Last week saw 40 Barcelona based entrepreneurs make their way to a picturesque Catalan village called Camprodon. Situated about 120 km from Barcelona it was the ideal setting for the annual retreat of EO (Entrepreneurs Organisation). The group represented some of the people behind Barcelona’s growing ‘new business community’
The weekend retreat consisted of a magical blend of teambuilding and personal development workshops and exercises. Also on the agenda were discussions of the challenges facing entrepreneurs in Barcelona and practical solutions for dealing with them.
In a friendly open exchange of ideas and experiences, many topics were covered. With each entrepreneur representing a particular sector and owning a company with a minimum turnover of 1 million euros, the respect for each other’s views was plain to see. The discussions were interspersed with some exhilarating treks through the mountains of the pre-Pyrenees up to just before the French border. The mountain air certainly was a stimulus for encouraging creativity and frank discussions.
The food was plentiful and after 6 intense forum sessions over the weekend, everyone left with high spirits and new ideas for their respective business and most of all came away with some great new contacts who could now be called friends.
The entrepreneur community in Barcelona is growing faster than any other business community in the Catalunya. It has no doubt been helped by the influx of foreigners who come to Barcelona to live and are forced to find a niche in the market due to scarcity of jobs on offer to non Catalan (and sometimes non- Spanish) speakers. The exciting thing about the surge in numbers of business owners is the bridges that are being formed with local Catalan entrepreneurs.
The make up of EO for example is about 70% local and 30% international. This enables a very exciting exchange of contacts and ideals to take place. There is also a high degree of learning that takes place between the international business owners as they bring the skills and ideas from their own countries to bear in Barcelona.
There are other groups of entrepreneurs in Barcelona such as ENB (Entrepreneurs Network Barcelona) which is aimed at the new arrivals and start up businesses in the city. They provide seminars, workshops and a platform to discuss ideas for those who are thinking about setting up or who have just set up and are looking to meet like minded people.
In this time of uncertainty, it is the spirit of an entrepreneur that seeks to find solutions…