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The Bank of Cyprus Cultural Foundation has been awarded a contract to carry out postdoctoral research on “The business elite of modern Cyprus, 1878-1959: social origins and entrepreneurial characteristics in a historical perspective” (BEMC). The project secured funding following a call for tenders in the “Didaktor” (Post-Doctoral Researchers) programme, part of the “RESTART 2016-2020” programmes of the Research Promotion Foundation. With this success, the Cultural Foundation leads the way in research excellence as a recognized research institute in its own right. The project is led by Dr Christodoulos A. Hadjichristodoulou, Curator at the Bank of Cyprus Cultural Foundation, assisted by the young research assistant Dr Evangelia Mathopoulou.

The project (BEMC) seeks to open the “black box” of entrepreneurship in Cyprus by approaching historically the notion through an investigation of individuals that led the business activity. The scientific objectives of the BEMC project are twofold. Firstly, it seeks to examine how the business elite in Cyprus was recruited in British period, (1878-1959) by analyzing the social origins of leading entrepreneurs. With an in-depth analysis of their portrait we expect to reach firm conclusions concerning the variables which determined the entrepreneurial habits of the Cypriot businessmen, namely the social class, social and geographical mobility, social networking, further roles in society and public life. Secondly, it aims to examine the entrepreneurial aptitude and characteristics of these key business players based on established entrepreneurial typologies by understanding their motives and examining their initiatives. The creation of a web application (searchable and indexed database) with public access, and the visualization of the data analysis in a range of interactive Key Performance Indicators (henceforth KPIs) and spatial networks will allow the researchers to understand in depth the interactivity of the social roles of the principal actors in the society and the ecosystem of modern Cyprus. The methodology to be followed will be based on a combination of historical and archival research with multivariate analysis. The level of innovation and originality of the BEMC is considerably high both in terms of scientific and technological advances in historical research. The benefit which is expected to emerge from the BEMC will be multi-dimensional for the HO and the Young Researcher, and considerably significant for economic, social and technological progress at a national and international level.