Municipal Kypseli Market: The first market of social entrepreneurship and urban regeneration in Greece

Elena Lambrou, from Impact Hub Athens, welcomed the Agora Erasmus+ Program (2019) participants in a bold community prototype, the Municipal Kypseli Market, the first market of social entrepreneurship and urban regeneration in Greece. Following a participatory model of management and revival of the urban commons, the Municipality of Athens chose through an open process the Impact Hub Athens in order to manage the reopening of the Municipal Market. The Municipality of Athens renovated it in 2016 so that the building could be reused in the most beneficial way for the society, within a bigger plan of re-utilizing all available resources of the city, promoting at the same time, culture, innovation, creative entrepreneurship, while upgrading the quality of life in the local community. It is now housing eight innovative social enterprises, all chosen for their economic viability and positive social impact. Nowadays, the Municipal Market of Kypseli, an open space for local inhabitants and visitors, organizes and hosts educational and cultural activities, as well as social enterprises, based on the agenda of sustainable development, social creativity, and participation. The Agora participants were introduced with a truly “success story”, a vision which turned into reality after overcoming the abysmal bureaucracy and thousands of obstacles common to the Greek nation.