INTERVIEW TO JUAN TORNEL

Juan is an entrepreneur who started some year ago his own business. It didn’t go as expected and later on he closed it down. But he came back some months ago with other partners and new ideas to start again. He has learnt a lot from the previous failure and now tries to go in another way, just to not repeat the same mistakes.

 

Talking about initiatives of entrepreneurship

From my own perspective, there is a lack of entrepreneurship mindset here in Valencia and Spain, in general terms. People here are used to get a job and work in someone’s business but not so many try to start its own business. And starting a new business is not as easy as you can imagine.

Of course that we have some good initiatives, both public and private, but they need more development and marketing, as not many people know what is going on in this field. The main obstacle for me is to find the help, advice and training that you need when you are going to start a business. And the first measure should be to have a specific public service where you can find out all the information you need and do there all the legal and administrative step. All information is spread away and you need to visit too many places and institutions to get ready to start.

What is more, financial issues are normally an obstacle, something you need to fight for. And also we lack of train in all the required fields.

People here in Spain are starting businesses as self employed, as they can’t find any other jobs to have a living. So, there is now this type of entrepreneur, the entrepreneurs by necessity, who lacks of more things than a usual entrepreneurs and that probably needs more training, advice and money.

 

Entrepreneurship at school and university

As said before, we have a lack of entrepreneur mindset, and this comes from school and university. We need more preparation at school, some subjects that can teach young people real things about businesses. In University, things are not so bad, but still there is a lot to do here. This is a place where you can find lot of useful networks and tools, but they are wasted.

Of course we have good initiatives. I know for example Instituto IDEAS of the Universidad Politecnica of Valencia or Florida Universitaria, both of them just as an example. But still more things can be done here: we should try to push more entrepreneurship at school and high school and give a real perspective of what a business is, involving real entrepreneurs in lectures and workshops. And also giving facilities to students to run their own projects both in high school and university.

 

Funding and money

Here we have another problem. We have different types of fundings but innovatives ones such as business angels or crowfunding are still consolidating. So most of people don’t know them or even if knowing them, don’t trust in new types of fundings. So they go to private banks where most of the times guarantees are needed. Then getting money is not easy.

What is more, there are public grants and competitions, launchers and incubators, but are not easy to access and sometimes you are limited to follow instructions from organizers.

We need to push more private sector.

 

Entrepreneur´s best profile

The best characteristic of an entrepreneur is his/her motivation. With this you have hlf of the way. But of course, an entrepreneur needs to have some skills and characteristics that will assure better to have success. Some of them maybe you can have, other you can get by training and learning.

For me an entrepreneur need to be like a Renaissance man, like Da Vinci. He ( or she) need to know things about lot of fields.

 

Co-workings and entrepreneurship networks

Networks and collaboration with associations and other institutions can be very useful, even when you are established, but much more when you are beginning your business. By Coworking and contacts through other networks you can get advice, possible contacts for your business and even financial aids, as you can contact people interested in your idea.

 

Institutional and non institutional support

From my point of view, there is still a lot to do, in both sectors. Main decissions and initiatives should be taken by government.

We have an added problema in Spain and it is that we have different levels of government, all with different and sometimes the same competences so information is not concentrate in one source. This is not bad as you can get advice from different points and levels, but at the same time there is not a service as big as really needed.

 

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