The Center for Agri-Food Entrepreneurship of Messinia (KAEM) was established in 2016 by the Captain Vassilis & Carmen Konstantakopoulos Foundation and the American Farm School - Perrotis College with the support of the Peloponnese & Ionian Islands Development and Progress Association and the Municipality of Kalamata.
Captain Vassilis and Carmen Constantakopoulos Foundation is a charitable, non-profit, private foundation, founded in 2011 to honor Captain Vassilis and Carmen Constantakopoulos. Its aim is to establish Messinia as a model for sustainable development, by supporting and promoting related projects. The Foundation plans, manages and finances programs related to research, education and support of local structures in Messinia. It trades in a wide range of areas related to rural development, society, culture and the environment by developing partnerships with institutions and bodies in the aforementioned fields.
The aim of the Center is to fortify the entrepreneurship of the Messinian agri-food sector through the promotion and support of business ideas from individuals seeking to create a sustainable business and be actively involved in the production, processing and distribution of high quality agricultural products.
The services offered by the Center to the local community are based on scientific data on the implementation of productive processes and services, as well as the cumulative experience of the American Farm School in the field of experiential adult education and entrepreneurship.
The first bundle of the Center's activities focuses on the implementation of experiential seminars for those who wish to expand their knowledge on fundamental aspects of the agri-food sector and aims to develop business education, bring out business ideas and improve those business skills related to agriculture.
In order for students to assimilate the knowledge provided, active learning methodologies are adopted. The seminars are designed so that the apportionment of theory and practice leans in favor of the second, always taking into consideration the type and content of each topic.
The program is enriched with educational visits to companies of the agri-food sector, clustering activities and participation in industry exhibitions.
The average length of the seminars is 30 teaching hours.
The second bundle of KAEM actions concerns consulting services. The Center offers consulting services focused on both the establishment of a new business and the development of existing business prospects through business planning, marketing planning, distribution channel planning and networking planning.
Consulting is also provided on issues of contemporary technology usage at the level of agricultural exploitation through the implementation of intelligent agricultural solutions.
The consulting services are very constructive for those who feel that in addition to the knowledge gained from their participation in the experiential seminars of the Center, they would benefit in their effort to develop their business idea by participating in counseling sessions and the know-how of the Center in business management.
The duration of each service contract is determined by the needs of the entrepreneur and the business idea he/she wants to develop.
Personnel and Infrastructure
The Center employs specialized administrative and educational scientific staff from the American Farm School and Perrotis College and collaborates with selected, specialized external affiliates.
To meet the needs of its initiatives, the Center uses the well-functioning infrastructures of the Captain Vassilis & Carmen Konstantakopoulos Foundation such as the "educational farm", modern teaching rooms and production, quality control and marketing labs