Bright Spain Stories of brightness and success happening in Spain

In Spain, where you see crisis we see opportunity

The black scenario: big business and government are shrinking at a frightening fast pace in Spain. Spaniards are suffering skyrocketing unemployment rates.

The bright scenario: In parallel to this process, many small businesses are flourishing. 

My first post showcases a glance of thriving and successful small businesses. I’ve only included those developed by a number of close relatives, who reinvented themselves and changed their lives for the better. My selection is based on proximity. If only my closest relatives have developed these exciting ventures, I can’t but try guessing the number of Spaniards who had followed suit. 

Urban mobility

I’ll start off with my brother and his partners. In 2010, they launched a carsharing company called Bluemove. In the piece I wrote about their beginnings at El Confidencial I described how three investment bankers left their careers in banking to become entrepreneurs in a fledging business in Spain. Two years later, the business is growing every day, offering a new kind of service to those who don’t want or cannot buy a car. 

Culture

Have you ever heard about a new theatre concept called “microteatro pordinero”? It was created by my brother-in-law and some other partners, all small business owners with very good ideas. In 2010, they decided to open up a bar in the middle of Triball (Madrid’s version of Tribeca) that offers small doses of theatre for 3 €. The venue has around 15 small rooms that host every night 15 small plays. Spectators arrive in hordes and decide what mini plays they want to enjoy that night. Since they only last for about 15 minutes, some might see even four at once. While you wait your turn you hang out at the bar, drinking beer and eating delicious tapas plates. The concept has become so successful that they have exported it to Miami. 

Trade online businesses

My cousin loves art. But she knows how hard it is for the average person to access good works of art. She wanted to change that by creating artglobale, an online platform that sells sculpture, photography and paintings to the regular customer. And not only art, my cousin is bringing the coolest chairs, tables, kitchenware and other home goods from all over the world to every corner of Spain. It is another case of life-changing success that I reported at ElConfidencial.

The Spanish media business Vocento has been struggling since 2008. Our 30-year-old cousin was working there at the financial department. A law and business graduate, she always wanted to work for big business. A few weeks ago, she decided to quit her position at Vocento to become part of the small team of Memimo, a start-up created a little bit more than a year ago by female entrepreneur, Rocio Herrero. The business is also revolutionizing the market of online promotions and coupons!

Another exciting venture was launched by our cousin Curra and her boss. The business is called Lefrik and it is an online platform that brings order to the Spanish average household. Yes, order. You want to organize your closet? Search in Lefrik’s options and you will find many at affordable prices. 

Media

Pablo and Sandra launched a printed magazine called Ethic about a year ago.  The promising outlet has won awards for its originality and ad value. It delves into avant-garde trends in the growing world of sustainability. Trend topics such as citizenship, climate change, pollution and global protests are discussed with openness and new approaches. Spanish listed companies all want to participate in one way or the other to see their brands linked to ethics!

Editorial powerhouse Santillana has enjoyed the excellent work of our sister-in-law for many years. She left the company to launch a useful concept: connect format and content specialists with companies in need of the right branding. The business is called Enlace Editor and it is bridging the gap between the creative and the corporate worlds.  

Dining

Three brothers: a lawyer, a financial controller and a fund manager decided to unite for a delicious cause: to offer the best possible Japanese food at affordable prices. Their venture is called Banzai and it has just opened its doors.  

Professional services

And last but not least, I would also like to add my own firm to the list. I decided to leave a stable and inspiring job at Spanish law firm Garrigues to become an entrepreneur myself in the field of regulatory and government affairs. My partner had founded Vinces three years before in a bold attempt to bring to Spain a transparent and ethical version of government relations. I joined him because I believe in his approach. It will be not only successful, but also of benefit to the new political system that is arising from this crisis. 

All of us are facing more trouble than in the past. That is for sure. But we are all managing the situation by being strong, creative and hopeful. And our businesses are thriving as a result. This is the kind of brightness we need more and more.

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