Overview – Spain

1.- Encouraging Youth Entrepreneurship

Spain is the country of entrepreneurs. The majority of town councils have programs or other specific services used for direction of entrepreneurs and offer them resources that they probably need.  

There are economic aids as well for the promotion of entrepreneurship spirit and consolidation in all Spanish regions like institutions making more possible financing of new created companies for instance ENISA, CDTI, IVF.

The most enterprising autonomous regions in Spain are Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia. During last decade entrepreneurship has been stimulated though public bodies, private organizations and non-for-profit organizations reaching not only education levels promoting enterprising and riches generation, but structural as well.   It happens for instance trough deductions in social security.

In Spain there are a lot of events for entrepreneurs like educational programs, business incubators, funding round etc.


2.- The Cooperation Ecosystem between University and SME and Start-Ups in Spain

The SMEs should evolve and get ready to be competitive alone at national level but also at international level, overcoming their difficulties and limitations. The cooperation can help the company to confront the globalization economic world and to respond to that concern for the economic and organizational efficiency.

The cooperation between university and business has emerged in recent decades as a permanent change strategy to improve the competitiveness of productive sectors, contributing to the solution of problems of society and, more importantly, align their programs through capacity change and update the requirements of national and international markets. There are several factors that have facilitated and motivated cooperative linkage rapidly in recent years. However, they should be highlighted as the most significant: globalization, by opening national economies and market integration; access to knowledge through Internet technology; the demands of consumers and the need to find new ways of financing.


Supporting entrepreneurial activities is already rooted in the strategic plans of Universities in Spain. Universities are where emerging professionals with a title and a company under his arm are born. Universities are consolidated as the ideal niche to undertake, due to the offer of their area of ​​knowledge and advice from professionals and other entrepreneurs. There are many mechanism and products and services offered to entrepreneurs from Universities in our country. Here we describe some of them:


  • Business incubators are offered in many Universities, as a service offered to new and start-up companies to develop by providing management training or office space. The most common incubators services are: network activities, marketing assistance, help with business basics, links to higher education resources, help with accounting/financial management, intellectual property management, links to strategic partners, access to business angels and capital investors…


  • General business advice: universities also offer services of general advice for entrepreneurs who want to create and start their new business. We have several examples of this type of cooperation like “EmprendeACEF” (http://acef.cef.es/) or “Club de emprendedores de la Universidad CEU San Pablo” –University CEU Sant Paul `s entrepreneurship club- (http://www.uspceu.com/coie/ActividadesClubEmprendedores.aspx).


  • Investigation projects: most of the Universities develop different investigation projects involving students and professors together and other members of University community. At the end, many of the investigation projects develop by students are brought to reality with advice, guidance and founds from the University community. For example, the Investigation service of the Malaga University offers this kind of cooperation (http://www.uma.es/servicio-de-investigacion/) or the Innovative Polytechnical city in the UPV of Valencia (http://cpi.upv.es/quienes-somos/centros-de-investigacion)


  • Another service and form of cooperation between universities and business related to R+D is the possibility of using the facilities of these centers  by the enterprises for developing there their projects and also collaborating together in investigation projects through agreements for investigation between the university investigation centers and already created and established SME.



3.- Incubators and Seed Finance.

To break away from the current negative image of Spain regarding to business enterprising and startups, here we have some data about Spanish startups that lead to a better image of the situation in the country. Spain had a massive influx of new startup programs in the past few years, entrepreneurship has become more trendy in the country. This data is captured in the link below where there is a map of the country with the location of the startups, accelerators, incubators, co-working organizations and so on.



The relevant data in here is the break out of a huge number of incubators in the country since 2008 and the significant lack of deals made by the venture capital firms.

Moreover, the data reveals the rise of a start-up accelerators creation trend by some big bosses of private companies like Juan Roig and Jose Manuel Entrecanales to support the startup rise.


4.- Innovative Training Methods.


In Spain, between 90% and 100% of the students of professional education some time participate in programs of enterprise spirit of its professional trajectory educative. Nevertheless, the programs and activities including in those numbers can enormously defer in intensity and effectiveness. In any case, in general it is considered that it continues being an emptiness that it is have to cover.


Some of the most important reasons of the detected emptiness are the following ones:

  • The enterprise spirit is not including in all the parts of the EFP system;
  • The participation of the students is limited;
  • The education methods are not effective;
  • The practical element of the enterprise spirit lies down in lack;
  • The professors are not totally competent;
  • The enterprise spirit is not tie to matters of formation or concrete professions;
  • Enterprise does not become jumbled sufficiently.


By as much, in spite of the existence of some encouraging data, the resource is observed that the education in the enterprise spirit and the effectiveness of this one in the European professional schools they follow far from being totally satisfactory.


In many cases it is considered that insufficient competition of the professors it constitutes a problem, at least with regard to its practical experience in enterprise spirit. In this scope an improvement is very necessary. Most of the Spanish regions they declare that they offer to the professors courses of formation in enterprise spirit, but few do it with a systematic approach.

By another part, it does not seem to have important administrative obstacles to cooperation between school and company, and generally this type of collaboration well is established, mainly in the countries where a “dual system” exists. Not, it can be difficult to guarantee the participation of the small companies and microcompanies.


With independence of the scope of in question professional formation, the most effective way to teach enterprise spirit is that the students participate in practical projects and activities on that it is insisted on the learning through the practice and real experience in enterprise spirit is acquired. An education oriented to the resolution of concrete problems and the acquisition of experience is essential to impel the enterprise mentality and capacities.


Education methods more used they are the theoretical classes, the games of company and based on simulations by computer, the companies of students, the work of project and in group, the visits to companies and the practices. In spite of the ample range of pedagogical tools existing, in general the present methods are considered old fashioned and effective little.

It could be due to that all the professors do not choose by active methods or to that all are not enabled to follow them. Another problem is the nonexistence of methods interdisciplinary of work in concrete projects. Most of the professors present they have not received formation in enterprise spirit; therefore, it can that does not know to focus their education suitably.


The initial formation and permanent of the teaching staff it is of great importance, but education in the enterprise spirit not yet is included systematically in the programs of formation for educators. In many cases, the formation in the work place distributes external organizations. The most effective way to guarantee than the competition of the professors in this scope is adapted and updated would be to include the enterprise spirit like an obligatory part of its education. Also it is important to offer complementary education to the professors who already have completed the initial.


In Spain, the education in the enterprise spirit includes in the curriculum national frame and is obligatory in all the branches of the EFP (technical, industrial, commercial, etc.). The programs and activities of enterprise spirit that comprise of the established courses usually tell on a minimum of 35 hours the year, distributed in three hours weekly during the second year of studies. The 35 hours correspond to 55% of the curricular content (because the Ministry of Education gives general directives of educative policy), but the independent communities can increase them until 100%.



  • Start Up Communities.


  1. Do you consider that your country is advanced in the area of entrepreneurship?

As aim of the report, the main index analyzed by the GEM (Global entrepreneurship monitor) is the Entrepreneurial Activity Rate (Total Entrepreneurial Activity-TEA), which measures the ratio initiatives between 0 and 3.5 years in the market on the 18-64 years aged population.

In the case of Spain is significant to see the evolution of TEA relative to 2012 broken down by opportunity and necessity. As for opportunity entrepreneurship no variations are observed over the previous period, remaining at 33% and remaining below the European average, with a value of 47 %. In the case of necessity entrepreneurship, we can observe a slight increase (from 26% to 29%), indicating that the number of entrepreneurs who have made ​​the decision to start a business forced by the economic situation has increased. In this case the Spanish figure stands 7 points above the EU average.

Other major highlight of the last report submitted in Chile Data are those related to the perception of opportunities, perceived abilities or fear of failure. In Spain it is seen that the two last of them have been declining over the previous year and that, on the contrary, perceived opportunities has increased. Still, these values ​​place Spain far from the European average in terms of perceived opportunities, while remaining close to the average in the other two variables.

Thanks to this report we can conclude that Spain is not an advanced European country in the area of entrepreneurship.

  1. If yes what indicators would you use to evidence this (number of start-ups, number of patents registered, number of self-employed professionals etc)? If no, how do you think you can benefit from countries where this concept is advanced?

Firstly we have to find all countries with a good level of perceived entrepreneurship opportunities.

Then, we have to try to analyse and benefit from the experiences of best practices in each country where the concept is advanced and trying to adapt and develop these best practices at home in our specific environment and customs.

To benefit from countries where this concept is advanced we could analyze:

  • The economic situation of each country.
  • The different repartition of the start-ups between the different sectors.
  • The different sector with competitive comparative advantage.
  • In what sectors the different start-ups succeed in.

With a serious study comparing these analyses, we can learn the good and bad practices from these countries. So, we’ll can try to go further in the area of entrepreneurship by following an efficient way and avoid some deviations experimented by others.


  1. Which factors do you consider as most critical for the development of an entrepreneurial culture?


The hallmark of an entrepreneur is not tied to a particular business, but rather to an attitude to create value, regardless of the activity taking place.
There are true entrepreneurs in rural areas, looking for new products, new ways to distribute and to promote new activities; as there are entrepreneurs in the field of services, from the most traditional to the most cutting-edge and of course in the industry. Therefore, it is essential to address the fact that entrepreneurship is primarily a culture that seeks to find new and better ways for economic revitalization, to progress as a society and as economy.


Ones of the most critical factors for the development of an entrepreneurial culture:

– An adequate taxation which facilitates start-ups creation and development.

– A dynamic and opened economy

– An efficient administrative sector which make simple the creation of new businesses.

– Necessity of funding resources → Entrepreneurship by necessity.


Ones of the most critical factors which prevent the development of an entrepreneurial culture are:

  • Lack of capital/financial resources to be independent
  • Bad current economic climate for a new company
  • Lack of competencies to be independent
  • Lack of commercial ideas
  • Difficult to conciliate entrepreneurial life with familial obligations
  • The risk of failures and its social and legal consequences
  • Weight of formalities /Administrative difficulties


  1. Which method(s) would you consider as the most appropriate to assist countries lagging in the entrepreneurship, i.e. helping entrepreneurs gain access to institutional/angel investors, transferring expertise through an online platform, providing online support in the evaluation of business plans, providing access to networks where entrepreneurs meet .

– Transferring expertise through an online platform

– Providing access to networks where entrepreneurs meet

With an expertise and with a great established network the countries lagging in the entrepreneurship have very strong potential and solid arms to grow in this field.

  1. Do you think entrepreneurship can be promoted by the government or through private initiatives (i.e. via innovation schemes or via the development of a network of angel investors or both)?

Entrepreneurship can be promoted by both of them.

For one part the government can improve the help for entrepreneurs with different programmes (Example: HORIZON  2020, COSME, APATENT BOX, ENISA, ENISA, ICO, ICO SGR, PROGRAMA NEOTEC, EXPORTACION, INNOVACION, EMPLEA, PROGRAMA IDEA, MADRID EMPRENDE, ….) and also by increasing funds dedicated in this sector. For this part, it depends a lot of the current economy and politic of each country and can vary, but in general the creation of start-ups is a source a futures jobs creation and so in the context actual it’s a very important factor.

The governments can promote the entrepreneurship by make the taxation lower and easier to understand for the business creations. It could also give taxation advantage for this if necessary. All of this could be engender and encourage a greater move for the business creation.

Through the private initiative we can see the recent development of crowdfunding which is a development of a network of investors more focused on the start-ups area. So the phenomenon of crowdfunding allows individuals to come together to finance a project. There is also the Equity crowdfunding for SME which allows individuals to come together to invest in startups via internet and become a shareholder. So, crowdfunding allows mobilize savings of individual investors to invest in the capital of young innovative companies.

This recent way of financing is a good promotion tool for potential entrepreneurs since:

  • Investments no costly or no existing
    • Right to error: projects that “fail” (usually due to lack of online “financiers”) may be recommenced (by amending the specification, or the business plan if applicable)
    • Direct access to a community involved in the creative process (which facilitates the search for prospects, provides recommendations, etc..). Marketing can therefore begin before the actual implementation of the project (ex: setting up a campaign of “story-telling” to keep users informed of the maturation of the project)
    • The pre-existing web support enable to relay their project transversely on social networks (Facebook Fan Page, Twitter).
    • Possibility to finance “side projects” (parallel projects) related to a larger project.
  1. How would you define the role of the European Union in the entrepreneurship arena?

Firstly, we define the role of European Union in the entrepreneurship area as a promotion and dissemination role. In This way, “the Commission is working with Member States, in particular by facilitating the sharing of experiences and fostering entrepreneurial attitudes. In addition, campaigns such as the European SME Week have been launched to promote the image of entrepreneurship.”


Helped by its first role, the EU has to be a booster for the entrepreneurs. So EU has put in place the Entrepreneurship 2020 Action Plan which is based on three main pillars:

“     –      Entrepreneurial education and training

  • Creation of an environment where entrepreneurs can flourish and grow, and
  • Developing role models and reaching out to specific groups whose entrepreneurial potential is not being tapped to its fullest extent or who are not reached by traditional outreach for business support. “


To go further we can say also that EU has sometimes the role of Investors, Business Angels, and Interested Stakeholders.


  1. Do you consider project management and planning as a critical area for the success of a new venture?

Project Management and planning are very important in particular because they enable to avoid undesirables’ deviations from the business plan:

It is important that these activities are carried out on a continuous basis to ensure that high-quality products produce an effective impact on the desired target groups. These actions will determine if the activities of the start-up are in accordance to the business plan and budget foreseen. If any adjustments become necessary, an efficient project management linked to a well-done planning enables an immediate awareness of this and a quick reaction with the put in place of adequate necessary adjustments.


  1. Please define the most important stages in which you would you divide the effort required for a new start-up (i.e. concept development, design, prototyping, commercial deployment).


  1. A) Prior: treat business model
    All companies know the business plan. In this presentation folder, start-ups favor, a key element: the “business model” that explains the economic logic of the project. It should actually provide investors answers to simple and essential questions. How will the service be marketed? How will we be able to reap the benefits? How long has the company does show a positive gross margin? How will it address the market?
    – Remember: the business model should show how the project can generate money.
    – Danger: simply write a too standardized business model, as the financial are used to see.


  1. B) A Must: assemble a “dream team”
    Three ingredients make for success: “management, management, and management. “
    It should cure profile of the founding team. The first reflex is to shine CV to lend credibility to the project.
    Rookie mistake: the politics of good friends who have done the same business school, and then went through the same large group or audit firm. In the eyes of investors, too similar profiles become prohibitive, while complementarity reassuring.
    A sponsor can help: Include the outset personality reference to its board enhances the credibility of the project.
    – Remember: as long as the project, investors look at the team and its complementarity.
    – The danger of having too similar profiles or join with friends without favoring jurisdiction. 
  2. C) A necessity: making noise around the project
    Marketing start-up neglects no technique to create needs, to go out of anonymity, and to raise funds.
    – Remember: be as fast a name in its field of activity.
    – The danger: engulf the money raised on promotion. 
  3. D) A tactic: multiply partners.

To Increase partnerships of any kind is another way to achieve this permanent goal for the start-up: gain speed.
Synergy to all floors:  Incubators, buildings that include start-up, the latter spontaneously forge partnerships between them. (The Silicon Valley or Silicon Alley in New York)

– Remember: impossible to succeed alone in the net economy. Whether with partners, suppliers, customers, other startups, we must establish the possible alliances.
– The danger will remain too secret about its projects; multiply the constraints (confidentiality undertakings signature, for example) before discussing.


  1. E) A principle: valuation is unabashedly
    Often, analysts and investors recognize that they improvise. Among the methods used, recovery a priori, that is to try to determine, sometimes drawing plans on the turnover coming in twelve or eighteen months, which may be worth the good idea of an entrepreneur: 1, 2 or 5 million … rudimentary, but frequently employed. More classic, the comparative method: a society sector has been able to raise capital X million on the basis of a valuation N, the new contractor claims the same thing. More rigorous discounted cash-flow estimates a project based on its ability to generate in the future cash flows.

  2. F)  The goal: raise as much money
    Do not ask enough money to venture capitalists discredits the project.


  1. G)  The imperative to find the right investors
    Each type of investment has its advantages and disadvantages, but all must bring more than money: advice, networks, short, so-called smart money .
    Business angels : fast but interventionist
    The great merit of these investors (individuals) wealthy is to ” decide quickly “
    The venture capital ( VC) : Raising the stakes and get out as quickly
    In contrast to business angels , the VC work with other people’s money . They also show more procedural and their motivations remain purely financial.
    Industrial investors: real support or placement under control?
    They commit to longer term, have knowledge of the business concerned and they are more interested in products. Industrial investors may be less demanding in terms of return on their contributions than pure financial, but there is a downside: they pay “to see”. Under the guise of equity , they often have in fact a technology watch , for fear of being left behind by the newcomers. The disadvantage of this type of investor appears clear: they can become buyers and potential competitors.
    The recent crowdfunding which allows individuals to come together to finance a project.
    This new method has many advantages for a contractor if it is a business to consumer activity: the scale of the test and the accuracy of the returns. Indeed, the concept of participatory financing allows projects mostly human dimension to see the day when they do not fit the criteria for the selection of conventional financing actors.
    Whether selling products or services, carry out a campaign fundraising on the internet, it is primarily a test size. The project leader speaks directly to users, it will quickly know if the project meets the expectations of consumers or not. With the condition to have previously selected the platform corresponding to the typology of the proposed project conditions, crowdfunding is a good way to achieve a targeted market research.

– Remember: At each type of investors, its operation mode and its own psychology.
– The danger to be round a cohort of shareholders with different methods and divergent interests.

  1. H) Foresee the internationalization step
    To raise money and still be economically viable in terms of operation, it is important to have, at the outset, an internationalization strategy. A project that doesn’t seek international development lacks of ambition, and even of serious.
    – Remember: internationalization is a choke point, from the business plan.
    – The danger does not have foreseen or studied the specifics of international competition.
  2. I) Ambition: To go public
    It’s a possible door of exit for the initial investors:
    The Exchange offers a way out for beginnings partners, business angels and other venture capitalists.


6.- Start Up Networks and Fundraising.

As a result of the crisis, Spanish entrepreneurs and start-ups are calling for a higher profile. The time has come to restructure the business map and seek ways to boost the production tissue and this is undoubtedly linked to the creation of new companies. Fortunately, Spain is becoming more open-minded and has realized that entrepreneurs and technology are two essential factors in the evolution of a country like ours. Over the past 5 years, a large number of public and private initiatives have been implemented, leading to the emergence of many more innovative projects and the creation of many start-ups.

Besides, the ADL programs or other specific services offered by the local councils and regional and national government, start-ups networking is becoming more and more necessary and useful for new entrepreneurs. However, as many of the new start-ups are focus in the big cities like Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia, the most of the networks, projects and events related to this, are taken in those cities.


7.- Coworking Spaces.

There are many Co -working spaces that today are being created in Spain, and they are of many types, among many other models, we can name some entities that have direct contact :

  • co-working spaces for businesses in the same industry: such as space for creative businesses .



On this page you will find a large selection of local coworking in Spain :





utopic_US is a network that supports new talents, a coworking space where innovative and transformative initiatives launched  generates its own projects that bring value to society .

But it is also an original concept of coworking space where freelancers professionals, freelancers and companies working in a production environment, collaborative and exchange of services, products, ideas and knowledge. There, expand their developing work nourished the heterogeneous ecosystem around them and are networked via virtual coworking platform that offers utopic_US ( www.utopicusvirtual.es ) . And all in a climate of entrepreneurship and learning where innovative initiatives fail not.

Besides utopic_US coworking spaces housed in several training schools (design, humanities, photography, Apps, programming, Hamdmade, music) an art gallery (the utopic_Gallery ) gastronomic bar (the mmm_US ) , and many project transformers.



Born in 2013, and managed by AJEV , now is beginning to develop as Utopicus space in the city of Valencia.



Project our Young Entrepreneurs Association of Madrid. An area of ​​800 m2 to provide a complete service for entrepreneurs formed by an open space where you can hold events, meeting rooms, training rooms, coworking space, café, chill out, bike parking, kids area, and best the CAR ( High Performance Centre ) .
The CAR (High Performance Centre ) are 8 boxes which house the projects of entrepreneurs Madrid.

The garAJE is a meeting point of knowledge, ideas and networking opportunities, being chosen to host the headquarters reference events as Google , Pink Slip Party , Innosfera , Spain Sports Network and many more , thanks to its capacity of 114 people.



Nowadays, co-working is the best network option for those entrepreneurs and microenterprises just starting or working alone, the benefits of working in local experience sharing are far greater than being in a small home office to save costs.
These spaces can take many advantages: contact entrepreneurs who are in the same situation as you, learn from their mistakes, share experiences, and even get new customers and suppliers. Furthermore, these locals have training spaces for learning workshops for coworkers in different areas of the company

Many of these spaces have coffee area designed to exchange views and experiences, and many of the coworkers end up collaborating on work projects, or exchanging their services, for example: I make you change your web page you took me accounting etc..


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