Javier is an entrepreneur, but first of all he is a father. His daughter, Aitana, is a beautiful child but she is deaf from her birth. So Javier and loles, the mother of Aitana, have been always very worried with the idea of loosing Aitana when going out with her at beaches, amusements parks or other places with crowds of people.
They were looking of a system to find lost people, but those already in the market dind’t meet their expectations. So they decided to start a business dedicated to this need.
Talking about initiatives of entrepreneurship
Here in Valencia we have different initiatives related to entrepreneurship, especially collaborative or associative movements. But we also have Forums, lectures, services to help entrepreneurs… But at the institutional level I think w have lack of projects, initiatives or programs.
I can’t compare this situation with other European countries, but for self employment, as long as I know the situation in other countries I can say that ? it is more advantageous than in Spain. Here we have Little support for entrepreneurs: the self employed has some advantages in tax payments for a few months (insufficient), and we have private initiatives as shuttles and incubators.
But on the other hand you can find zero empathy by administrations with the entrepreneurs. Lots of costs: paying for creating a society, paying for being self employed from day one, high level of VAT that we have to pass on to our customers, being uncompetitive…
Entrepreneurship at school and university
I have children of school age, and my experience is that training entrepreneurship in schools does not exist. And my experience from my college years is that it does not exist. I do not know if that will have changed now.
We could improve this situation by creating an entrepreneurship spirit in our ociety. So then, more and more people Will want to create jobs and businesses to boost the economy. From what I observed in my environment, people are still waiting to official oppositions or find a good job.
And specific initiatives at school or university such as studying real brands and businesses, studying financial issues, laboratory of entrepreneurs,… I know some prohrams and initiatives already exist at university level,for example, the IDEAS program of the UPV. The problem I see is that people that access is very good technically on his own, but has no management background.
Funding and money
We have a big offer here: Enisa, ICO, bank financing. But they all make your business starts with debts, and in cases such as ENISA, it is really difficult if you don’t have good results from the very begining. So in general it is difficult to fin financial aid. And investors of private sector look only for their own profit. In general, for banks and private sector I see the point of the conditions they offer, as all they want is to get money back and making some profit.
Also from public sector we have some grants, but I consider them as a push, recognition of the work. But you can not count on them as a source of funding.
Entrepreneur´s best profile
Our education and environment foster a safe life. If the environment encourages us to a safe life, we will move to safe and stable jobs. If education we receive is to enjoy life and feel emotions, the venture will be seen as a natural choice.
A successful entrepreneur should have these skills: adaptation to change, knowledge of the market where he/she will operate and knowledge of the target. Of course you can teach entrepreneurs some skills and knowledge. The first thing is to find out the motivations to undertake. It is not the same as a self-employment that a venture project. Be familiar with the differences of life between stable employment and an entrepreneurial project. Know and internalize failure. And once these issues are clear and the student decides he wants to keep trying to undertake real learning begins. Successful models, management models, business plan, feasibility plan, risk analysis. I love to train entrepreneurs.
To train them it is useful activities or techniques taht show us what happens when things are done well, personal satisfaction, managing own time, generating employment and economic self-sufficiency.
Normally an entrepreneur is technically very well trained in their field. Probably a gastronomic entrepreneur will be very well trained in kitchen. But what price must put your dishes? Which has to be your average billing? Learnig about the features of the sector and getting trained in project management is essential, beyond the technical capabilities.
Co-workings and entrepreneurship networks
AJEV is a community of entrepreneurs, for me. And I know groups and forums to interact with other entrepreneurs. Also public initiatives.
Networking can be very useful at the beginning but after a while you have the same faces in all the places. And Coworking spaces, they’re great. I know of several in Valencia. An office at a very affordable prices, shared with others, where you can create synergies and make contacts, although you are limited in scheadules and privacy.
Institutional and non institutional support
My general perspective is that we don’t have enough prívate and public support in this field.
We have a big problema with social securityand the payments you have to do when you hire someone and also when you get self employed. This is something shpuld be changed as son as posible.
We are lack of initiatives from the primary education cycle making the students being interested in undertaking. I know LEINN, that is being implemented by Florida and Valencia Lab in the city, and it’s a great program but background from School or college is really por for the students so still you need to start at a very low level.