problems" as potential assets we can use empty spaces, potential services/time/skills and goods as the three basic “products” to be exchanged within the upcoming community. The network will be connected through a web platform where supply will be matched with demand. Special priority will be given in reconstructing significant buildings at neuralgic points of the cities.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

Petros, a school teacher,is married to Anna, architect, and they have two children. They were also getting the rent of a small studio that they owned. Their annual income has radicallyreduced because of Petros' salary's cut, the collapse in construction sector that affected Anna's work, taxes' raise and the loss of studios' rent. They couldn't pay their rent and couldn't cover their expenses. They were stressed until they entered the lively cooperative beewise community. They rent an apartment similar to the one they stayed whose owner gets services and goods from the whole community, they let their studio to a young lawyer who provide his services to anybody who needs, Anna decorates houses and cooks for an old lady to cover their rent.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

This project improves the quality of life of the people involved. The financial crisis has affected the great majority of the Greek population. Beewise provides a vision and an expectation for stability, security, social contribution and happiness for everybody. Vulnerable groups will find a secure shelter and the average people will realize the power of involvement, commitment, contribution. A meaningful way to do things. 3.796.000 people in risk (44,5% of youth), Construction section has collapsed -> thousands of unemployed engineers, constructors, workers not officially unemployed, 10.000 homeless (75% because of the crisis), 50% of the population unable to cover the basic needs, 4% increase of suicidal rate in one year (2007-11) -> 3125 people commited suicide in three years (2009-12) While 300.000 empty spaces/buildings. It will also have very positive environmental impact.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

Synergies with local networks and communities. In the full scale, synergies with global networks and communities will be made.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

There are several exchanging platforms and “time banks” at the moment in Greece, that offer mostly medium and low end services, the housing sector doesn’t exist and the supply of products is limited. We plan synergies with these platforms. Introducing housing and food surly will enrich them; there is high activity in this area but there isn’t a holistic proposition, that could connect these initiatives and enable people to cover basic needs - considering housing as the major one and prerequisite for a decent life- giving them the fulfillment of participation and the feeling of responsibility.

Founding Story

First "what if" hypothesis was "What if homeless people could restore empty buildings and stay there while giving back to the owner some kind of profit?" Doing some research, we found surveys for "neo - homeless" people that supported our hypothesis. Trying to develop the idea, we realized that there is an infrastructure and several NGOs that support homeless and that there would be practical problems in organizing a couple of them in a construction project. We also realized that homelessness could be a possibility for anyone. Therefore, we are focusing on people who had a “normal life” and are now under the threat of poverty; a high-risk group for depression, social exclusion and suicide. Finally, vulnerable-and-non groups can be involved.


The final scheme will be a 4-member team with a 8-member advisory board and 2 mentors. Kiriaki Karachaliou (, founder, Nikos Papadakis (, web development. Advisory board: Loucia Andoniades, ( Strategy and community outreach; Erophili Karachaliou, MBA - finance; Mentor: Jim Chizmar (
About You
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About Your Project
Organization Name
How long has your organization been operating?

Organization Country

, Athens

Country where this project is creating social impact

, all over Greece

What awards or honors has the project received?
Funding: How is your project financial supported?

Foundations, Businesses, Customers, Other.

Partnerships: Tell us about your partnerships.

Time Bank of Athens, και τα υπολοιπα υπάρχοντα ανταλλακτικά δικτυα.
Social Παντοπωλείο,
Impact Hub
Aephoria Network, ....
Ανθρωπινοι Άνθρωποι,

businesses (Agrino,, Paros hotel)
We have met NGOs with similar focus ("klimaka", Praxis - their program συν στο πλην,, WWF - their program "kaliteri zoi")